PC Specialist’s quad-core Fusion 9850 X2 offers a number of potential benefits over its dual-core rivals. Applications that lend themselves to multiprocessing – such as 3D rendering or encoding large multimedia files – will run considerably faster, for example.

But what if you’re not buying a system to run this sort of software? Well, it’s going to be some time before we see general office applications and games exploiting multicore technology to the full, and this leaves the PC Specialist Fusion 9850 X2 languishing at the bottom of our WorldBench 6 results.

The PC Specialist Fusion 9850 X2's graphics are handled by an ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2, which is capable of blistering performance, thanks to its dual graphics cores and 1GB of onboard memory.

Performance issues aside, the PC Specialist Fusion 9850 X2 is a very well-made, attractive system. The 22in Edge10 W223 display is solidly built, yet has a pleasingly thin bezel, dual VGA and DVI inputs and good image quality. But if you’re a fan of surround sound, you’ll be disappointed by the Logitech speakers – this is the only non-5.1 system here.

Power desktop PCs chart ranking (July 08 issue)

  1. CyberPower Infinity Crossfire HD
  2. Arbico CD9800 PRO
  3. Mesh Elite HD24
  4. Chillblast Fusion Viper
  5. PC Specialist Fusion 9850 X2