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Wired2Fire Velocity VX review

Kat Orphanides
26 Apr 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
500
inc VAT

A great budget monitor, graphics card and processor combination make this an all-rounder perfect for anything

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Specifications

3.8GHz AMD A10-5800K, 8GB RAM, 21.5in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 8

Getting a low-cost PC to look good, do well in applications and play games is a tricky challenge, but one that Wired2Fire has managed to navigate with its Velocity VX.

It has a rather snazzy looking case that's tall and slim with a well finished, if slightly cramped, interior. There aren't any drive cages; instead one 3.5in 1TB HDD is screwed to the side of a strut that runs up the front right of the case. There's also only a single 5.25in bay, which is occupied by a DVD-RW drive. This cuts down on physical upgrade potential but is a good use of space within the compact case. There's also a vacant mounting point for a 2.5in drive such as an SSD.

Wired2Fire Velocity VX

There's little to block noise or dust from passing through the case, but the system isn't very loud, despite an odd whispering tick that comes from the CPU cooler. There's not enough room to install very long graphics cards such as an AMD Radeon HD 7850, but smaller expansion cards will fit.

Unlike most of the budget PCs we see, the Velocity VX actually comes fitted with a graphics card. A slim AMD Radeon HD 6760 with 1GB of video RAM occupies the motherboard's main PCI-E x16 slot. It did fairly well in our gaming benchmarks, achieving a frame rate of 57.9fps in Dirt Showdown at a resolution of 1280x720 and high quality. At the monitor's full resolution of 1,920x1,080, running the game at high quality produced a smooth 53.7fps. This makes this one of the best budget PCs for games.

The combination of Asus F2A85-M LE motherboard and A10-5800K performed as expected, producing an overall score of 65 in our benchmark tests. In combination with the two 4GB memory modules making up a total 8GB of RAM, this specification can do everything your average desktop user will need.

Wired2Fire Velocity VX

As well as the PCI-E x16 slot that's occupied by the graphics card, the motherboard also has a PCI slot, a PCI-E x1 slot and a second PCI-E x16 slot. The latter actually runs at x4 while the PCI-E x1 slot is effectively blocked by the graphics card's heat sink. The board has a total of seven SATA3 ports - far more than the case has space for drives. Two are currently in use. Both memory slots are occupied and there are two vacant USB headers and a USB3 header available on the board.

On the case's front panel, you'll find two USB ports, but not USB3, and the usual 3.5mm mic and headphone ports, while the rear of the case bears another six USB ports, of which two are USB3. There's also an eSATA3 port, a PS/2 port for mouse or keyboard, Gigabit Ethernet, an optical S/PDIF output and three 3.5mm analogue audio outputs for up to 5.1 surround sound.

Wired2Fire Velocity VX

The PC comes with a bland but perfectly functional keyboard and optical mouse set and a 21.5in matt AOC e2250Swda monitor with VGA and DVI inputs. It's one of our favourite budget models with excellent contrast and it managed a respectable 89.3 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut. Yellow tones are a bit more vivid than other colours while blacks are particularly rich and detailed.

Wired2Fire has installed Windows 8 on the PC, but has opted to use a UI tweaker to replace the start screen with a Windows 7-style start menu. Unfortunately, this means that you can't just hit the Windows key and start typing the name of whatever application you want to run or file you wish to sear for. Instead, you have to first haul the mouse pointer across the screen and click into the search both. This may bother users who favour keyboard shortcuts, but it's mercifully easy to uninstall.

Although we were irritated by the UI Tweaker, it’s easy to remove and doesn’t detract from this PC’s excellent balance between processor power and 3D graphics capabilities. We’re fans of the monitor, too. If you’re after raw processor power and won’t want to play games, then the Palicomp Alpha Laser is a good choice, but the Velocity VX is a better all-round PC and wins a Best Buy award.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorAMD A10-5800K
Processor external bus100MHz (HyperTransport)
Processor multiplierx38
Processor clock speed3.8GHz
Processor socketFM2
Memory8
Memory typePC3-12800
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardAsus F2A85-M LE
Motherboard chipsetAMD A85X FCH

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/6
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports5
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Barracuda (ST1000DM003-9YN162)
InterfaceSATA3

Graphics

Graphics card(s)1GB AMD Radeon HD 6670
Graphics/video portsHDMI, DVI, VGA

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC887
Sound outputs5.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, line out, mic in
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size21.5 in
Screen modelAOC e2250Swda
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Screen inputsDVI, VGA

Other Hardware

KeyboardOctigen JK-745
MouseOctigen JM-889

Software

Operating systemWindows 8
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantythree years RTB
Price£500
Detailswww.wired2fire.co.uk

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