Computer Planet ND 2500 review

Computer Planet ND 2500

A respectable mix of components with a relatively light price tag, this Computer Planet PC is given a name that promotes it as yours within 24 hours – the Next Day computer. See: Group test: What's the best mid-range desktop PC?

It's hard to buy a better overall system for as little as £700. The base specifications are good, the PC based on the trusty Intel Core i5-3570K processor. This is one of last year’s Ivy Bridge generation, soon to be eclipsed by this year’s Haswell series of CPUs. See all PC reviews.

This chip has been overclocked from its standard 3.4GHz to a high 4.6GHz to get more performance from it. It’s backed up by 8GB of RAM, high-calibre 1600MHz Corsair Vengeance LP memory.

The resulting PCMark 7 score of 4395 points is very healthy, given that the PC doesn't benefit from any SSD technology. Storage is ample, 1TB offered by a Seagate Barracuda drive.

The nVidia GeForce GTX 650 graphics card with 1GB memory is a dependable if modest choice, albeit one that lacks the firepower of a 660 or 660 Ti.

Demanding titles will push it a little too far. Aliens vs Predator remained playable at 1280 x 720, averaging 39.7fps. At 1920 x 1080, though, it slumped to a more meagre 21.4fps.

Other games titles proved an easier task, with Hard Reset hitting 68.7fps in full-HD at Medium quality. Ultra quality settings resulted in a drop to a still-playable 38.3fps.

Only in Stalker did it produce a really strong figure, reaching 130.38fps in 1280 x 720 and Medium quality - although this did fall back down to almost 40fps at full-HD and Ultra quality. If there is an area where the Next Day falls significantly behind the opposition, it's in this area.

The Cooler Master Elite 335 is a creditable choice of case. Not particularly flamboyant, but still moderately stylish, and large enough to allow for plenty of manoeuvring, you can comfortably access the memory slots (two of which are free).

The Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 unit that cools the processor is fairly large, but not obtrusive, and it doesn't take up excessive room. A vast fan to the rear of the case helps keep temperatures down, and there's plenty of spare room for such additions as a larger graphics card.

The system would likely have the power to cater for such a move, thanks to the 600W made available by the Cooler Master RS-600-ACAB-L3 power supply. Power consumption is fairly low for such a system, happily idling along at about 69 watt, but moving up to around 209 watt when playing a game like Stalker: Call of Pripyat.

It's relatively quiet too, adding around an extra 11dB to the room. That’s far from silent, but relatively discreet for a system not designed for noiseless operation.

A Samsung SH-224BB optical drive stretches to 24-speed DVD±R writing (reading at 16-speed). A flash memory card drive is included as well. On our test model, we counted eight USB ports (four of those USB 3.0) to the rear of the case, and a further three USB 2.0 ports situated at the front. We should point out, though, that Computer Planet is only offering six USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports in their specifications, so we'll assume customers will be receiving the latter.

You don't get Wi-Fi with the system, so you may need to find extra for an adapter, should you wish to use wireless devices.

The 21.5in monitor, an AOC E2260SW, is another from the budget brand’s range of trusty but inexpensive flat-panels. It offers solid colour for a relatively low cost.

The Octigen wired keyboard and mouse are not of great quality. A little spongy, they'll nevertheless prove enough for standard use.

The package also comes with speakers. Admittedly the Logitech S120 two-piece set is rather inexpensive, but it produces good volume for the money.

A three-year warranty looks impressive but only labour is included after the first year.

A software bundle includes Webroot AntiVirus 2013 (1 year) and CyberLink PowerDVD 10.

Computer Planet ND 2500: Specs

  • 3.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K (overclocked to 4.6GHz)
  • Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H motherboard
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • Windows 8 (64-bit)
  • 1TB Seagate HDD, 7200rpm
  • Cooler Master Elite 335 case
  • 600W Cooler Master PSU
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 650 with 1GB
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • 6x USB 2.0
  • DVI
  • HDMI
  • flash memory card reader
  • gigabit ethernet
  • 24x Samsung DVD±RW
  • 21.5in AOC E2260SW flat-panel
  • Octigen wired keyboard and mouse
  • Logitech S120 speakers
  • 3-year labour-only warranty
  • 3.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K (overclocked to 4.6GHz)
  • Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H motherboard
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • Windows 8 (64-bit)
  • 1TB Seagate HDD, 7200rpm
  • Cooler Master Elite 335 case
  • 600W Cooler Master PSU
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 650 with 1GB
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • 6x USB 2.0
  • DVI
  • HDMI
  • flash memory card reader
  • gigabit ethernet
  • 24x Samsung DVD±RW
  • 21.5in AOC E2260SW flat-panel
  • Octigen wired keyboard and mouse
  • Logitech S120 speakers
  • 3-year labour-only warranty

OUR VERDICT

This Computer Planet is very much the product of its price tag. If Windows gaming is wanted you may want to improve on the graphics card. For the modest £700 sum, this system offers good performance and features for the money.

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