The Eclipse Matrix A64N88GS stands out in a number of ways: first, it’s the only PC in our chart to use an AMD processor. The 3.2GHz Athlon 64 X2 6400+ delivers very different performance characteristics to its Intel counterparts but, in general, it’s simply much slower.

These days a score of 95 is simply unable to keep up with the Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 and Quad Q6600 chips provided by the competition. The Eclipse Matrix A64N88GS's 19in Hanton monitor also leaves something to be desired, with backlight bleeding and weak contrast.

However, the money saved on the Eclipse Matrix A64N88GS's CPU and peripherals has been put to good use elsewhere. When it comes to gaming, the Eclipse Matrix A64N88GS tells an altogether different story.

With its powerful 384MB XFX GeForce 8800 GS graphics card, the Eclipse Matrix A64N88GS is in a class of its own: framerates were roughly three times those clocked up by the best of the rest. At the resolutions supported by its monitor, no other PC here can touch it.

It’s worth noting that the Foxconn 520A AM2+ motherboard used in the Eclipse Matrix A64N88GS has only two RAM slots, both of which are filled. So if you want more than the supplied 2GB of RAM, you’ll need to start from scratch.

Budget PCs chart ranking (May issue)

  1. Arbico CD8400 XL
  2. CyberPower Gamer Infinity 750
  3. Eclipse Matrix A64N88GS
  4. Zoostorm 4-2354
  5. Arbico CD6570 SX