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PC Specialist Fusion FX63 review

Kat Orphanides
17 Jun 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
699
inc VAT

It's good to see Wi-Fi and an SSD, but this PC is out-performed by its rivals

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Specifications

3.9GHz AMD FX-6350, 8GB RAM, 23.6in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 8

Most PCs we review in this price range have a predictable combination of Core i5 processor and LGA1155 motherboard, but the PC Specialist Fusion FX63 is a little different, as it has an AMD processor inside.

It's still powerful enough to run any desktop application you’ll need with ease, but the lower cost of the FX-6350 processor and Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 motherboard mean that the system has a few features that we don't usually see at this price, including an integrated Wi-Fi adaptor, an SSD and a good-quality 24in monitor.

PC Specialist Fusion FX63

When it comes to performance, the hexacore AMD FX-6350, running at its native speed of 3.9GHz, produced a very reasonable score of 82 in our application benchmarks. This is a little way off the pace of overclocked Core i5-based PCs, but it's still a respectable score and there's not a single application that you'll struggle to run.

Although it's cheaper than motherboards for Intel processors, the Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 motherboard has the latest high-speed connectors and it has six SATA3 ports, as well as the USB3 ports we expect from a decent board. However, there's not masses of upgrade potential and it has just one PCI-E x16 slot and one PCI-E x1 slot, both of which are occupied by a graphics card and a wireless adaptor card. There are also two PCI slots, but one of them is blocked by the graphics card. Although the graphics card and wireless adaptor make good use of the motherboard's upgrade potential, we'd have liked at least another PCI-E x1 slot in an ideal world. However, PCI cards are still common, so if you want to add an internal sound card or TV tuner you should be able to easily find something appropriate.

The graphics card is a 1GB AMD Radeon 7770. It's a decent gaming card, although not quite the most powerful we've seen in a system at this price. We got frame rates of 42.9fps in Dirt Showdown at 1,920x1,080 and 21.5fps in Crysis 2 at Ultra quality running at a Full HD resolution. Dropping the quality in Crysis to Very High produced a smooth frame rate of 32fps. It's certainly up to playing all the latest games at reasonably quality and has VGA, DVI and HDMI outputs.

PC Specialist Fusion FX63

Two of the motherboard's four memory slots hold 4GB modules of 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM, for a total of 8GB, leaving two slots free for upgrades. The motherboard and processor can handle a maximum of 32GB of RAM, but eight should keep your system happy for all but the most demanding of real-time editing tasks.

Three SATA3 ports are also in use, connecting the DVD drive, a 120GB SSD system disk and a 1TB hard disk for data and any applications that don't require the faster read/write speeds of the SSD. This is a good combination of fast storage for quicker boot times and applications, and providing enough disk space for all of your files and media collection.

The case is a budget Cooler Master model with an unfinished interior and little by way of noise or dust proofing, but the system isn't very loud and we like the snazzy blue flashes on the front panel. The PSU is similarly basic: a 450W FSP model. There are four unused internal 3.5in bays, and two vacant 5.25in drive bays. There are three cages for 3.5in drives, one of which can be removed without too much trouble, but that won't help if you want to add a full-length graphics card, as it'll be blocked by a fixed cage with space for two externally-facing 3.5in drives. Only one is in use, but it contains an extremely useful memory card reader, which can handle formats including SD, microSD and Memory Stick, as well as providing an extra USB port.

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