Wired2Fire Fury VX5 review

£578
Price when reviewed

Wired2Fire’s Fury VX5 comes with one of the most ambitious overclocks we’ve ever seen on a budget PC, boosting the 2.93GHz stock speed of the Intel Core i3-530 to a formidable 4.4GHz.

It’s a massive tweak that pays dividends in our benchmarks: the Wired2Fire’s score of 2.32 is an extremely impressive result and one of the best we’ve seen from a low-cost machine. It’s evidence that the Wired2Fire will be able to cope with the most intensive applications.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Intel’s integrated graphics. We rarely see desktop systems rely on the weak GPU that’s integrated into the processor, and it’s easy to see why manufacturers normally plump for discrete graphics: a score of 17fps in our 1,366 x 768 Low quality Crysis benchmark is testament to that.

At least it excels with media, running our 1080p test clips with no stuttering and proving similarly smooth with streaming HD content on both YouTube and BBC iPlayer – gamers, though, will want to look towards a system like the Chillblast Fusion Rapier, which includes an Nvidia GeForce GTS 450 graphics card.

Wired2Fire VX-5

Wired2Fire has spent the money saved on its graphics hardware on a Blu-ray drive. It’s an impressive addition for such a cheap machine, and the rest of the specification – 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard disk – doesn’t let the VX-5 down either.

The Bosse Pure is a new chassis in the PC Pro Labs, but it falls prey to the build quality and design issues that hamper numerous other budget machines: its panels feel flimsy, and the glossy design looks cheap. It’s better inside, however. For starters, it’s larger, and so Wired2Fire has been able to do a decent job of keeping cables tidy, with most sensibly routed and excess wires lashed to struts and panels.

The Titan Fenrir CPU cooler works well, too – it’s whisper-quiet and ideal for a media system. The noise levels also benefit from the lack of a graphics card and case fans, and make the Wired2Fire one of the quietest systems we’ve seen.

The peripherals are a mixed bag. Few budget systems include speakers, so we’re glad to see the Creative A60 set included here but, while their mid-range clarity and volume is good, bass is lacking. The BenQ G2222HDL monitor has problems, too: while the 1080p native resolution and 22in diagonal impress along with its bright colours, the grainy finish to the screen is all-too-obvious, especially across brighter areas.

Nevertheless, the Wired2Fire is still a tempting media option thanks to its Blu-ray drive and near-silent operation. The Chillblast Fusion Rapier is a better all-round option thanks to its discrete graphics, but this is a tempting alternative.

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,000GB
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Screen size 22.0in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i3
CPU nominal frequency 2.93GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 4.40GHz
Processor socket LGA 1156
HSF (heatsink-fan) Titan cooler

Motherboard

Motherboard Asus P7H55/USB3
Motherboard chipset Intel H55
Conventional PCI slots free 2
Conventional PCI slots total 2
PCI-E x16 slots free 2
PCI-E x16 slots total 3
PCI-E x8 slots free 0
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots free 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots free 1
PCI-E x1 slots total 2
Internal SATA connectors 6
Internal SAS connectors 1
Internal PATA connectors 1
Internal floppy connectors 0
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 2
Memory sockets total 4

Graphics card

Graphics card Intel HD Graphics
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics
Graphics card RAM 256MB
DVI-I outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
DisplayPort outputs 0
Number of graphics cards 0

Hard disk

Hard disk Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ
Capacity 1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 931GB
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Cache size 32MB
Hard disk 2 make and model N/A
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity N/A
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity N/A
Hard disk 2 spindle speed N/A
Hard disk 2 cache size N/A
Hard disk 3 make and model N/A
Hard disk 3 nominal capacity N/A
Hard disk 4 make and model N/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacity N/A

Drives

Optical drive Samsung SH-B083L
Optical disc technology Blu-ray reader/DVD writer combo
Optical disk 2 make and model N/A
Optical disk 3 make and model N/A

Monitor

Monitor make and model BenQ G2222HDL
Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Pixel response time 5ms
Contrast ratio 1,000:1
Screen brightness 250cd/m2
DVI inputs 1
HDMI inputs 0
VGA inputs 1
DisplayPort inputs 0

Additional Peripherals

Speakers Creative A60
Speaker type 2.0
Sound card Realtek HD Audio

Case

Chassis Bosse Pure
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 184 x 450 x 412mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply Avenger Power AP-500W80+
Power supply rating 500W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 2

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 6
PS/2 mouse port yes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 2
Front panel memory card reader no

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard Logitech Deluxe 250 keyboard, Logitech B110 mouse

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 65W
Peak power consumption 143W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 2.02
Office application benchmark score 2.36
2D graphics application benchmark score 2.08
Encoding application benchmark score 2.82
Multitasking application benchmark score 2.32
3D performance (crysis) low settings 17fps
3D performance setting Low

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