Eclipse Solar 16600-XTX review

Price when reviewed
The Eclipse Solar i6600-XTX system is bundled with one of the better TFTs in this group. Belinea’s 10 20 35W is a 20in widescreen display that has decent brightness and accurate colours. Only the larger 22in Iiyama of the Evesham system beats it, and that’s purely because of its size.

The Belinea also has a four-port USB hub built in and stereo speakers, although you’ll probably use the bundled Logitech S500 speakers – a reasonable 5.1 set – instead.

A 512MB Sapphire X1950 XTX drives the screen and is great for gaming. While it doesn’t match Vantage’s GeForce 7950 GX2, it competes well with the rest of the pack. In our toughest 1,600 x 1,200 tests, it scored 57fps in Far Cry and 37fps in Call of Duty 2.

It’s a similar story with 2D power, scoring 1.42 with a Core 2 Duo E6600. Other primary components are exactly what you’d demand at this price: 2GB of 667MHz RAM and a 320GB hard disk. Again, though, the Vantage offers more – 600GB across two drives.

The MSI P965 Neo motherboard doesn’t have a FireWire controller, and you won’t find FireWire ports on the front or rear of the chassis. The DVD writer doesn’t support DVD-RAM, and the one-year return-to-base warranty is unacceptable at this price.

We like the combined floppy drive and media card reader, plus the three USB ports at the front. Otherwise, this case is ordinary, with a single 80mm exhaust fan at the rear. Cabling is tidy, though, giving easy access to the CPU.

The Eclipse is a capable PC, but there’s nothing extra to mark it out from the crowd. The TFT is commendable but doesn’t make up for the warranty. With others offering better cover, there’s little reason to choose the i6600-XTX.

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