Once again, our Best Buy award doesn't go to the machine with the highest performance scores. We're dazzled by the Cube247 Nova ST3's mouthwatering price tag and quad-core capabilities, but if you want the best speed right now, the Zoostorm 5-6514 Edge PC is the PC to back.
The Zoostorm 5-6514 Edge PC's E6850 processor is stunningly fast - significantly quicker on paper than the Cube247 Nova ST3's quad-core chip, although in speed tests the gap was fairly small. This suggests that the Zoostorm 5-6514 Edge PC's slower memory is holding it back, although it seems churlish to criticise a PC with 4GB of DDR RAM.
The Zoostorm 5-6514 Edge PC's hard drives are capacious, adding up to 650GB in all. That's a good 350GB behind the Cube247 Nova ST3, but more than enough for most users, and comfortably a match for the other machines here. The Zoostorm 5-6514 Edge PC earns more brownie points for its graphics card. The 8800 GTX might not be quite as fast as the Ultra, but it's a fantastic card that's only a few frames per second away from being the most blistering of all time. As a straight gaming machine, the Zoostorm 5-6514 Edge PC is marginally better than the Arbico 888 Extreme.
The Zoostorm 5-6514 Edge PC's 22in Asus display is extremely palatable, producing good colours and a clear image. The DVD writer is cracking - the AOpen's 20-speed DVD-R/+R facilities are the icing on a cake of beautifully supported drive formats. The same can't be said of the Zoostorm 5-6514 Edge PC's sound system.
The Zoostorm 5-6514 Edge PC's onboard Realtek audio controller is no substitute for a Creative sound card.
For eyewatering performance on today's games, the Zoostorm 5-6514 Edge PC is king. We'd probably be tempted to spend our money on the lower-priced and more future-proof Cube247 Nova ST3, but many will view the Zoostorm 5-6514 Edge PC as the most outstanding power PC here.
Chart ranking: power PCs October 07 issue