Eclipse's Matrix i525z68 is the first desktop PC we’ve tested with a Z68-chipset motherboard, and we certainly didn’t expect to find it at this price. The budget simply won’t allow a vendor to take advantage of its best features. It does, however, offer unique upgrade potential.

Support for 6Gbps SATA, HDMI and USB 3.0 is standard. The ASRock board selected by Eclipse also uses Intel’s Smart Response Technology, letting a solid-state disk (SSD) boost the performance of your existing hard drive. At this price, Eclipse hasn’t been able to include an SSD.

Budget PCs chart ranking

  1. Chillblast Fusion Atom
  2. Arbico eXcel i5255 Pro
  3. Eclipse Matrix i525z68
  4. Dino PC Plutosaur 2500
  5. Chillblast Fusion Summit

Lucid’s Virtu technology also lets you switch between the Eclipse Matrix i525z68's integrated graphics and a dedicated card – if one had been fitted – and retain the CPU’s video-encoding power.

Several sacrifices have been made to include this motherboard. The most noticeable is the processor: the Eclipse Matrix i525z68 uses the standard version of Intel’s i5-2500, which has slower integrated graphics than its multiplier-unlocked sibling.

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The supplied 21.5in AOC F22 monitor will be adequate for most users, but its ‘s+’ suffix denotes an analogue-only screen. The Eclipse Matrix i525z68's other specs are standard for the category, including a 1TB hard drive and 4GB of RAM.

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