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Aria Gladiator Inspire 3670K review

Barry de la Rosa
6 Apr 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
523
inc VAT

It has plenty of extras, such as Wi-Fi and a Blu-ray drive, but it suffers from poor Windows performance

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Specifications

2.7GHz AMD A6-3670, 8GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Aria's Gladiator Inspire 3670K is based on AMD's new Vision platform, and it includes a 2.7GHz quad-core AMD A6-3670 CPU with an integrated Radeon HD 6530D graphics chip. That's backed up by 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard disk. A Blu-ray drive, a card reader and a wireless card are also included, and there's even a free Microsoft keyboard thrown in for good measure.

Aria Gladiator Inspire 3670K

It arrived in a smart 36cm tall Cooler Master case that's slightly shorter than most tower cases (most towers are about 42cm tall) and, as a result, Aria has used a microATX motherboard. This means fewer expansion slots are available, with the motherboard having one PCI slot, one PCI-E x1 slot and two PCI-E x16 slots. The single PCI-E x1 slot is already taken up by an Atheros wireless card, however.

There's also only one free 5.25in drive bay, along with four free 3.5in bays for hard disks. The Gladiator Inspire 3670K has four free SATA3 headers, but they face towards the front of the case and are tucked behind the side of the drive bay enclosure, which means you'll need to open the other side of the case to attach new disks.

Considering its integrated graphics and free PCI-E x16 slots, you’d think the Gladiator Inspire 3670K is ideal for a graphics card upgrade, but there are a couple of problems with this plan. First of all, you'd have to use the top PCI-E x16 slot because the bottom one doesn't have enough room below it for today's double-width cards. Similarly, you'll have to get rid of the wireless card if you want to fit a graphics card in the top slot.

Aria Gladiator Inspire 3670K

The next consideration is the size of your GPU. There's only about 22cm between the back of the case and the protruding hard disk, and this limits your choice of graphics card. Top-end cards such as the 29cm-long AMD Radeon HD 7970 are much longer, although a decent mid-range card such as the AMD Radeon HD 5770 (19cm long) would be ideal. It is, however, possible to gain an extra 4cm if you move the disk.

You need to make this choice if you want to play games because the integrated chip isn't powerful enough to play most games. It could hardly run our Crysis 2 benchmarks, crawling to a 6.5fps result. It only got 13fps in Dirt 3, and even with AA turned off and settings reduced to Medium it only managed 26.3fps. The only advantage is that the integrated chip supports AMD's CrossFireX, so it'll be able to provide a small boost to a dedicated AMD card.

The CPU isn't that much better, either. It managed an Overall result of only 62, so it's about as fast as a high-end laptop. That's fine if you just want to run Office applications, but multimedia editing software such as Photoshop will struggle with large files or complex operations.

Aria Gladiator Inspire 3670K

Conveniently, the Gladiator Inspire 3670K has some components not seen on budget PCs. Its Blu-ray drive lets you watch full-HD movies, and its integrated card reader not only accepts a wide variety of card formats, it also includes an extra USB3 port to complement the two on the rear of the case. We’re not sure why it has a Wi-Fi card, however; most desktop PC users make do with a wired connection.

Sadly, the inclusion of a card reader, Wi-Fi card and Blu-ray drive don't make up for the poor Windows performance and lack of a dedicated graphics card, and there's not a lot of room for expansion either. This is a PC for people who are into films and general computing rather than gaming. A good alternative to consider is the PC Specialist Enigma HD.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorAMD A6-3670
Processor external bus100MHz (HyperTransport)
Processor multiplierx27
Processor clock speed2.7GHz
Processor socketFM1
Memory8
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory64GB
MotherboardAsustek F1A75-M
Motherboard chipsetAMD A75

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)3/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n

Internal Expansion

Casetower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (2)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays4

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Barracuda (ST500DM002)
InterfaceSATA3
Total storage capacity500GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)AMD Radeon HD 6530D
Graphics/video portsVGA, DVI, HDMI

Sound

SoundHD Audio
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD, M2, microSD, CF/MD
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL BD-ROM

Display

Screen modelnone
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

KeyboardMicrosoft Comfort Curve Desktop 2000 (free)
MouseN/A

Software

Software includednone
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£523
Detailswww.aria.co.uk

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