Computer Planet NVIDIA Ultimate full review
Gaming PCs have a nasty knack of turning up as brash, oversized, poundingly loud thunderboxes with batteries of flashing lights and demonic glows emanating from within. This Computer Planet PC, then, seems to have broken that spell. (See what's the best power PC?)
The first shock is that case, a mini-ITX BitFenix Prodigy. Rather squat and low-hung, it's not the towering overpowering slab that we've come to expect from our gaming PCs. And while it's hardly the prettiest of cases, its handles make it relatively simple to carry around – even if we're not impressed by the way it disconcertingly wobbles from side to side. (See also best gaming PC 2014.)
Given the limited size under the lid, the BitFenix does a fairly good job of fitting everything in, although you wouldn't want to run a dual graphics card setup with this PC.
Drive slots are also rather lacking, and there isn't much room for additional 3.5in drives. Ventilation is good, though, and the 550 watt Corsair PSU and H80i liquid cooler do an excellent job of keeping temperatures down. I, but only
We saw it reach 256 watts of power consumption during testing, so it's pretty modest on power given the hardware on board, although it’s still not the quietest system.
The Intel Core i5-4670K is a common choice right now, and Computer Planet hasn’t come up with any twist on this most ubiquitous of processors. Mind you, it's paired with 16GB of low-profile Corsair Vengeance memory, and that probably helped propel the PC to a mighty PCMark 7 score of 6875points – not quite on a par with the best pixel-poppers from Chillblast, but a quietly impressive achievement nonetheless. In Geekbench 3 the system averaged 17,253 points.
The storage drives are good, too. A 240 GB Corsair SSD drive gives the PC a great gulp of speed to kick everything off, while a Seagate hard disk supplies the capacity – a useful 2TB of it. There's also a highly polished 16x LG Blu-ray writer to ratchet up the storage options.
The GTX 770 graphics card isn't perhaps the last word in high-octane gaming, but this 2 GB MSI Lightning rendition is overclocked and primed to push the GPU to its absolute limit.
Little surprise, then, that it turned up some eye-catching figures in our benchmarks. 124 fps in Aliens vs Predator is very impressive at 720p, and it keeps up the firepower with a comfortably playable 69 fps at the highest resolution.
Sniper is equally ravishing, and that top score of 299 fps is barely slower than that of the GTX 780 systems.
It fell to 151 fps in the Medium settings, and even managed an acceptable 38 fps at the Very High level. All of this is set against the balanced palette of the 23.6in AOC e2450Swh, an LCD monitor that injects good colour into its smoothly refreshed graphics, despite a lack of the decent viewing angles. The multimedia extravaganza is topped off by the speakers, a set of Logitech Z313s which add extra punch to the bass.
Not that Computer Planet let it rest merely at the components. The keyboard and mouse are both gaming peripherals – a Corsair Raptor K50 keyboard and M40 gaming mouse, respectively. The keyboard is particularly nice, and while the strange layout takes some getting used to – it comes with 18 macro keys – the keys have a longer travel and a more positive feel than the spongy keyboards often bundled with modern PCs.
It's no Cherry substitute, but will do very well while you save up for a mechanical keyboard. The mouse is also highly accurate, and the unorthodox shape became second-nature very quickly.
Computer Planet NVIDIA Ultimate: Specs
- 3.4 GHz Intel i5-4670K
- Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI motherboard
- 16 GB Corsair Vengeance LP DDR3 RAM
- Windows 7 64-bit
- 2 TB Seagate ST2000DM hard drive
- 240 GB Corsair Force LS SSD
- BitFenix Prodigy Mini ITX case
- 550W Corsair VS550 PSU
- Corsair H80i Liquid Cooler
- MSI nVidia GeForce GTX 770 (HD 4600) with 2 GB memory
- 6x USB 3.0
- 2x USB 2.0
- 2x DVI
- 3x HDMI
- gigabit ethernet
- 23.6in AOC e2450Swh display
- Logitech Z313 speakers
- 16x LG BH16NS40 Blu-ray writer
- Corsair Raptor K50 gaming keyboard
- Corsair Raptor M40 gaming mouse
- 3-year return-to-base warranty
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