Should you be looking to buy a quad-core PC on a budget, the Zoostorm 2-5406 is far and away the most affordable version yet.

  1. JAL Andromeda
  2. Eclipse Matrix i67N88-VSTA
  3. Zoostorm 2-5406 Advanced PC
  4. Arbico CD6880 XL
  5. Eclipse Ultimate i66GT-VSTA

Third place

Quad-core processors are causing us quite a headache at the moment. For, to be quite honest, we’re not exactly sure how we should be rating them. The problem is that while they don’t produce stellar results for the money on today’s applications, come back in a year or two and the situation could be very different. Multicore chips are intended to work their best magic when given multithreaded applications to work with. Since few of these titles exist today, the advantage of having a quad-core chip rather than a standard dual-core model isn’t currently that apparent. However, if you can track down some multithreaded software then you may well find quad-core technology running rings around dual-core PC. Graphics professionals, in particular, have much to gain by requesting four rather than two cores.

But we keep coming back to the fact that, if you’re using today’s applications, you probably don’t have the software to exploit the potentially fantastic quad-core chip found in this Zoostorm PC. If you’re buying a PC that you want to remain fresh for years to come then quad-core might well be the way to go. But we’re going to assume that most £750 PCs aren’t purchases for the long-term. And, had this PC come with standard dual-core technology then we suspect Zoostorm might have loaded it with superior components.

The GeForce 8600 GTS card is okay, but it’s no match for the 8800 GTS cards. The 19in GNR flat-panel is adequate but nothing more, and while the 400GB hard drive is the largest in the chart and the speakers are better than those found on the other £750 machines, this PC is otherwise very ordinary. However, should you be looking to buy a quad-core PC on a budget, this is far and away the most affordable version yet.

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