The $1000 PC was once regarded as the Holy Grail of computing, but now almost every manufacturer has one. The SDS-1 is PCMarket’s contribution, and it’s a cracker.
For a budget PC there’s some surprising inclusions – not only does it have a 16x DVD writer and 512MB RAM, but also a 2800+ Athlon 64 processor. It also has a 17 inch LCD which is clear and bright, and fast enough for games. This system would be suitable as the basis for future upgrades, even though it’s based on a mini-ATX board – only two free PCI slots. The inclusion of thumbscrews on the side panel are certainly welcomed.
Internally, the layout is neat, with cables tucked away cleanly. And there are plenty of drive spaces available for CDs and HDDs – there’s even two stealthed drive covers included, which lends the fascia a stylish, minimalist look.
A PSU rated at 400W should also help it withstand future improvements. There’s only one internal fan, but the inclusion of a passive CPU intake helps keep the Athlon cool.
The RADEON 9250 is fine for older games and swapping it out wouldn’t be a problem. This combination of DirectX 9.0 compatible card and a relatively speedy processor saw it produce the highest benchmarks of the budget machines we’ve seen this month. It managed 5242 marks in 3DMark01, and performed well in Sysmark2002 with a respectable 322 in Internet Creation, and 170 in Office Productivity.
The PCMarket SDS-1 is a very good first time user system, or for people wanting a cheap second PC. It’s easy to upgrade and easy on the eye, and boasts a surprising amount of grunt under the hood.