Compromise is often the name of the game at this price point. Do you pour your money into the processor and RAM, or dish out the dosh on a sizeable monitor and decent graphics setup, sacrificing a little general performance in the process?
Eclipse has done away with its usual brute-force approach and gone very much for the second option. Which is why the Eclipse Crucial Supreme n685n88GTS-0C comes with the thrilling 8800 GTS 512 graphics card. A notch up on the quartet of 8800 GTs supplied with the other PCs here, the GTS 512 offered an extra 5-7fps in our games tests.
Feverish gamers might also want to consider an extra-large helping of screen space, and the Eclipse Crucial Supreme n685n88GTS-0C's 21.6in Yuraku is a beast. It lacks a little clarity and fizz compared to the Arbico CD8500 XL’s 19in Hanspree, but this is still a very solid monitor – and a definite bonus if you’re looking for extra inches. The Eclipse Crucial Supreme n685n88GTS-0C is an excellent choice for those who want hot gaming performance and a large screen.
Unfortunately, general performance isn’t in the same class. Not only does the Eclipse Crucial Supreme n685n88GTS-0C come with the ageing E6850 rather than the hot young Penryn E8500, but this PC is also weighed down by its 2GB of DDR RAM.
The Eclipse Crucial Supreme n685n88GTS-0C’s 320GB hard drive is pleasing – if not quite as capacious as the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition’s 400GB unit – although the sound system and DVD writer are less impressive than those bundled with the competition. Gaming enthusiasts may like the idea of the Eclipse Crucial Supreme n685n88GTS-0C's large screen and fast graphics card, but the rest of us will prefer the superb Arbico CD8500 XL or CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition.
Budget PCs chart ranking (April issue)
- Arbico CD8500 XL
- CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition
- Eclipse Crucial Supreme n685n88GTS-0C
- Chillblast Fusion Gladiator - last month 1
- Zoostorm 4-4428