Altech Computers Gameforce Commander
- Powerful performance
- Poor case
It doesn't use the latest AM2 socket, but its performance is impressive.
Price$ 2,899.00 (AUD)
Upon first glance you may scoff at this machine's appearance, - its case looks awful - but beauty does lurk beneath the surface in the form of a powerful and well-put-together configuration for gaming and multimedia pursuits.
The machine scored 122 in World Bench 5, thanks to its Athlon 64 X2 3800+ CPU and 2GB of DDR400 RAM, and it screeched to a score of 5558 in 3DMark2006, thanks to its dual GeForce 7600GT-based graphics cards. Quake 4 with 4x antialiasing (AA) scored 77 frames per second (fps), while FEAR scored 43fps without AA and 25fps with AA.
More impressive was the machine's hard drive performance, which recorded 45MBps in our file transfer tests. This result is very fast and is a direct result of the RAID 0 configuration that Altech has implemented, which consists of four 80GB Samsung drives. These are attached to the Foxconn 939SLI32-eSATA2's Serial ATA (SATA) ports, which are controlled by NVIDIA's NVRAID utility. All four SATA ports are taken up on the board, but if you want to add more drives, you can do so via the two external SATA ports (eSATA), which are located on the rear port cluster of the motherboard.
Other connectivity options include FireWire and USB 2.0 ports, which are also located on the front of the case. Unfortunately, the ports are recessed deeply on the front panel and can be hard to use.
Cooling for the CPU is by way of a large heat sink with heat pipes and a fan, while a front-mounted 8cm fan keeps the hard drives cool and a 12cm fan extracts warm air from the case.
Rounding out the package is a 19in Samsung LCD monitor, basic Microsoft input peripherals and a set of Creative SBS580 speakers.
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I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
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For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
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