Cube247 Andromeda ST18 review

Price when reviewed

We don’t often see Vista 64-bit in any PC submitted to PC Pro, let alone a budget machine such as this, but that’s exactly what Cube247 has done here.

Cube247 Andromeda ST18 review

If you’re planning to transfer existing components or peripherals to it, you’ll need to check for compatibility first.

But if that’s not an issue, there are performance benefits. Because the system is able to take advantage of 4GB of RAM, it allows the AMD Phenom X4 9550 to punch well above its weight. A 2D benchmark score of 1.32 is decent, and higher than the 1.24 of the Cyberpower, which also has the X4 9550 CPU.

A GeForce 8600 GT graphics card also takes advantage of the 64-bit OS by including a mighty 1GB of GDDR3 memory. But its score of 60fps in the Crysis Low detail test compares poorly with the Eclipse’s 103fps.

Another unique feature of the Andromeda is its 22in monitor. It’s still a budget model, but improves upon the range of 19in panels we’ve seen this month. The monitor also has an HDMI input, which no other screen this month offers. Performance is much the same as the 19in version, which we’ve reviewed alongside the Mesh Pulse 8400.

Inside, cables are neatly tied to the side of the case, and two free DIMM slots cater for even more memory. A small add-on board in the bottom PCI slot provides four additional USB slots to supplement six others scattered around the case. The 600W PSU and glut of free bays and slots bode well for expansion, too.

While 64-bit Vista could be a sticking point for some, Cube247 offers the 32-bit version as an option, and a large screen with effective, if simple, peripherals make for a tempting £500 system. It’s an impressive, well-rounded effort and, with decent performance factored in, is worthy of consideration.

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