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PCs Reviews
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PC Specialist Vortex Xtreme review

£2,300 inc VAT

Manufacturer: PC Specialist

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

PC Specialist’s Vortex Xtreme takes the cream of today’s technology.

PC Specialist's Vortex Xtreme takes the cream of today's technology - and undoubtedly the creamiest of this is Intel's latest high-performance CPU.

The Core i7 Extreme 965 was a blindingly fast CPU that, in WorldBench 6 tests, puts a comfortable 10-15 gap between itself and the stellar Core i7 920. The new Extreme 975 ups its clock speed from 3.2GHz to 3.33GHz. The result here is an incredible WorldBench score of 154 - making the PC Specialist Vortex Xtreme significantly faster than any other system that's galloped through our Test Centre.

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There's plenty more to rave about yet. What about the PC Specialist Vortex Xtreme's 6GB of Corsair Dominator GT memory? When strong stable support is needed, these DDR3 chips perform brilliantly.

Not only does a 1TB Hitachi drive take copious care of your storage needs, the PC Specialist Vortex Xtreme also accommodates a fast 120GB OCZ solid-state drive as boot volume.

Anything less than a GeForce GTX 295 card would be a disgrace in such a distinguished PC. Luckily, that's exactly what you get, and the PC Specialist Vortex Xtreme turns in some searing speeds. Fear no longer provides a suitable test for today's best PCs, but 374fps is worth noting as far in excess of figures seen before.

Crysis is more apt, and the PC Specialist Vortex Xtreme romped it, recording an average of 46fps in our High mode (1,680x1,050, Very High, DirectX 10). Given that most Core i7 920 systems miss the 30fps mark, this is quite an achievement. At our Low setting, it stormed up an average of 95fps.

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The PC Specialist Vortex Xtreme's LG GGC-H20L offers decent DVD writing facilities, LightScribe support, and lets you read BD-ROM and HD DVD media.

The PC Specialist Vortex Xtreme's sound card is only an integrated version. If music and audio is as important to you as the rest of this PC, you may wish to ask about a dedicated audio controller.

It's unsurprising to find an FSP PSU rated at 1010W for this machine's high requirements. The PC Specialist Vortex Xtreme generates an amount of heat and isn't particularly quiet, so it's not the first choice for your living area.

PC Specialist Vortex Xtreme Expert Verdict »

3.33GHz Intel Core i7 Extreme 975
Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
6GB Corsair Dominator GT DDR3 Memory
1TB SATA HDD
120GB SSD
nVidia GeForce GTX 295 with 1792MB RAM
Asus P6T Deluxe V2 motherboard
1010W FSP quad-rail PSU
card reader
LG GGC-H20L 6x BD-ROM/16x DVD±RW DL
SoundMax Integrated Digital HD Audio
1-year C&R warranty
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Entry to such performance heights doesn’t come cheap. At a time when a searing PC can be bought for under a thousand, £2,300 is a lot to lavish on a computer that doesn’t even include a monitor. Nonetheless, the PC Specialist Vortex Xtreme is an absolute sizzler of a PC, and would be a great choice for those who want maximum speed and a virtually unsurpassed array of components.

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