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Wired2Fire Diablo Evolution

Richard Easton
28 Sep 2015
Wired2Fire Diablo Evolution teaser
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
700
inc VAT

With strong desktop and moderate gaming performance, the Wired2Fire Diablo Evolution is a respectable all-rounder

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 4.4GHz Intel Core i5-4690K (overclocked), RAM: 16GB, Front USB ports : 1x USB3, 1x USB, Rear USB ports: 4x USB3, 2x USB2, Total storage: 1TB hard disk, Graphics card: 2GB AMD Radeon R7 370, Display: 24in Acer K242HL, Operating system: Windows 10 Home

The Diablo Evolution is unusual among mid-range PCs in that it has an AMD graphics card rather than an Nvidia one. The AMD R7 370 isn’t quite as quick as the current favourite among mid-range PCs – the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 – but Wired2Fire has compensated for this by equipping its PC with a generous 16GB of RAM.

The PC’s Raijintek Arcadia midi-tower case is unobtrusive, with embossed side panels. The largely plain front has a glossy mesh finish and hides a 120mm fan. Another 120mm fan is fitted to the back, and there’s space for a pair of 120mm fans at the top of the case.

Its Intel Core i5-4690K processor is based on the Haswell architecture, which has just been superseded by Skylake. That’s not to say it’s slow, though. Wired2Fire has overclocked the unlocked CPU from 3.5GHz to a huge 4.4GHz. A Raijintek Themis CPU cooler keeps temperatures under control, and we were pleased to discover that its fan is nearly silent.

Wired2Fire Diablo Evolution guts

The processor is joined by a useful 16GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 memory spread across two 8GB sticks. This is more RAM than we typically see in systems at this price, and it proved its worth in our benchmarks. In the multitasking segment, where the PC has to manipulate large images while encoding and playing back 4K video, the PC managed a very strong 127, which is 10 points more than systems with the same processor and 8GB of RAM managed. The PC’s overall score of 126 is excellent – you’d need a computer with one of the very latest Intel Skylake processors to beat this PC’s application benchmark score.

The system is based around an Asus Z97-P motherboard. This limits your upgrade options, as it has four only SATA3 ports. Two are already in use for a DVD-RW optical drive and a 1TB hard disk. This is ample storage, but we’d prefer at least an SSHD to help make Windows more responsive. You also have the option of installing an M.2-based SSD directly on the motherboard, which is a neat way of adding a super-fast system disk.

The motherboard has two PCI-E x16 slots but only one runs at x16 speed and is occupied by a 2GB AMD Radeon R7 370 graphics card. The second slot runs at x2 speed so is no good for adding a second graphics card. There are two PCI-E x1 and two PCI slots for further expansion, none of which is obstructed by the graphics card.

Performance from the R7 370 graphics card can’t match that of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 we often see in mid-range systems at this price. In Dirt Showdown it produced 65.9fps at 1,920x1,080 resolution with 4x anti-aliasing and Ultra graphics settings. In Metro: Last Light we saw just 21.6fps at 1,920x1,080 resolution with SSAA on and Very High quality settings.

We had to turn off the demanding super-sampled anti-aliasing to achieve a playable 38fps in Metro, but even this is considerably off the pace set by the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960, so the Diablo Evolution isn’t the best choice if gaming is a priority. If you’re happy to decrease graphics quality for a smoother frame rate it will still handle modern titles. 

The front of the case has one USB3 and one USB port. At the back there are four more USB3 ports and two USB ports. These sit alongside a pair of PS/2 ports for an older keyboard and mouse, plus Gigabit Ethernet and three audio jacks, which you can pair with the front headphone and mic for 7.1 audio. The graphics card can output to multiple displays over DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort.

Wired2Fire Diablo Evolution rear ports

For an extra £100, the Diablo Evolution is supplied with input devices and a 24in Acer K242HL display. The screen has a reasonably thin glossy bezel and a tilt-adjustable stand with a small footprint. There are DVI and VGA connections on its back. Our test showed the panel to be of decent overall quality for a budget display, with a respectable 1,027:1 contrast ratio, 0.26cd/m2 black levels and an impressive coverage of 94% of the sRGB colour gamut. Viewing angles were a little disappointing, however.

Although the monitor was of good quality, the same can’t be said of the keyboard, which proved to be one of the most infuriating we’ve used. It’s a generic plastic USB keyboard and is so light that it slides around your desk when you attempt to strike the frustratingly spongy keys. The backspace key is puzzlingly small, so you’re likely to miss it more often than not, which is a problem as the keyboard proved difficult to use accurately. At least it has media and application shortcut keys across the top. The Zalman ZM-M401R mouse was more impressive, with four adjustable sensitivity settings and navigation shortcuts.

The Wired2Fire Diablo Evolution is a good all-round mid-range system. Its performance in desktop applications is great, and the PC can handle light to moderate gaming without too much trouble. It’s slower than the Yoyotech Warbird RS10 and Chillblast Fusion Gladiator, however, and it’s a shame the included keyboard is so poor. For other options check out our Best desktop PCs and buying guide.

Core specs
ProcessorQuad-core 4.4GHz Intel Core i5-4690K (overclocked)
Processor socketFCLGA1151
RAM16GB
Memory type1,600MHz DDR3
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardAsus Z97-P
Motherboard chipsetIntel Z97
Ports and expansion
Front USB ports1x USB3, 1x USB
Rear USB ports4x USB3, 2x USB2
Other ports1x PS/2
Networking1x 10/100/1000
Case typeMid-tower
Case size HxWxD430x200x455mm
PCI (free)2 (2)
PCIe x1 (free)2 (1)
PCIe x16 (free)2 (1)
Serial ATA (free)4x SATA3 (2), 1x M.2
Memory slots (free)4 (2)
Drive bays 2 1/2" (free)2 (2)
Drive bays 3 1/2" (free)4 (3)
Drive bays 5 1/4" (free)2 (1)
Storage
Total storage1TB hard disk
Memory card readerNone
Optical drive typeDVD-RW
Graphics
Graphics card2GB AMD Radeon R7 370
Graphics/video portsDVI, HDMI, DisplayPort
Sound
Sound cardRealtek ALC887
Sound card outputsLine in, line out, microphone
SpeakersNone
Display
Display24in Acer K242HL
Native resolution1,920x1,080
InputsDVI, VGA
Other hardware
KeyboardStandard USB Keyboard
MouseZalman ZM-M401R
ExtrasNone
Software
Operating systemWindows 10 Home
Operating system restore optionRestore disc
Buying information
WarrantyThree year RTB (two year parts)
Price including delivery (inc VAT)£700
Price excluding monitor (inc VAT and delivery)£600
Supplierwww.wired2fire.co.uk
Detailswww.wired2fire.co.uk
Part CodeDiablo Evolution

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