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Budget PCs Reviews
15,670 Reviews

CCL Elite Hawk review

£470 inc VAT

Manufacturer: CCL Computers

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

For Windows gaming on a budget, the AMD Bulldozer-powered has decent graphics performance, if a little slow on PC duties compared to budget Intel boxes.

The budget-friendly CCL Computers Elite Hawk PC is powered by an AMD Bulldozer FX-4100 Black Edition processor. This is a quad-core chip clocked at 3.6GHz and using the AM3+ socket. CCL couples this chip with a decent 8GB of DDR3 1333MHz RAM. 

Surprisingly then, this all led to a disappointing WorldBench 6 score of just 108. It failed to run one test due to an incompatibility between AMD’s newer chipsets and the dated version of Nero 7 in WorldBench 6.

Even if we add a further 14 generous guestimated points to fill in the Nero score, it would still only add up to 122 points. In the case of a similarly priced PC running an Intel processor, we’d expect to see a result in excess of 150 points.

CLL preinstalls the Elite Hawk with Window 7 Home Premium, and Professional or Ultimate are available at extra cost. Our model came with Home Premium 64-bit; or you can even opt for no operating system at all.

Read more budget PC reviews.

The CCL Elite Hawk is marketed as a gaming system. And any serious gaming requires a dedicated graphics card. To this end, CCL has equipped the Elite Hawk with an AMD Radeon HD 6770 with 1GB of GDDR5 RAM. 

In our graphics tests we recorded an average frame rate of 169fps in the simpler FEAR game. Stepping up the pressure, we ran the Stalker: Call of Pripyat test, which resulted in an average framerate of 96fps at 1280 x 720 (Medium detail). 

When we tested it at a full-HD 1080 resolution, Ultra detail, the average framerate dropped, but to a still-smooth 51fps.

CLL’s Elite Hawk doesn’t stand out from the crowd cosmetically in its plain black finish and basic case. We found build quality to be of a good standard with sturdy USB ports and a tidy cable arrangement inside. The Bulldozer chip is covered by a decent heatsink but has a small and basic fan. The side panel of the case has a cut-out for a fan with no fan present.

A selection of ‘front’ ports are actually mounted at the bottom left-hand side of the case. Here are two USB 2.0 ports, audio in, microphone in and power and reset buttons. 

An Asus motherboard offers PS2 keyboard and mouse ports, serial port, printer port, D-Sub video port, four USB 2.0 ports, ethernet, headphone, microphone and line-level audio jacks. 

Meanwhile, the AMD Radeon HD 6770 card offers its own D-Sub, DVI and HDMI ports. 

One issue we noticed with the Elite Hawk was its conspicuous noise output. We didn’t find it unbearable but it was one of those noises you’re glad to be rid of after powering down the PC. 

We logged the Elite Hawk’s power consumption at a less than frugal 61W when idling. When running our Stalker: Call of Pripyat graphics test, power consumption rose to a maximum of 186W. 

The Elite Hawk comes with an LG DVD±RW SuperMulti optical drive, a Seagate 500GB SATA 6Gbps hard drive and a built-in wireless card.

Expansion is possible by way of a spare 5.25in bay below the DVD drive, a spare 3.5in hard-drive bay inside the case and a spare PCI-Express slot on the motherboard. 

There’s no room for memory expansion in the Elite Hawk, as the Asus motherboard already carries its maximum of 8GB RAM.

CCL Elite Hawk Expert Verdict »

3.6Ghz AMD Bulldozer FX-4100 Black Edition
Wndows 7 Home Premium
8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
Seagate 500GB SATA 6Gbps hard drive
AMD Radeon HD 6770 with 1GB of GDDR5 RAM
Asus M5A78L-M motherboard
Atheros AR9285 802.11b/g/n Wireless Network Adaptor
LG DVD±RW SuperMulti optical drive
Front I/O
2 x USB 2.0
Audio in
Audio out
Rear I/O
Keyboard
Mouse
Serial
Printer
2 x D-Sub
DVI
HDMI
4 x USB 2.0
Gigabit Ethernet
Headphone
Microphone
Line-level in
450W PSU
Microsoft Office 2010 Starter
175 x 420 x 350mm
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 8 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The CCL Elite Hawk is a good gaming system for sub-£500. It’s basic on the outside and far from quiet in use; but if that doesn’t concern you it redeems itself by the ease with which it can take on full-HD resolution gaming at a decent framerate. This gaming PC does its job well and at an attractive price.

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