PC Specialist Enigma GT3K review
It’s hard to fault the PC Specialist Enigma GT3K when it comes to specification. As well as a 3.3GHz Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge processor, the motherboard’s Intel Express 7 Chipset supports PCI Express 3 and 6Gbits/sec SATA III. Add an Nvidia GeForce GT640 graphics card, a 90GB SSD and 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and you get a system that won’t baulk at demanding applications, as demonstrated by its benchmark score of 0.97.
There’s a price to be paid in terms of size – this is a big system that takes up a lot of desktop space – but in use it’s surprisingly quiet. PC Specialist has been smart here, replacing the stock Intel processor fan with a quieter Titan CPU cooler. What’s more, the big case means that there’s plenty of room to upgrade later, whether you want to add more storage or a higher-end graphics card.
You shouldn’t need to upgrade your storage for a while, however. As well as a generous 1TB Seagate Barracuda hard disk, the Enigma GT3K has a 90GB SSD to get Windows and applications up and running as rapidly and smoothly as possible, while USB 3 support means you can easily plug in a high-speed external drive. Given the level of the rest of the specification, the lack of a Blu-ray drive is mildly disappointing, but there’s plenty of room to add one to go alongside the existing DVD rewriter.
It hasn’t been ruggedised for schools use, but the GT3K is solidly built both inside and out. Connectivity options include a digital audio output and a built-in multicard reader. It comes with Windows 7 Professional (though there is an option to have it without an operating system for £100 less) and a suite of Nero multimedia tools pre-installed.
The three-year warranty is return to base rather than on-site, but otherwise the £599 price seems extremely reasonable given the performance, the high level of the components and the overall quality of the system. If you want to get your school a PC that will storm through just about everything, the Enigma GT3K is an excellent buy.
|Warranty||3 yr return to base|
|CPU family||Intel Core i5|
|CPU nominal frequency||3.30GHz|
|Graphics chipset||Nvidia GeForce GT 640|
|Hard disk usable capacity||931GB|
|Hard disk 2 make and model||SSD|
|Hard disk 2 nominal capacity||90GB|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
Operating system and software
|OS family||Windows 7|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.97|