Given its price tag, the Solar XK ought to have plenty of clout. In fact, you might expect Evesham to have improved upon the base specifications.

The 1GB of DDR RAM isn't a big surprise, but we'd expect a faster chip at this price. Intel's Core 2 Duos leave AMD processors in the dust, but the 1.86GHz E6300 is hardly the fastest version. Given that the Arbico CD7950EX offers the E6600 despite costing £50 less, the Evesham's choice of the E6300 is disappointing. Its WorldBench 5 processing-speed score of 113 is solid. Cibox isn't a major name in consumer flat-panels, although Evesham is beginning to get this company some coverage. The 19in C1905 is a decent model, providing a colourful image and solid text.

The 256MB Leadtek GeForce 7600 GS, on the other hand, isn't the most exciting of graphics cards. For the money, you might expect a card from the GeForce 79xx range instead, and some cheaper PCs offer stronger game frame rates. Struggling to reach even the 100fps (frames per second) mark in our tests, this PC won't excel with many of today’s more demanding games titles.

The sound system is fairly strong: the Creative X-Fi XtremeAudio produces pumping audio, and we liked the Creative Inspire T3100 speakers. High marks also go to the excellent DVD writer, and the 250GB hard drive is adequate without being over-generous. The PC is topped off by an ample software bundle that includes Microsoft Works and BullGuard.

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

Evesham Solar XK: Specs

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
  • Windows Media Center
  • 1GB DDR RAM
  • 250GB hard drive
  • 19in Cibox C1905 flat-panel
  • 256MB Leadtek nVidia GeForce 7600 GS
  • Creative X-Fi XtremeAudio
  • Creative Inspire T3100 speakers
  • 16x/18x/18x/8x/8x/6x/8x/12x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM) drive
  • Microsoft Works 8.5
  • BullGuard 6.1
  • CyberLink PowerDVD
  • Roxio Easy Media Creator 7.0 Basic
  • 2-year onsite, 1-year return-to-base warranty
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
  • Windows Media Center
  • 1GB DDR RAM
  • 250GB hard drive
  • 19in Cibox C1905 flat-panel
  • 256MB Leadtek nVidia GeForce 7600 GS
  • Creative X-Fi XtremeAudio
  • Creative Inspire T3100 speakers
  • 16x/18x/18x/8x/8x/6x/8x/12x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM) drive
  • Microsoft Works 8.5
  • BullGuard 6.1
  • CyberLink PowerDVD
  • Roxio Easy Media Creator 7.0 Basic
  • 2-year onsite, 1-year return-to-base warranty

OUR VERDICT

There are far more powerful gaming PCs available for £799 (or less). As a general PC, though, the Evesham is quite versatile. Add to this the strong aftersales support, and those who are prepared to spend a little more for peace of mind will find this a possible choice.

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