Evesham Solar Express Pro review

Price when reviewed

Evesham’s entry this month is yet another system to show up in the Labs pre-overclocked. The Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 has been ramped up from 2.4GHz to a meatier 2.56GHz courtesy of a front side bus tweak – up to 1,140MHz from 1,066MHz.

Evesham Solar Express Pro review

The extra speed was evident in our application benchmarks, with the Evesham proving to be the fastest system on test, returning an overall score of 1.35. Performance is helped considerably by the presence of 2GB of 667MHz RAM, which in concert with the dual-core CPU makes the Solar Express Pro a great choice for multitasking.

Performance elsewhere is just as impressive. Like all the manufacturers this month, Evesham has plumped for an 8800 GTS 320MB graphics card, which returned a respectable speed of 44fps at 1,280 x 1,024, and an almost playable 22fps at 1,680 x 1,050.

The monitor won’t support the latter resolution, though. The 19in 1,440 x 900 panel is made by GNR and, although it’s smaller than others on test, it easily suffices for simple work and gaming pleasures. We also appreciate the bright image and the DVI and VGA inputs.

Storage is provided by a 320GB Western Digital Caviar SE, which will be more than enough to start with, even for larger households with lots of media files. There’s no TV tuner, though, so capacity won’t be eaten up by Media Center recordings. Even if you add one, an 18x Sony DVD writer is included, which can write to all formats including DVD-RAM at 12x.

It’s worth remembering too that Evesham won our Reliability & Service award last year. You can rest assured that, should anything go wrong with the hardware, you’ll receive good on-site service for the first two years. After that, there’s a further year of return-to-base cover.

The Elite Home Pro may come with a significantly larger 22in Belinea TFT, and a set of 5.1 speakers compared to Evesham’s 2.1 I-Trigue set, but it’s much noisier when idle, measuring 41dBA compared to the Solar Express Pro’s 35dBA.

For our money, we’d rather have a quieter PC that’s backed by good customer service than a bigger screen, so the Evesham wins this time.

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