The Sigma ST5 isn't outstanding, but it's a very assured system. Cube247 has gone for safe specifications, rather than taking a risk on a hot product or two.

At a time when many of its competitors are opting for a 4600+ or 4800+ processor, this PC comes with an Athlon 64 X2 4400+ chip. It doesn't seem to matter, though, as the excellence of the included 2GB of DDR RAM pushes this system to a rapid WorldBench processing-speed score of 120. A pair of 250GB hard drives provide huge amounts of storage space.

GNR's 19in flat-panel display is a proficient model. There are screens out there that better the GNR's image quality, but this is still a very decent offering. Similarly, there are better graphics chips on the market than the Radeon X1800 XT, but it won't let you down.

The audio system is good. We might complain that the sound card is only the basic Audigy 4 and not one of the X-Fi cards, but this is still a solid performer. And when teamed up with the superb Inspire T7900 speakers, this computer makes quite an aural impression.

NEC's DVD writer is an excellent model. It offers superb speeds in both DVD-R DL (double-layer) and +R DL formats. The three-year warranty is decent, although onsite cover would be welcome. This PC is well-designed both inside and out. The generous quantity of USB ports – 14 in all – is a particularly pleasing feature.

Cube247 Sigma ST5: Specs

  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+
  • Windows XP Home
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 2x 250GB Seagate hard drives
  • 16x/16x/16x/8x/8x/6x/8x/5x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM), 48x/48x/32x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) drive
  • 19in GNR TS900H flat-panel
  • 512MB ATI Radeon X1800 XT
  • Creative Labs Audigy 4
  • Ahead Nero
  • CyberLink PowerDVD
  • 3-year return-to-base warranty
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+
  • Windows XP Home
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 2x 250GB Seagate hard drives
  • 16x/16x/16x/8x/8x/6x/8x/5x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM), 48x/48x/32x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) drive
  • 19in GNR TS900H flat-panel
  • 512MB ATI Radeon X1800 XT
  • Creative Labs Audigy 4
  • Ahead Nero
  • CyberLink PowerDVD
  • 3-year return-to-base warranty

OUR VERDICT

This is another solid system from Cube247. It isn't as inspired in its choice of components as the showstoppers in the Power PC category, but performance is generally good – and considering the price tag, this PC will make a good-value acquisition.

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