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

Warranty3 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity1,560GB
RAM capacity4.00GB

Processor

CPU familyIntel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency2.80GHz
HSF (heatsink-fan)Akasa Blue Led Copper

Motherboard

MotherboardGigabyte GA-H55N-USB3
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory typeDDR3

Graphics card

Graphics cardGigabyte GV-R577SO-1GD
3D performance settingLow
Graphics chipsetAMD Radeon HD 5770
DVI-I outputs2
HDMI outputs1
DisplayPort outputs1
Number of graphics cards1

Hard disk

Hard diskOCZ 2.5 SSD 60GB VERTEX 2E
Capacity60GB
Hard disk 2 make and modelWestern Digital Caviar Green
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity1,500GB

Drives

Optical driveDVD writer

Case

ChassisLian Li PC-Q08B Red
Case formatMini ITX

Power supply

Power supplyOCZ MODXSTREAM PRO
Power supply rating500W

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)2
eSATA ports1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1

Front ports

Front panel USB ports2

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score2.06
Office application benchmark score1.75
2D graphics application benchmark score2.17
Encoding application benchmark score1.73
Multitasking application benchmark score2.58
3D performance (crysis) low settings140fps
3D performance settingLow

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