Can anyone stop Eclipse? Not in this category - the closest contender is another machine from the same company. Last month's Best Buy, the AMD Athlon-inspired Eclipse Ultimate A60N86GT, has been beaten by the lethally fast Eclipse Elite i675n86gt.
Eclipse has shattered sub-£500 PC performance records by including the sizzling Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 processor, which is unknown at this price point. Only 1GB of DDR RAM has been supplied with the Eclipse Elite i675n86gt, but you still get smooth Vista performance. We'd recommend getting 2GB if possible.
The Eclipse Elite i675n86gt's Hannstar AH191DP flat-panel offers plenty of colour and a relatively well-defined display. It's essentially the same screen as the HannsG HW191DP, which has been making waves in recent PC charts.
The Eclipse Elite i675n86gt's GeForce 8600 GT is an appealing graphics card at this price. The prospect of strong DirectX 10.0 gaming is a little implausible but you can't expect miracles from a £500 PC such as the Eclipse Elite i675n86gt. In today's gaming landscape, this card serves its purpose well.
As ever in this chart, there are compromises. The Eclipse Elite i675n86gt's 160GB hard drive, for example, compares poorly with the 250GB units that proliferate elsewhere, but even 160GB is a sizeable amount of storage. Audio and video enthusiasts may find space a little tight, but for the typical user such a quantity will prove sufficient.
Another disappointment is the Eclipse Elite's onboard sound - it's a fact of life at this price, however. There are better overall audio systems in the Top 5 but the difference is unlikely to affect your choice of PC. The Eclipse Elite i675n86gt's DVD writer is excellent, although the Eclipse Elite i675n86gt doesn't have a healthy software bundle or a lengthy warranty.
There are marks against the Eclipse Elite i675n86gt but it's more important to focus on getting a well-specified PC. And on that count, the Eclipse Elite i675n86gt is an entry possessed of considerable quality.
Budget PCs chart ranking as of Nov 07 issue
- Eclipse Elite i675n86gt
- Eclipse Ultimate A60N86GT - last month 1
- Arbico CD6560 GT
- PC Specialist Apollo Home GT
- CyberPower £500 PCA Machine - last month 3