A £500 PC with a Sandy Bridge processor, the Eclipse Solar i523P67 offers excellent performance and value for money.

The blisteringly fast Solar i523P67 from Eclipse is hot on the Chillblast’s heels, with 144 points scored in WorldBench 6. Its Core i5 chip is another in Intel’s new Sandy Bridge line-up, but it’s clocked slightly slower at 2.8GHz.

Don’t be fooled by the ‘P67’ in this PC’s name: it doesn’t use the P67 chipset. Rather, the Eclipse Solar i523P67's Asus motherboard is based on the H67 chipset, which is able to take advantage of the CPU’s integrated graphics. Sandy Bridge processors offer an updated version of Intel’s integrated graphics, and this chip features the same 850MHz graphics-processing speed as Chillblast’s i5-2400.

This motherboard, which is also used by the Chillblast, offers USB 3.0 and 6 gigabits per second (Gbps) SATA support, enabling you to use the latest high-speed internal and external hard drives with the Eclipse Solar i523P67 desktop PC.

Eclipse has plumped for the EZCool N-880D PC case, which offers plenty of expansion room but is clearly a budget model. Costs have also been cut on the monitor, with the AOC F22s+ used here a VGA-only version of the popular F22+. And no external speakers are provided with the Eclipse Solar i523P67.

Like the other PCs on test, the memory allocation is a standard 4GB, and Eclipse supplies a 1TB hard drive. The Eclipse Solar i523P67's one-year warranty is comparatively short, however.

Budget PCs chart ranking

  1. Chillblast Fusion Skyline
  2. Eclipse Solar i523P67
  3. Arbico i3 5600 XL
  4. Dino PC Plutosaur 650
  5. Palicomp Core i3 Blast 560-22 USB3

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