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
PCs Reviews
15,670 Reviews

PC Specialist Vortex HD 750 review

£1,019 inc VAT

Manufacturer: PC Specialist

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

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

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 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 the 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 Fusion HD 965 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.

Powered is 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

See also: PC Specialist Fusion HD 965 review

2.67GHz Intel Core i5 750: 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 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 Firefox, where the AMD PC takes a small lead.

And we do mean small: we're talking about a difference of around ten 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 Vortex HD 750: Gaming

Both of these PCs make great gaming systems. 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 Window 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. 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 - the AMD system 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 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 Vortex HD 750 Expert Verdict »

2.67GHz Intel Core i5 750
1333MHz FSB
1MB L2 cache
Asus P7P55D 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 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.

  • PC Specialist Fusion HD 965 review

    PC Specialist Fusion HD 965

    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 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.

  • Mesh Matrix II 965 DX11 review

    Mesh Matrix II 965 DX11

    Mesh has successfully used AMD processors in the past, but the Mesh Matrix II 965 DX11 desktop PC's mighty 3.4GHz chip lacks the raw computational power of the Intel Core i5 and i7.

  • 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

Sony Xperia Z3+ release date, price and specs: The Xperia Z4 for the UK

IDG UK Sites

Why Intel’s vision of the future is a future I want to live in

IDG UK Sites

10 amazing, creative uses of tech – and the brands behind them

IDG UK Sites

Jony Ive 'semi-retired' into new role: kicked upstairs as Chief Design Officer