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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 Fusion HD 965: power consumption

We compared power consumption figures of the main systems, when sitting idle and when running the Unigine Heaven benchmark. Because the configurations of both systems are the same, any differences in power consumption can be attributed to the processor and motherboard selection.

Intel came out on top: where the AMD-based Fusion HD 965 consumed 103W at idle and 163W under load, the Vortex HD 750 required only 59W and 120W respectively.

Lower power consumption is not only greener, it also means you may get away with quieter cooling fans, and increase scope for overclocking.

See all: Desktop PC reviews

See also: PC Specialist Vortex HD 750 review

The processors

The AMD Phenom II x4 965 and Intel Core i5 750 offer broadly similar performance. They're both quad-core processors which are great for multi-tasking and multi-processing, but there are some key differences:
The AMD chip runs at a faster clock rate of 3.4GHz compared to the 2.67GHz of the Intel.

They also have different cache architectures, the Phenom II X4 having 6MB of Level 2 cache compared to 8MB in the Intel Core i5. They also have different methods of interfacing with system memory and the graphics subsystem, although these differences result in relatively minor performance differences in real-world applications.

According to the specifications, the Core i5 also has lower power requirements than the AMD chip - a fact that's bourne out by our own test results.

It's also worth noting that the Phenom II X4 965 BE is currently AMD's flagship desktop CPU; this is most certainly not the case with the Intel processor which is part of a range containing many faster processors, some of which are available as drop-in upgrades for the Core i5 750.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

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.

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