This is a decent all-round system. It has the usual specs at this price: 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, a pair of 8800 GT graphics cards and a 22in widescreen monitor. But the PC Specialist E840GT SLI remains unremarkable.

Beaten on performance by most of the competition, the PC Specialist E840GT SLI’s closest rival costs £50 less. It achieves a respectable, although not outstanding, WorldBench real-world speed score of 113. However, it’s also available with Intel’s E8500 chip.

The PC Specialist E840GT SLI's silver Trigon case looks and feels truly impressive. It’s solidly built – an all-metal affair with no plastic bits to be found, save for the discreet quick release clips which provide easy access to the internals.

The PC Specialist E840GT SLI is fitted with an attractive metal front door panel that, when closed, hides everything that makes it look like a PC from view. The components hidden within are colour-co-ordinated: a silver LG DVD burner and matching silver flash memory card reader blend in harmoniously. Four USB ports can be accessed while the door is closed.

The LG 22in screen is a former PC Advisor Gold award winner and an excellent complement to the PC Specialist E840GT SLI.

The Asus P5N-D motherboard, on the other hand, doesn’t have enough USB connectivity to allow all the external USB ports to be connected, leaving the PC Specialist E840GT SLI a pair of sockets that simply don’t work.

Looking at the numbers alone, the PC Specialist E840GT SLI doesn’t look particularly good value, despite its relatively low price-point. Its performance is adequate, yet unexciting, and nothing in the specification list leaps out and screams ‘buy me’.

Chart ranking: Power desktop PCs (June 08 issue)

  1. Mesh Elite Storm HD
  2. Arbico HD8570 X2
  3. CyberPower Gamer Infinity Crossfire GT
  4. Chillblast Fusion Firestorm
  5. PC Specialist E840GT SLI