PC Nextday Zoostorm 4-6402 Advanced PC review

£1174
Price when reviewed

Although the Chillblast is the fastest PC for 2D applications, it achieves this through extreme overclocking. PC Nextday’s system is almost as fast with a standard CPU, achieving 1.58 overall in our 2D benchmarks. While Chillblast takes the crown, there’s no perceivable difference: both are tremendously fast.

PC Nextday Zoostorm 4-6402 Advanced PC review

Performance comes from Intel’s 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo E6700 processor and 2GB of 667MHz memory. On the motherboard, you’ll also find five SATA/300 ports. RAID is provided by the JBMicron controller, which manages the fifth SATA port and the PATA channels. Storage includes a single 320GB hard disk and two DVD drives, plus a media card reader. The Sony DVD writer supports dual-layer discs and DVD-RAM.

Everything’s packed into a Cooler Master Cavalier CAV-T03 case. The aluminium front door’s hinge can be easily reversed if you want it to open from the opposite side. Two USB ports plus audio jacks are accessible with the door closed. Fans are surprisingly quiet and you won’t be disturbed by the 34dBA sound level.

Like the NEC, a 1,600 x 1,200 20in TFT is provided, this time AOC’s height-adjustable LM2028. Quality doesn’t match the Chillblast’s Belinea – the LM2028 isn’t particularly bright and colours lack punch. It also has the slowest response time at 16ms, although we didn’t notice much smearing or ghosting in games.

But if gaming is a priority, the Nvidia 7600 GT will prove a disappointment. It only managed modest frame rates (in this company) of 38fps in Far Cry and 28fps in Call of Duty 2 at 1,280 x 1,024.

PC Nextday offers a decent warranty – three years of on-site cover – but Evesham does too, and only sacrifices a small amount of 2D power over the Zoostorm.

The Genius cordless mouse and keyboard were another sign of corner cutting: the mouse needs a button press to wake it up and the clattery keyboard is poor. No speakers are supplied either, and there’s no FireWire or S/PDIF outputs.

We appreciate the 802.11g Wi-Fi PCI card and Windows XP Media Center Edition, but this isn’t a great advantage as there’s no remote control or TV tuner. If 2D power is important, opt for the Chillblast, while the Evesham should be on your list if a solid warranty is crucial.

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