Even though it doesn’t have an unlocked processor, this is still a powerful, well-built PC with an excellent monitor
3.1GHz Intel Core i5-3450, 8GB RAM, 23.6in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 8
The Scan Value G20 is an £800 Windows 8 PC with a high-quality AOC i2352Vh IPS monitor. Its processor is a 3.1GHz Intel Core i5-3450. This processor doesn’t have an unlocked multiplier so can’t be easily overclocked, but its overall score of 102 in our benchmarks shows it to be on a par with the Intel Core i5-2500K, which was our favourite processor from last year.
The motherboard is a no-frills Gigabyte H61MA-D2V model. This only has two memory slots, which are both occupied by high-quality branded 4GB DDR3 memory modules running at 1,600MHz. If you want more than 8GB of RAM, though, you’ll have to replace the existing modules – the motherboard can take up to 16GB. There’s only a single PCI-E x16 slot, which is occupied by the graphics card, but the motherboard has three PCI Express x1 slots; one is blocked by the graphics card and one contains a dedicated sound card, but there’s still one left for extras such as a TV tuner or USB expansion card.
The graphics card is an EVGA version of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 650 with 1GB of memory. It’s by no means the most powerful graphics card around, but it did fairly well in our challenging Crysis 2 test, achieving a frame rate of 16.6fps at 1,920×1,080 and Ultra quality. Dropping to Very High quality produced a playable frame rate of 29.4fps, and the game still looked great. The graphics card has two DVI ports and an HDMI port, which you can use to connect up to three monitors simultaneously.
The PC’s Asus Xonar DGX sound card is an interesting addition. Although it’s a budget card, its C-Media CMI8786 audio processor is a relation of the C-Media CMI8788 processor that’s rebadged as an Asus AV100 in the higher-end Asus Xonar DX card. It has a lower sample rate of 96KHz/24-bit for audio playback than the Xonar DX, but it’s still an excellent audio processor. The Xonar DGX sounds great and its drivers provide high quality software processing for gaming and movie audio.
The motherboard has just four SATA ports, all but one of which are occupied. However, as the PC has a 128GB system drive for fast boot speeds and a 2TB HDD for storage, you’re unlikely to need to expand in the near future, although film buffs may want to add a Blu-ray drive alongside the DVD-RW drive that’s already installed. If you want to add extra drives or USB devices such as a memory card reader, there’s plenty of room to do so, with three empty internal 3 1/2in bays, two unused external 3 1/2in bays and three spare 5 1/4in bays.
|Processor||Intel Core i5-3450|
|Processor external bus||100MHz (DMI)|
|Processor clock speed||3.1GHz|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel H61|
|USB2 ports (front/rear)||2/6|
|Firewire ports (front/rear)||0/0|
|eSATA ports (front/rear)||0/0|
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Wireless networking support||none|
|PCI-E x1 slots (free)||3 (2)|
|PCI-E x16 slots (free)||1 (0)|
|Free Serial ATA ports||1|
|Free memory slots||0|
|Free 3.5in drive bays||5|
|Hard disk model(s)||OCZ Vertex 3 128GB SSD + Seagate Barracuda ST200DM001-9YN164|
|Interface||SATA3 + SATA2|
|Total storage capacity||2,128GB|
|Graphics card(s)||1GB Nvidia GeForce 650|
|Graphics/video ports||2x DVI, 1x mini HDMI|
|Sound||Asus Xonar DGX|
|Sound outputs||7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out|
|Supported memory cards||none|
|Optical drive type(s)||DVD+/-RW +/-DL|
|Viewable size||23.6 in|
|Screen model||AOC i2352Vh|
|Screen inputs||HDMI, DVI, VGA|
|Operating system||Windows 8|
|Operating system restore option||Windows disc|
|Warranty||two years RTB|