As you will surely know by now, we believe in doing things a little differently at bit-tech
. We like to mod our systems, thrash our hardware, and play our games a little bit more thoroughly than most people, too. So, when Watford Electronics came to ask us if we'd like to take a look at one of their new Aries PC systems, we knew that we wanted to take a fresh perspective on that too.
What you'll read today is the first of a number of system reviews that we'll be doing on bit-tech
. We recognise that many of you guys like to start your modding, or your hardware tuning, with a fresh system - and buying a system new can often be cheaper than building it yourself, because of the quantities that system manufacturers can buy components in.
But we also realise that when you pick up a magazine, those system reviews aren't really written for you - they're written for Average Joe, not Modder Joe. Which is where we come in.
Our system reviews will take into account the needs that our readers have. We're scoring systems based on the choice of components and performance, but also their upgradeability, their moddability, and the extras and fancy things that are included. We won't be running lots of synthetic benchmark tests - we're using the same real-world games testing that we use in our graphics reviews.
So with this in mind, lets take a look at our first contender...
Watford Electronics Aries PowerXS 6435
The PowerXS 6435 is a system that's aimed at two distinct markets.
The first market that this PC is designed for is home cinema enthusiasts. With this in mind, Watford have spent a lot of time building in quiet components to keep noise levels to a minimum, whilst also delivering decent processing performance for video and media tasks.
The second market that the PC is aimed at is modders and enthusiasts. By creating a PC with some fast components, built into a modders' favourite chassis, they hope to appeal to guys like you and me, who might want to buy an off the shelf system and then mod it and upgrade it over time. With a reasonable price, it should appeal to those with a bit of budget that will want to build on the spec as time goes on.
Does the system meet the needs of these two markets? Let's examine the specs:
- AMD Athlon 64 3500+ processor
- PowerColor RX480 motherboard
- PowerColor Bravo X700 graphics
- 1GB RAM
- Maxtor 200GB hard drive
- Sony D22 DVD burner
- Hiper 425W power supply
- Coolermaster Centurion case
- Akasa fan control
Cost: £599 inc VAT