Eclipse’s Supernova i793r587 specifies many of the components required to build a great PC. Sadly, they’ve failed to propel the Eclipse towards the top of our £1,001+ desktop PCs chart.

Eclipse’s Supernova i793r587 specifies many of the components required to build a great PC, and its 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 930 processor and ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card make a formidable team. Sadly, they’ve failed to propel the Eclipse towards the top of our £1,001+ desktop PCs chart.

Scoring 136 points in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed test, the Eclipse Supernova i793r587 only narrowly beats the Core i7 920-powered Arbico. It also lacks a set of speakers, comes with a smaller monitor and isn’t any cheaper.

On the plus side, graphics performance is just as good as any of the other systems using the HD 5870. Eclipse has supplied the Vapour-X edition of this card with the Supernova i793r587, which comes with a slightly faster clock speed and a special vapour-chamber cooler that offers quieter operation and increased overclocking capability.

A pair of 640GB hard drives is configured in a high-speed Raid 0 array and a third 500GB drive is available for backups, but the Eclipse Supernova i793r587 lacks an SSD.

Its Gigabyte motherboard is also considerably less well equipped than the models selected by Palicomp and Arbico. It doesn’t come with support for USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA, and it has only two PCI Express x16 connections and four memory slots. This makes upgrading the Eclipse Supernova i793r587 more expensive, requiring existing RAM modules to be replaced rather than added to.

Like all the PCs here, the Eclipse Supernova i793r587 is supplied with a full-HD monitor and a Blu-ray drive.

Power desktop PCs chart ranking

  1. Palicomp Core i7 Blitz
  2. Arbico Elite 9587 HSD
  3. Chillblast Fusion Matrix
  4. CyberPower Infinity i7 Heaven
  5. Eclipse Supernova i793r587

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>> Next page: Power desktop PCs buying advice

Eclipse’s Supernova i793r587 specifies many of the components required to build a great PC. Sadly, they’ve failed to propel the Eclipse towards the top of our £1,001+ desktop PCs chart.

Power desktop PCs buying advice

Processor: Intel’s Core i7 CPUs offer a number of speed boosts, although they require more expensive motherboards and memory than previous-generation chips. The Core i7 950 or 960 are good choices at this price point, or you can save money by opting for an i7 930. Core i7 860 chips cost even less.

Memory: A £1,001-plus Core i7 machine should come with at least 6GB of RAM, although 3GB is acceptable if the manufacturer compensates with other extras. For dual-core machines, look for 4GB in two modules to allow expansion. The triple-channel architecture of Core i7 9xx-based PCs requires you to install chips in threes. Core i7 8xx-series CPUs use a two-channel system, which will save you some cash. You’ll also need to splash out on DDR3 RAM, but the price of memory is falling fast.

A 64bit OS is essential to take full advantage of this memory, particularly if you’re running a dual-graphics setup.

Storage: Expect at least 1TB. Look for a pair or even a trio of drives rather than a single unit to reduce the risk of total data loss, although noise levels will increase. Raid 0 setups are an option, boosting speed the expense of reliability. Consider mirroring for added security. SSDs provide a speed boost, but offer limited capacity and are expensive.

Dual-layer DVD+/-R capabilities are useful, preferably at eight-speed or above. You should also be able to get eight-speed DVD+RW.

If you want Blu-ray playback, be prepared to compromise on DVD speeds.

Display: We’re seeing increasing numbers of 24in displays in our PC charts. This used to be the magic size at which 1080p (full-HD) playback became available, making these ideal partners for Blu-ray drives. However, some of the newest 22in (16:9) monitors can also display full-HD – and with a considerable saving.

Make sure you get a digital input for the best image quality, while an extra HDMI port is great for hooking up additional devices such as games consoles without having to switch cables.

Graphics card: For a thrilling gaming experience, choose between nVidia’s new GeForce GTX 480 and AMD’s ATI Radeon HD 5870. It’s a close call between the two, with nVidia’s newer card offering a performance edge but also a considerably higher price. nVidia’s cards offer unique features such as support for PhysX in-game effects and stereoscopic 3D using special glasses.

Also look out for pre-overclocked graphics cards, which can deliver excellent value and are approved by chip manufacturers. Buying a single-card setup keeps your options open for adding a second card later. It also leaves more space for sound cards or TV tuners.

Motherboard: If you’re considering any upgrades, check that the motherboard offers enough memory slots to support the chips. SLI or CrossFireX support will enable you to add extra graphics cards to boost your gaming performance.

Power supply: The level of power you require will largely depend on the type of graphics card you expect to use. Look for a known and respected brand, and consider from 750W upwards if you have any thoughts of moving up to a dual-card setup later. Any form of overclocking will also demand a powerful PSU.

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>> Next page: Specification and our expert verdict

Eclipse Supernova i793r587: Specs

  • 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 930
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM
  • 2 x 640GB (Raid 0) + 500GB SATA
  • 10 x USB 2.0
  • Gigabyte EX58-UD3R motherboard
  • EZCool 700W PSU
  • 23.6in Hanns-G HH241H (0.27mm pixel pitch
  • 1920x1080)
  • 1GB PCI Express Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5870 Vapour-X (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] = 74/44fps
  • Fear = 341fps)
  • onboard sound
  • speakers built into monitor
  • 8x BD-ROM
  • max DVD speeds: 22x/22x/12x/16x/6x/8x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW)
  • one-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 136
  • 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 930
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM
  • 2 x 640GB (Raid 0) + 500GB SATA
  • 10 x USB 2.0
  • Gigabyte EX58-UD3R motherboard
  • EZCool 700W PSU
  • 23.6in Hanns-G HH241H (0.27mm pixel pitch
  • 1920x1080)
  • 1GB PCI Express Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5870 Vapour-X (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] = 74/44fps
  • Fear = 341fps)
  • onboard sound
  • speakers built into monitor
  • 8x BD-ROM
  • max DVD speeds: 22x/22x/12x/16x/6x/8x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW)
  • one-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 136

OUR VERDICT

The Eclipse Supernova i793r587 offers a handful of strong specifications, but we’d still prefer the £10 less expensive Arbico.

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