Wired2Fire may not be a regular to the pages of PC Advisor, but the Wired2Fire Diablo Predator is a cleverly designed PC system that knows when to hold back, and when to drive its advantage home.
See: more reviews of desktop PCs up to £1000.
Rather than simply specifying the most powerful choice in every department, the company has been careful to choose which areas it wishes to go for broke on.
At first glance, 8GB of memory might be hinting at a compromise on performance, but the Corsair XMS3 are strong chips for the money. And when they work in tandem with a 3.4GHz Core i5-3570K which has been overclocked to a massive 4.7GHz, the Wired2Fire Diablo Predator is pushed to some very impressive synthetic benchmark figures.
Wired2Fire Diablo Predator: Performance
In PCMark 7, we saw 6376 points, an excellent score at this price, which underlines superb overall performance for the Wired2Fire Diablo Predator.
Part of this is because the company hasn’t stinted on the drive options, and the 120GB Corsair Force 3 SSD drive is an important factor in that superb level of speed.
However, Wired2Fire hasn’t neglected much on bulk storage either, adding a useful 1TB hard disk. Our test system came with a Seagate Barracuda, although customers can expect to get a comparable Hitachi Deskstar.
Wired2Fire hasn’t over-specified the graphics card, but the nVidia GeForce GTX 660 with 2GB memory is a very sturdy choice that still manages to deliver some good frame rates.
We saw 176.4fps in Stalker: Call of Pripyat (at Medium settings) which is a good result for this GPU, almost bringing it up to the gaming level of PC systems costing four figures.
Our Alien vs Predator benchmark test offered similarly polished scores, and 77.5fps in the fastest mode is a tidy little tally. It’s not the most eye-popping games system out there, but it’ll produce exciting performance under most conditions.
So where has Wired2Fire cut back? Well, the Xigmatek Asgard Pro isn’t the most upmarket case we’ve seen. It feels lightweight compared to the solid chunks of metal that sometimes pass for cases, although it does look serviceable from above, with numerous grills allowing you to see a fiery orange CPU cooler spinning around inside.
A single drive is built into the front, and there are two spare 5.25in bays ready for upgrades. It’s not a particularly tall case, and the Xigmatek Achilles CPU cooler rather dominates. It’s very effective at keeping the processor fresh, but it does make it difficult to get at the memory slots (two of which are vacant).
Indeed, one of the memory chips is positioned directly underneath the cooler, and extracting it to put in new memory will prove an onerous task. The other slots are situated in rather more room, and you’ll have no problems putting in a larger graphics card, should you wish.
The 600W Corsair CX600 PSU offers plenty of extra output. Power consumption is quite decent. When idling, the system runs at about 69 watt. The graphics card is rather light on power, and even in Stalker: Call of Pripyat, you’re looking at only around 209 watt. The added sound level of almost 11dB above ambient are good. This certainly isn’t a silent PC, but neither does it make more noise than is comfortable under normal conditions.
Wired2Fire Diablo Predator: Features
The LG optical drive doesn’t have BD-R writing facilities, but it still offers 8x BD-ROM for Blu-ray film playback.
Nine USB ports are included in all, but only three of these are USB 3.0 (with two of those placed at the rear). The front of the case contains two of the six USB 2.0 connectors, along with convenient audio ports and a reset button. No memory-card reader is included.
The supplied keyboard, an Octigen JK-745, isn’t great, with a stiff action that grates. Along with the Logitech B110 mouse, these are areas where the Diablo could be improved.
The AOC i2352VH is a smart choice of flat-panel though. Not much to look at, its IPS panel does an excellent job of rendering crisp and vivid images. For the money, this is an excellent display.
It’s also interesting to see this Windows 8 PC has had Classic Shell software added. This clever addition might help make the transition to Windows 8 a smoother one. A two-year warranty sees parts and labour covered for both years.