Eclipse Quattro SliXtreme iE685n88GTX review

Price when reviewed

The Eclipse is the only PC this month using the monstrous Cosmos 1000 case that doesn’t have two graphics cards inside. Whether you see that as a waste – the same components could certainly fit comfortably in a smaller case – or as valuable headroom depends on your current needs. It’s the cheapest PC of the group (before delivery) at £1,695, though, so that may well persuade you regardless.

Eclipse Quattro SliXtreme iE685n88GTX review

Despite the low price, there’s no doubting this machine’s ultimate PC credentials. The quad-core QX6850 CPU is running at the standard 3GHz clock speed and, while the benchmark score of 1.58 may languish near the bottom of this group, it remains hugely impressive when compared to most standard systems reviewed in PC Pro.

The cost-cutting takes place in the graphics department, where a single 8800 GTX will still handle all but the very latest games at high resolutions and settings, and also in the choice of monitor. It actually makes a bit of sense to stick with a 22in 1,680 x 1,050 TFT, given the components. You’ll certainly be able to play games at its native resolution, and when it’s the long-A-Listed Samsung 226BW, we have absolutely no complaints about its quality.

Inside the huge case you’ll find a pair of 500GB hard disks, along with a standard DVD writer and an X-Fi sound card. Vista Ultimate is installed, and you get the same comfortable Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse as several other systems here.

But there are no bundled speakers or extras, so whether you prefer this or the similarly cheap Gladiator depends on your priorities. We’d argue that the latter’s 24in TFT and 5.1 speakers outweigh the benefits of slightly more disk space and a dedicated sound card. As such, while the Eclipse is certainly affordable and has acres of room for expansion, we feel it doesn’t offer the best value for money.

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