I was just looking at this deal on PC World - click here It looks like a good system though I'm not too sure about the graphics card. It says it has an ATI 9800 XXL card - anyone got an opinion on this and, while you're at it, on the deal as a whole?
9800 XXL cards are supplied with medion systems. im not sure about the clock speeds but it should be good enough for most gaming as its a 9800xx card and will perform very well at resonable resolutions of 1024x768 and above. pro and xt versions are better and are playable even at 1600x1200 depending on the rest of your system of course.
If you were to look around a bit more, you may find a better deal. I have seen this advert many times, and I can see where they are 'cutting costs' in order to lower the price. For example, it only has 512Mb Memory. Although there is nothing wrong with that, a large number of PCs now come with 1Gb. As you said, the software package is non-existant, so that is another cost cutter. Onboard sound, and the 15" TFT monitors may be considered cut-backs too. Personally, I would recommend building your own system, to your own specifications. The largest expense is the software though - often as much as all the hardware. Anyway... thats my opinion.
PS: When I said about the expense of the software, it does depend on what you need. I built my own, because I discovered the system I had, had pirate copies of XP, and Office on it. So when I built my own, I also had to buy Office 2003, FP 2003, Publisher 2003, Windows XP, Firewall, Anti-Virus, etc. It all eventually amounted to quite a a lot of money.
For someone like myself who just wants to grab a fully configured ready to play pups-nuts system, the 17" TFT screen option at £899 looked tempting. As my kids (and me!!) do a lot of gaming, the only worry I had was the graphics card, but it sounds OK. And as long as it'll take another 512mb stick of RAM eventually, I'd be happy! Thanks for the replies, guys.