Zoostorm’s 64-6406 is an excellent performer with an impressive specification. Intel’s Core 2 Duo E8600 helps it to achieve a WorldBench 6 real-world speed score of 131 points, while the top-drawer nVidia GeForce GTX 280 delivers blistering gaming performance.

Three other systems in this month’s chart also use the powerful E8600 chip, but all three come with nVidia’s inferior GTX 260 card. Only the Arbico Elite 8626GTX, whose GTX 260 has had its GPU overclocked, can keep up with the Zoostorm 64-6406 on gaming framerates.

Zoostorm’s own-brand case is a sleek, two-tone affair. The power and drive-eject buttons are cut into the case itself, creating a smart, flush finish. A sliding front panel can be lowered to reveal the Zoostorm 64-6406's multiformat memory-card reader, along with a pair of USB and audio ports and a reset button.

Inside, there’s room for three extra hard drives. A 750GB drive is supplied with the Zoostorm 64-6406 as standard and a pair of empty memory slots allow easy memory upgrades. Meanwhile, an 880W Hiper PSU provides more than enough juice for the power-hungry GTX 280 card and any later upgrades.

The Zoostorm 64-6406's Crossfire Foxconn motherboard is a good choice, offering a pair of PCI Express slots. However, support for scaleable link interface would have allowed the installation of a second GTX 280 graphics card.

It’s inevitable that compromises have been made in order to keep this desktop PC’s price tag below the £1,000 mark. The Zoostorm 64-6406 is the only system here to lack a Blu-ray Disc drive, and it offers only 2.1-channel speakers.

Likewise, the Zoostorm 64-6406's 22in AMW display is quite acceptable, but no match for the Arbico Elite 8626GTX’s LG. That PC also comes with a larger hard drive and only fractionally inferior games scores.

Chart ranking: Power desktop PCs (January issue)

  1. Arbico Elite 8626GTX
  2. Zoostorm 64-6406
  3. Chillblast Fusion Photon
  4. CyberPower Gamer Infinity XT Ultimate DDR3
  5. Mesh Xtreme GTX260 PCA