Another system based on the E8500 chip, Eclipse’s Elite i85n98GTX seems somewhat lacking in specification: both RAM allocation (2GB) and hard-drive capacity (320GB) are on the low side. We’d also hoped for a better WorldBench 6 score than 117 points, bearing in mind the Arbico Elite 8070EX’s spectacular showing, while the 19in monitor is a noticeable step down from rival PCs’ offerings.

Fire up a demanding game such as Crysis, however, and the Eclipse Elite i85n98GTX redeems itself. With a GeForce 9800 GTX under the hood, it remains playable at high-quality settings right up to its display’s native resolution.

The ASRock 4Core1600Twins-P35 motherboard is unique in this month’s tests for its flexible memory support. With six slots, it can support four DDR2 modules or a pair of DDR3 modules for high-performance, if expensive, upgrades. It also supports ATI CrossFire, although you won’t be able to use this with the nVidia graphics card supplied with the Eclipse Elite i85n98GTX.

The Eclipse Elite i85n98GTX has no plug-in sound card. The silver lining to this cloud, however, is that the full complement of PCI Express and PCI slots are available for expansion cards, powered by the ample 775W EZcool PSU.

Chart ranking: budget desktop PCs (August issue)

  1. Arbico Elite 8070EX
  2. Mesh Elite Q9300 Pro
  3. CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT
  4. Eclipse Elite i85n98GTX
  5. Dell Inspiron 530/1142

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