OP3 Fermion Red review

£850
Price when reviewed

Ignore the Fermion Red’s name: whatever OP3’s website may want you to think, this PC is pink. Not garishly bright pink, but rose-coloured at least. The only visible red comes from the LEDs on fans behind the front and top grills, all of which combines to give this PC the look of a devilish pig when viewed head-on.

It’s a bit larger than your average shuttle PC, giving room for a mini-ITX motherboard, a full-sized graphics card and multiple hard disks. It’s also ready to buy now, as it uses no recalled Sandy Bridge parts; instead, we’re back on to the existing quad-core Core i5-760 and 4GB of DDR3, which pushed it to a perfectly capable 2.06 in our benchmarks. That looks weak by Sandy Bridge standards, but it’s plenty for a small PC like this.

OP3 Fermion Red

The graphics card is also last-generation, but the overclocked AMD Radeon HD 5770 managed a reasonable 40fps in our High quality Crysis test at 1,920 x 1,080. Upping that to Very High quality dropped the average to 25fps, but with a few tweaks you’ll be gaming on a big TV without a hitch, and older games will be fine.

The other interesting component in the Fermion Red is the 60GB OCZ SSD that complements the 1.5TB hard disk and Blu-ray drive. Windows feels responsive in use, and boots in 65 seconds. It’s a combination we’re seeing more and more of as SSD prices continue to fall. Add in a pair of USB 3 ports on the front of the case and two more on the rear, along with optical S/PDIF, DisplayPort and all the usual suspects, and you have a fine core specification.

The OP3 Fermion Red’s big problem is that colourful Lian Li chassis. It’s not the pink that bothers us – we’re in touch with our feminine side – but the poor decisions Lian Li has made with the design. There’s an awful lot crammed inside, but none of it seems to be in the most logical place.

Warranty

Warranty 3 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,560GB
RAM capacity 4.00GB

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 2.80GHz
HSF (heatsink-fan) Akasa Blue Led Copper

Motherboard

Motherboard Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3

Graphics card

Graphics card Gigabyte GV-R577SO-1GD
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset AMD Radeon HD 5770
DVI-I outputs 2
HDMI outputs 1
DisplayPort outputs 1
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk OCZ 2.5 SSD 60GB VERTEX 2E
Capacity 60GB
Hard disk 2 make and model Western Digital Caviar Green
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity 1,500GB

Drives

Optical drive DVD writer

Case

Chassis Lian Li PC-Q08B Red
Case format Mini ITX

Power supply

Power supply OCZ MODXSTREAM PRO
Power supply rating 500W

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 2
eSATA ports 1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 2

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 2.06
Office application benchmark score 1.75
2D graphics application benchmark score 2.17
Encoding application benchmark score 1.73
Multitasking application benchmark score 2.58
3D performance (crysis) low settings 140fps
3D performance setting Low

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