Eclipse's Spirit i86R489 is the third system in our chart to house a 3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8600. Although this processor is used to great effect by Arbico and Chillblast, however, Eclipse has failed to match their levels of performance. Its WorldBench 6 real-world speed score of 123 is nine points below the highest-scoring system and leaves it closer in performance terms to the E8500-based CyberPower Gamer Infinity Draco.

Gaming performance, on the other hand, is excellent, thanks to the Eclipse's ATI Radeon HD 4890 graphics card and 1,024MB of memory. The Spirit i86R489 produced framerates roughly in line with the Chillblast and Arbico PCs in our 3D gaming tests as a result.

The Eclipse Spirit i86R489's other specifications are standard fare at this price point, including a 500GB hard drive and 4GB of DDR2 RAM. The inclusion of a 600W power supply should provide ample juice for upgrades.

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The Hanns-G monitor supplied with the Eclipse Spirit i86R489 is a reasonably decent model but lacks a digital connector. This is an important omission, and can seriously affect image clarity.

The Eclipse Spirit i86R489's system case is an inexpensive affair, finished in matt black. But while it doesn't impress on the style front, it certainly comes off better than those systems that look fancy but don't have the build quality to back it up.

The MSI motherboard occupies most of the available space inside the case. This is a full-size motherboard that offers more expansion capabilities than the microATX model used by Arbico. Four Dimm slots allow for easy memory expansion; there are also four SATA ports to allow multiple hard drives to be connected, and three PCI slots for adding extras to the Eclipse Spirit i86R489 such as a sound card.

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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