How quickly things change in the PC market. Only last month we were raving about Eclipse's ability to kit out a £750 machine with an E6700 processor. But the firm has gone one better, equipping the Best Buy Eclipse Evolution i685n88s with an E6850 and placing the Eclipse Matrix I67N88-VSTA in the shade.

The Eclipse Matrix I67N88-VSTA's performance is still pretty zippy, thanks to the processor and 2GB of DDR RAM. But it's obviously outshone by the trio of E6750 and E6850 machines.

The Eclipse Matrix I67N88-VSTA's 320MB 8800 GTS card has been trumped (again by the Eclipse Evolution i685n88s), but this remains a competitive graphics card at this price - the Eclipse Matrix I67N88-VSTA's gaming speed is close to the best in this category.

The Eclipse Matrix I67N88-VSTA's HannsG isn't a flat-panel we're going to go crazy about, but it's more than good enough for the money. The screen is colourful and reasonably sharp and the widescreen resolution is welcome. Update - Eclipse has now changed this to the 19in HannsStar AH191DP flat-panel. The Eclipse Matrix I67N88-VSTA's DVD writer and hard drive are commendable, but the deficiencies of the Eclipse Matrix I67N88-VSTA's audio are shown up by the good speakers provided with the PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS and Arbico 807 Pro PCs.

Verdict

The Eclipse Matrix I67N88-VSTA remains an impressive machine, but it needs a price cut to restore it to the heights of the chart.

Chart ranking: budget PCs October 07 issue


  1. Eclipse Evolution i685n88s
  2. Arbico 807 Pro
  3. PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS
  4. Eclipse Matrix I67N88-VSTA
  5. Zoostorm 2-5406 Advanced PC


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