A heady brew of every component and feature that's been catching the eye in recent months, the Solar 8800 GTX isn't for the faint of heart – or the light of pocket.

The highlight is arguably the mighty nVidia GeForce 8800 GTX graphics card. You can see a rather more in-depth review on the opposite page, but suffice to say that this is a stunning product that reduces just about every other card ever made to the role of also-ran. The GeForce alone makes up around one-fifth of the PC's price tag.

But everywhere you look, there are star performers. We could just as easily have singled out the Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX6700 processor, a chip that has its best months and years well ahead of it.

The 8800 GTX won't be able to show off its full range of tricks until it's paired with Windows Vista (which contains DirectX 10.0, the interface that will mould the landscape for the games of the future). Similarly, the QX6700 doesn't seem that impressive today. For current titles, it's no faster than a typical Core 2 Duo E6700 – even if the graphical firepower results in a fairly emphatic WorldBench performance score of 151. But once we see games that are programmed to use multiple cores, this processor could result in performance improvements of 50 to 100 percent.

The Evesham's 500GB hard drive is capacious, and the 20.1in ViewSonic is an excellent screen with a strong contrast ratio and polished image. The sound system is superlative, and the Sony DVD writer is one of the very best on the market. Even the software bundle includes Works 8.5 and the BullGuard internet security package. XP Media Center Edition is included, but you will want to take advantage of the free upgrade to Vista Home Premium Edition.

Click here to read about Evesham's change in ownership.

Evesham Solar 8800 GTX: Specs

  • Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX6700
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 500GB hard drive
  • 20.1in ViewSonic VG2030wm flat-panel
  • 768MB nVidia GeForce 8800 GTX
  • Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty
  • 5 x Creative GigaWorks ProGamer G500 speakers
  • 16x/18x/18x/8x/8x/6x/8x/12x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • 2-year onsite, 1-year return-to-base warranty
  • Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX6700
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 500GB hard drive
  • 20.1in ViewSonic VG2030wm flat-panel
  • 768MB nVidia GeForce 8800 GTX
  • Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty
  • 5 x Creative GigaWorks ProGamer G500 speakers
  • 16x/18x/18x/8x/8x/6x/8x/12x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • 2-year onsite, 1-year return-to-base warranty

OUR VERDICT

This PC is pretty expensive, especially considering that you can only use part of its capabilities in today's world. But give it a few months, wait for Vista to bed in and for some quad-core and DirectX 10.0 titles to hit the market, and this should prove a quite stunning machine.

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