Three fantastic and closely matched systems sit at the top of this month's £501-£750 PCs chart. All pair Intel's 3.33GHz dual-core E8600 CPU with an ATI Radeon HD 4890 graphics card to produce excellent Windows performance and a very good gaming experience.

While the Chillblast Fusion Predator's lead of two points in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed test seems fairly small, Chillblast earns further brownie points by supplying a standalone sound card and stereo speakers, complete with a subwoofer.

The ASRock motherboard performs well, but it doesn't support the necessary technology to add a second graphics card and boost the Chillblast Fusion Predator's gaming performance.

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The system case has a blue-tinted transparent side panel housing a pair of transparent fans, making the Chillblast Fusion Predator look too cheap for gamers and too wacky for business users. And we weren't too impressed by the small door that covers the front-facing USB ports. This is fitted from the bottom of the case and is tricky to access when the PC is placed on the floor.

As is standard in this category, the Chillblast Fusion Predator comes with a 22in display, and the Digimate model featured performs well considering its budget price. It comes with dual inputs and a glossy black finish.

Chart rankings: Budget desktop PCs (October 09 issue)

  1. Chillblast Fusion Predator
  2. Arbico CD8690 XL
  3. Eclipse Spirit i86R489
  4. CyberPower Gamer Infinity Draco
  5. CyberPower Gamer Ultra HD II

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