Featuring the ever-popular Intel Core i5-2500K processor, the system runs at a relatively modest overclocked speed of 4.5GHz and features an nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti, which delivers a great price/performance ratio. The components are installed in an Asus P8Z68-V LX motherboard which cuts some features from the standard ‘non-LX’ version of the motherboard, notably SLI support, in order to save a bit more cash. This PC is therefore not one for those who might be considering adding a second graphics card at a later date. See also Group test: What's the best £1,000 PC?
The imposing EZCool HA-900B system case is an impressive sight with its matt black finish and meshed front. It also features a row of four front-facing USB ports illuminated by their own blue LED downlighter, making them easy to find under mood lighting. Inside, the case is extremely tidy with cables neatly tucked away via the in-built cable management holes. It’s a good job too, because there’s no rear case fan to assist air flow through the massive Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Pro processor cooler. Visit Group test: What's the best desktop PC?
General application performance of the Sniper is very good, with 210 points being achieved in WorldBench 6 placing it ahead of many systems running with faster overclocks. This is due to the use of a 64GB crucial M4 SSD and a full 16GB of RAM which helps the benchmark considerably.
Gaming performance was rather less impressive. While the GeForce 560 Ti is able to turn in a solid 67fps in Crysis at the ‘high’ quality setting, pushing this any further results in speeds much closer to the 30fps mark. It’s also a little slower than the overclocked version of the card selected by Arbico.
A Gigabyte KM7580 keyboard and mouse combo is bundled with the system, which is great for general use but less than wonderful for gaming as it’s a wireless set with no special gaming features. It therefore won’t offer the responsiveness or programmability of dedicated wired alternatives.
The system is finished off with an excellent 24 inch BenQ G2420HDBL display and an HP Blu-ray combo drive.