Available from 6/12/12:

The Vanquish XT680 is a mid-priced gaming system with strong overall performance and a selection of premium peripherals which make it well worth considering. See Group test: What's the best gaming PC?

Based on a 3.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K chip, overclocked to a whopping 4.6GHz, this PC is capable of some serious number crunching. PC Specialist has combined this chip with a powerful nVidia GeForce GTX680 graphics card, 16GB of RAM and a fast 120GB Kingston HyperX SSD, backed with a 1TB 7200rpm hard disk for storage. Take a look at Yoyotech Warbird 3570XTA too.

All of this is assembled inside a very rugged-looking Cooler Master HAF 912 system case. The HAF 912 is designed to maximise internal airflow, thereby keeping those overclocked internal components as cool as possible. The processor is cooled by a Corsair H60 sealed liquid cooler, it’s fitted with a single fan at the rear of the case. See all PC reviews.

Where PC Specialist has obviously gone to town is in the specification of the monitor. You get a huge 27in 1920x1080 display from Iiyama with a trio of inputs. The larger screen area makes a big difference when playing games or watching Blu-ray movies, but unfortunately the contrast levels seemed a bit wishy-washy compared to other displays offered by its competition. See also Arbico 5300-HD Media Centre.

A matching Arctosa keyboard and Deathadder mouse set from Razer is included, the former supporting programmable macro keys while the latter sports a 3500dpi infrared sensor – be sure to specify if a left-handed version is required.

PC Specialist Vanquish XT680: Specs

  • Processor: 3.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K (4.6GHz Overclock)
  • CPU Cooler: Corsair H60 Liquid Cooler
  • Installed memory: 16GB Kingston Hyper-X DDR3 1,600MHz
  • Storage: "120GB Kingston HyperX SATA III SSD, 1TB Hitachi 7,200rm SATA III HDD"
  • Power supply: Corsair TX650 650W
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V
  • External USB ports: 6 x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0
  • Display: 27", Iiyama E2773HDS, 1920 x 1080, HDMI, DVI-D, VGA
  • Graphics card: Palit Nvidia GeForce GTX 680, 2GB VRAM, 1,006/1502MHz
  • Sound: Onboard
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n
  • Other ports: PS/2, eSATA
  • Case: CoolerMaster HAF 912
  • Keyboard & Mouse: Razer Arctosa, Razer Deathadder
  • Optical drive: Samsung BD-ROM/DVD-RW
  • Operating system: Windows 8
  • Extra items: Microsost Office 2010 Starter Edition
  • Case dimensions: 230 x 496 x 480mm
  • Warranty: 3 Year Collect & Return
  • Processor: 3.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K (4.6GHz Overclock)
  • CPU Cooler: Corsair H60 Liquid Cooler
  • Installed memory: 16GB Kingston Hyper-X DDR3 1,600MHz
  • Storage: "120GB Kingston HyperX SATA III SSD, 1TB Hitachi 7,200rm SATA III HDD"
  • Power supply: Corsair TX650 650W
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V
  • External USB ports: 6 x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0
  • Display: 27", Iiyama E2773HDS, 1920 x 1080, HDMI, DVI-D, VGA
  • Graphics card: Palit Nvidia GeForce GTX 680, 2GB VRAM, 1,006/1502MHz
  • Sound: Onboard
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n
  • Other ports: PS/2, eSATA
  • Case: CoolerMaster HAF 912
  • Keyboard & Mouse: Razer Arctosa, Razer Deathadder
  • Optical drive: Samsung BD-ROM/DVD-RW
  • Operating system: Windows 8
  • Extra items: Microsost Office 2010 Starter Edition
  • Case dimensions: 230 x 496 x 480mm
  • Warranty: 3 Year Collect & Return

OUR VERDICT

Solid if not earth-shattering performance, combined with decent gaming peripherals and a whopping 27in monitor make the PC Specialist a good mid-price purchase for any serious gamer. An overclocked graphics card may have been a better match for the extremely overclocked CPU, but it still represents good value for money without sacrificing quality.

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