If you're a serious gamer then you'll know all about SLI (scalable link interface), but as we've seen with the Tiny Vipana (reviewed on page 52), it doesn't always live up to its potential. However, Packard Bell is bang on the money with the iPower 6600 SLI - it's a fast PC that's excellent for playing games, although it does have one or two issues.

Two 128MB nVidia GeForce 6600 GT cards process the 6600's visuals, and we were very impressed by the results it achieved in our graphics tests. It managed a frame rate of 95.8fps (frames per second) on Doom 3 at a resolution of 1,024x768, dropping to 87.6fps at a resolution of 1,280x1,024. On Halo, it managed scores of 66.3fps and 63.7fps.

But the WorldBench 5 score of 89 was slightly disappointing for a system with an Athlon 64 3700+ chip and 1GB of DDR RAM. It struggled in the two Discreet 3ds max 5.1 sections of the WorldBench test to evaluate 3D rendering.

Other specifications include two 200GB hard drives in a Raid 0 array, a dual-layer DVD writer and a Samsung SyncMaster 913N flat-panel. To offer all this for £1,000, Packard Bell has had to make some sacrifices.

For example, the iPower isn't so hot on sound quality. Audiophiles won't be too pleased with integrated audio, and those after surround sound will be disappointed by the Storm 2.1 speaker set.

iPower 6600 SLI: Specs

  • 2.21GHz AMD Athlon 64 3700+ processor
  • Windows XP Home
  • 1GB DDR RAM
  • 2x 200GB hard drives
  • 19in Samsung SM913N flat-panel
  • 2x 128MB nVidia GeForce 6600 GT graphics cards
  • 40x/40x/24x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) 16x/8x/8x/4x/4x/8x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW) drive
  • integrated audio controller
  • Storm 2.1 speaker system
  • 1-year onsite warranty
  • 2.21GHz AMD Athlon 64 3700+ processor
  • Windows XP Home
  • 1GB DDR RAM
  • 2x 200GB hard drives
  • 19in Samsung SM913N flat-panel
  • 2x 128MB nVidia GeForce 6600 GT graphics cards
  • 40x/40x/24x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) 16x/8x/8x/4x/4x/8x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW) drive
  • integrated audio controller
  • Storm 2.1 speaker system
  • 1-year onsite warranty

OUR VERDICT

The Packard Bell iPower 6600 SLI's graphics test performance was very impressive, but there are a few concerns. It's very good value for money, though you might want to invest in a standalone soundcard and better speakers if audio is important to you.

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