We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
 
Power PCs Reviews
15,114 Reviews

PC Specialist Fusion HD 965 review

£959 inc VAT

Manufacturer: PC Specialist

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The PC Specialist Fusion HD 965 is a desktop PC that sports a 3.4GHz AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition processor, and offers relatively good games performance for a decent price.

The PC Specialist Fusion HD 965 is a desktop PC that sports a 3.4GHz AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition processor, and offers relatively good games performance for a decent price.

PC Specialist supplied us with what at first glance appear to be two identical PCs. They share the same accessories, the same system case and monitor and almost identical internal components. Identical, apart from the core processor architecture.

The Vortex HD 750 is based on Intel's Core i5 750 processor, whereas this PC, the PC Specialist Fusion HD 965, uses AMD's Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition. They both cost around £1,000 including VAT and delivery.

See also: PC Specialist Vortex HD 750 review

The core specification for both PCs is the same: 4GB Corsair XMS3 1600MHz DDR3 provides system memory, with a 1TB Seagate ST3100333AS hard drive for storage. They also both include a 22x LG DVD burner. Graphics duties are taken care of by one of AMD's latest ATI Radeon HD 5770 cards, with 1GB GDDR5 memory.

Power comes courtesy of a 600W FSP Quad Rail PSU and everything's housed in a CoolerMaster Sileo 500 system case, finished in matt black, with internal damping helping to keep the PCs quiet.

An Acer V243H monitor provides a 24in 16:9 format display with full-HD 1080p resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. A trio of inputs covers VGA, DVI and HDMI. Speakers, wireless keyboard and mouse are all provided by Logitech.

Both systems use Asus motherboards - a M4A79XTD Evo for AMD, and P7P55D for Intel. These are closely-matched in specification, although the latter has an extra PCI slot and a pair of extra USB ports. Both offer Express Gate and good overclocking capabilities.

See all: Desktop PC reviews

PC Specialist Fusion HD 965: Performance

Our WorldBench 6 test reveals overall system performance when running a selection of popular desktop applications. When pitted directly against each other, the Intel-fuelled Vortex HD 750 took the lead by around 4%, scoring 130 points compared to the 125 points of this PC, the Fusion HD 965.

Taking a closer look at the scores for the individual applications which make up WorldBench 6, we see that the Intel system is faster in all tests by varying amounts, except for tests involving Mozilla Firefox, where the AMD PC takes a small lead.

And we do mean small: we're talking about a difference of around 10 seconds in a task taking three minutes. Overall, the performance differences between the two architectures are small enough to make no difference to most users.

PC Specialist Fusion HD 965: Gaming

This PC makes a great gaming system. The ATI Radeon HD 5770 offers very good performance as well as support for the latest DirectX 11 features from forthcoming games as well as those built in to Windows 7 and Windows Vista. While you may get better raw speed out of an older card (think: Radeon HD 4890), you'll miss out on quality-enhancing features such as tessellation, which gives increased object detail, and depth-of-field lens effects which give 3D scenes considerably more realism.

Both these features are used to great effect in the Unigine Heaven benchmark which, along with STALKER Call of Pripyat, we've used to evaluate performance running DirectX 11 games. We've also included our regular Crysis and FEAR tests for reference.

With graphics performance largely down to the graphics card, there's little difference in gaming performance between the two. Occasional differences of one or two frames per second do occur however, and usually in favour of the AMD-based PC Specialist Fusion HD 965 PC. For example, the Fusion HD 965 managed 21.34 frames per second when running Crysis at 1920x1080 at the "very high" quality level with DirectX 10. The Vortex HD 750 managed 21.1 frames per second on the same test.

However, on older games and when running tests at lower resolutions the Intel-based system comes out on top, scoring 66.9fps compared to 61.3 frames per second when running Crysis at 1024x768 in the "high quality" mode and using DirectX 9.

Both DX11 tests produced similar results - this AMD system PC Specialist Fusion HD 965 delivering a very small performance lead over the Intel system. In Unigine, for instance, we saw a 0.5fps difference in AMD's favour at 1920x1080 resolution.

What this does suggest is that for gaming, the PC Specialist Fusion HD 965 is every bit as good as the Vortex HD 750 despite its lower performance at WorldBench 6.

NEXT: power consumption >>

PC Specialist Fusion HD 965 Expert Verdict »
3.4GHz AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
3600MHz FSB
2MB L2 cache
M4A79XTD Evo motherboard
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
1TB 7200rpm SATA HDD
4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1600 RAM
ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card with 1GB GDDR5 memory
2x DVI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI
22x DVD±RW DL drive
CoolerMaster Sileo case
Acer V243H 24in 16:9 monitor with HDMI and full-HD
600W FSP Quad Rail PSU
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

These systems are closely matched in general performance, with often hair-splitting differences in gaming performance. The Intel-based PC delivers better application performance with considerably better power consumption; while the AMD-based PC Specialist Fusion HD 965 machine can deliver fractionally better games performance, plus a price advantage of £60. This may not seem much but you could always apply this saving elsewhere, offsetting the extra electricty you’ll be consuming, for example, or adding a second hard drive.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • PC Specialist Vortex HD 750 review

    PC Specialist Vortex HD 750

    The PC Specialist Vortex HD 750 is a desktop PC ideal for gaming that packs a 2.67GHz Intel Core i5 750 chip.

  • PC Specialist Vortex Xtreme review

    PC Specialist Vortex Xtreme

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

  • Chillblast Fusion Vortex review

    Chillblast Fusion Vortex

    Chillblast's Fusion Vortex is a great-value general-purpose PC. It combines one of Intel's latest Core i3 530 CPUs with good graphics and sound capabilities.

  • Chillblast Fusion Blade review

    Chillblast Fusion Blade

    Chillblast’s Fusion Blade is a solid desktop PC, with its 2.66GHz Core i5 750 achieving a creditable 134 points in WorldBench 6.

  • CyberPower Gamer Ultra Triton review

    CyberPower Gamer Ultra Triton

    The CyberPower Gamer Ultra Triton's Phenom processor did offer good value for money – until the Intel Core i5 750 came along and ruined it all.


IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 release date, price and specs 2014

IDG UK Sites

iOS 8 features wishlist: the changes iPhone and iPad users want in Apple's iOS 8

IDG UK Sites

25 Years of the World Wide Web: Happy Birthday, Intenet

IDG UK Sites

Developers get access to more Sony camera features