Eclipse's Matrix i85a465 doesn't look nearly as good as Palicomp's Excalibur. The case, although tidy and inoffensive, has a distinctly budget look to it. It also feels rather flimsy and lightweight.

Beneath the 3.5in drive bay sits a small door that conceals a pair of USB ports, and below this door sits a small strip that glows blue when the Eclipse Matrix i85a465 is switched on. Unfortunately, this splash of decoration does little to improve our first impressions.

Look inside, however, and it's a different story. Eclipse has fitted a full-size motherboard, which provides six memory slots in total (two for DDR3 RAM; four for DDR2 RAM), making an upgrade from the Eclipse Matrix i85a465's limited 2GB allocation a cinch.

With Intel's 3.16GHz E8500 chip under the hood, the Eclipse Matrix i85a465 scored 117 points in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed tests. Sold overclocked to 3.8GHz, the Eclipse is capable of an incredible 131-point score.

In common with the Arbico, the Eclipse Matrix i85a465 uses an HD 4650 graphics card. In this case it's only the 512MB version, but this places fewer demands on the wallet and offers similar performance in our gaming tests. Results suggest the pricier card is a better bet for more demanding games, however.

The Eclipse Matrix i85a465's 19in Hanns-G display is a relatively good performer, fitted with both analogue and digital connectors.


Chart ranking: Budget desktop PCs (March 09 issue)

  1. Cyberpower Gamer Infinity 600
  2. Arbico CD8465 EX
  3. Eclipse Matrix i85a465
  4. Palicomp Excalibur E85-19
  5. Chillblast Fusion Spark