The first PC Direct machine we've tested features an eye-catching black anodized case with custom stealth drive face plates on all drives and front USB and audio connectors. Easy access via the tool-less snap panels takes this case the extra mile.
Under the hood is a MSI K7N2 board with nForce2 chipset, with 512MB of PC2700 DDR and an AMD Athlon 2600+ processor. Although not the fastest processor on the market, the well chosen combination of chip and motherboard allows plenty of tweaking, making it perfect for the adventurous user to up performance. Another nice touch is the addition of a Microsoft wireless optical keyboard mouse set.
It has a GeForce4 Ti4800 video card which, although cheap, is a big performer making it perfect for budget gamers. The system also includes a matching Mitsubishi 19in CRT monitor.
Six-channel audio is courtesy of the nForce2 chipset while the 2.1-speaker package presents satellites and a huge subwoofer. Although this doesn't stretch the PC's sound capabilities it does well enough.
Sporting an 80GB hard drive, DVD-ROM and CD-RW, allowing you to listen to CDs and play games at the same time. Scoring well in our benchmark tests, it showed an impressive 211 overall score in SYSmark2002, which is 20 percent slower than the Dell 8250 (March 2003, page 38). It also returned some great 3D results in 3DMark2001SE Pro.
Also included is a hefty swag of bundled software, a few games and the Windows XP Home operating system. At its very reasonable price, this is a well configured machine with a great balance between the budget and performance sectors. Definitely a winner as a cheap home unit; perfect for entertainment use or the gamer who wants to frag it up.