The Chillblast Fusion Gladiator’s extra helping of RAM makes it the most future-proof PC here, but the Eclipse Mirage i685n88gtx has one or two features that should endear it to today’s audience – in particular, the GeForce 8800 GTX graphics card. With 8800 GTs dominating the other chart positions, the GTX stands out as the fastest card here.

Bear in mind, however, that you may not find a huge difference in performance between the Eclipse Mirage i685n88gtx and the Chillblast Fusion Gladiator – unless you’re going to be playing games at a considerably higher resolution than is possible with the Eclipse Mirage i685n88gtx’s flat-panel. The Eclipse Mirage i685n88gtx’s advantage is further eroded by the extra injection of speed offered by the Chillblast Fusion Gladiator’s superb components. The Eclipse Mirage i685n88gtx manages a creditable 112 points in our WorldBench tests, but its smaller RAM allocation prevents it from truly competing with the Chillblast Fusion Gladiator.

The Hannspree flat-panel is marginally preferable to the Chillblast Fusion Gladiator’s Digimate, although the Eclipse Mirage i685n88gtx lets itself down with its audio – both machines rely on onboard sound, but the Chillblast Fusion Gladiator’s meaty speaker system gives it the edge. The Chillblast Fusion Gladiator also has the better DVD writer, while the Eclipse Mirage i685n88gtx lags slightly in terms of hard-drive capacity.

Budget PCs chart ranking as of Feb 08 issue

  1. Chillblast Fusion Gladiator
  2. Eclipse Mirage i685n88gtx
  3. Arbico CD6850 GT
  4. PC Specialist Apollo 880GT
  5. CyberPower Gamer Infinity XT Elite - last month 2

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