Future-proofing may be a contentious issue amongst PC purchasers. Working out exactly what will keep a PC fresh and sprightly two or three years from now is partly down to careful calculation, and partly down to blind luck. In the case of the Apollo R600-X3, PC Specialist has put its eggs firmly in the basket marked 'DDR3'. This next-generation RAM comes in the form of Corsair's new XMS3-1066C7 modules. As such, it offers acres of potential for allowing tomorrow's hardware to run harder and faster. The problem is, with today's technology the RAM doesn't really fulfil its potential. We suspect that most of you would probably get more mileage from double the memory or a quad-core CPU.
With this technology, the PC Specialist Apollo R600-X3 is a good performer, but not really a huge margin ahead of the other PCs. This is despite the presence of the E6850 processor - in dual-core terms, about as fast as it gets - and the WorldBench score of 116 is perhaps not as stonkingly fast as you might expect. And otherwise, there are some slightly disappointing components in the PC Specialist Apollo R600-X3. The 500GB hard drive is ample although, if we're nit-picking (which we should do given the price), then it doesn’t quite compare to the towering pair of 500GB drives found in the Cube247.
The PC Specialist Apollo R600-X3's ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT is something of a disappointment. In a £750 PC, this card would be a great addition. But in the no holds barred world of the £1,001+ machine, such a lack of graphics power (it simply can’t compete with the 8800 GTX) requires some sort of justification. The PC Specialist Apollo R600-X3's V7 screen is a decent flat-panel, and the sound system ample. A special mention must also go to the excellent 20-speed DVD-R/+R facilities.
Chart ranking: £1,001+ power desktop PCs, December 07 issue
- Mesh Elite Quad Storm PCA (This PC is no longer in the chart. Click here for more information)
- CyberPower Gamer Infinity SLI GTX - last month 1
- Cube247 Electra ST10
- Arbico QC6700 Pro
- PC Specialist Apollo R600-X3
What you're really paying for is a decent but not stunning PC that, possibly, will have some strengths a couple of years ago. Given the hefty £1,499 price tag (£400 more expensive than the still very decent CyberPower Gamer Infinity SLI GTX), we'd suggest the PC Specialist Apollo R600-X3 is a gamble that the majority of you will wish to pass on.