The Gameforce X2 is the baby brother of the A-Listed Gameforce Mercenary. So, despite costing some $800 less, we were immediately surprised to see the same 20-inch widescreen Samsung display – not what we’d expect at this price level. This offers a generous 1680 x 1050 resolution which gives a lot of desktop real estate. You can work with two windows open at once or enjoy great gaming and films with it too. Lag is minimal thanks to a 6ms response time and colours looked good. It’s a great start.
But we’re not entirely sure what to make of the keyboard. Microsoft’s Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is certainly a boon for people who spend all day typing. But if this is a family computer, some will struggle using it. Playing games was awkward too as half of the keyboard is unreachable by one hand and using the large space button to jump required uncomfortable force. The Creative, wireless mouse looked cheap but proved accurate and responsive though.
Like TI, the X2 sports a 2.13GHz Core 2 E6400 processor. However, it only has 1GB of PC2-5300 RAM and a single 250GB hard disk. However, it still ended up only 3% slower than TI’s machine, scoring a whopping 1.27 in our benchmarks. Also, like TI, it sports a 7900 GT graphics card. In our medium tests it averaged 66.2fps in Far Cry and 45.4fps in Call of Duty 2. However, playing at the LCD’s native resolution is also possible as scores of 42.2fps and 36.8fps in Far Cry and Call of Duty 2 (respectively) illustrate.
The case is a similar size to TI’s and offers similar upgradability with room for three more 5.25in bays and three more hard disks. There’s also space for two floppys. Three PCI slots are also free along with one 1x PCI-E slot. At the back are 7.1 audio ports, PS/2 ports, four USB 2 ports, parallel and serial connectors. At the front are an impressive four USB 2 ports and two audio jacks. Unfortunately, there’s no FireWire, but Windows Media Center Edition is included along with a receiver and remote – though there’s no TV tuner.
It all amounts to a very good system and those who seriously prefer the LCD to TI’s would do well to choose it instead. However, note that the Dual Extreme has an extra 390GB of hard disk space and is noticeably quieter – the X2’s CPU and case fans make a slightly-intrusive rumble. Also, while Altech includes 2.1 speakers in the form of Creative’s I-Trigue 3200s, these aren’t as good as TI’s Logitech’s which don’t distort nearly so readily, offer more bass, and get much louder. Our final preference for the TI comes from Altech’s warranty, which is a measly one year RTB.
As such, we prefer the Dual Extreme. The X2 is very good, but we can see some being disappointed by its foibles where few will find fault with Trinity International’s system.