CWS GamePro 9000

This package from CWS puts out plenty of grunt thanks to its 1.4GHz Athlon CPU and 512MB of DDR SDRAM, and is primarily focused towards the enthusiast and gamer.

Its ASUS A7M266 motherboard utilises the services of the AliMaGiK 1 chipset and has a front side bus speed of 266MHz. Up to five PCI slots are provided for expansion, while slots for SDRAM and DDR SDRAM modules are both provided.

Unlike any of the other systems that have graced the Home chart, this machine is housed in a server-sized case that is more suitably rested on the floor than on a desk. Our review model came fitted with wheels, but they can be removed. This case has a total of eight drive bays, about four of which can be used for expansion. With so much freedom for expansion it's good to know that the power supply in this case has a beefy rating of 400W.

The machine is perfect for entertainment tasks such as movie watching and gaming - Quake 3 managed 137 frames per second at 1024x768 in timedemo 1. The installed 80GB 7200rpm hard drive, as well as the great Altec Lansing three-piece speakers, SoundBlaster Live! sound card and the 17in ViewSonic monitor that are provided, make this machine a suitable candidate for music and video editing applications.

Unfortunately, this system is not very user friendly. While it is good to have a large-sized, highly expandable professional case, the home user is more likely to demand front-loading port options, which are absent. A door on the front of the case opens to expose the machine's DVD-ROM drive, as well as the other metal drive bay covers, and may end up being a bit of an inconvenience.

When you tally it all up, though, this machine has very strong performance (refer to the table), ships with good quality components and gives you the ability to expand as your needs change.

Pros: Plenty of expansion space, DVD, CD-RW, performanceCons: Case is large and bulky, no front-loading ports

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