It's possible to argue that the PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS is the most well-rounded machine in the chart. The budget PCs category is all about compromise, and that's particularly so when it comes to the sound system - many PCs at this price point come with lacklustre onboard sound and little in the way of speakers to compensate.
The PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS can't do much about the onboard sound - although, in fairness, the Realtek HD is a decent audio controller that only struggles when compared with high-quality standalone cards from the likes of Creative - but it can fix the speakers issue. The PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS's Creative Inspire T6100s are good enough to ensure you get plenty of bite from your audio.
There are other areas where the PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS excels. The DVD writer is a top-class Liteon model with heavyweight 20-speed DVD-R/+R capabilities. We're also impressed by the generous warranty - something you can't depend upon at this level - and the PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS performed well in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed suite.
But the PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS isn't peerless in every respect. The 19in display is pleasing to the eye but can't quite match the Arbico 807 Pro's Videoseven. The PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS's graphics card, a 512MB 8600 GTS, struggles to keep up with the top two PCs' 8800 GTS cards.
The PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS deserves considerable praise for its range of features. Good sound and DVD-R/+R capabilities are the main selling points of a PC that's worth £749 of anyone's money.
Chart ranking: budget PCs October 07 issue
- Eclipse Evolution i685n88s
- Arbico 807 Pro
- PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS
- Eclipse Matrix I67N88-VSTA
- Zoostorm 2-5406 Advanced PC