Traditionally, choosing a laptop has been about compromise.
Pacstar AMD Gaming No. 1
- Value for money
- Nothing of note
This machine should handle all the latest games with ease and won't burn a hole in your wallet.
Price$ 2,499.00 (AUD)
At first the Pacstar AMD Gaming No.1 looks plain, but it has a lot of grunt and you don't have to pay through the nose for it.
This machine packs an AMD 4200+ dual core and also comes with a GeForce 7900GT for boosted performance. It includes 1GB of Corsair DDR400 RAM (2x 512MB dual channel), which is verging on the minimum requirements of the latest games. However, during our testing we didn't notice any loss in performance, but if it does become an issue it can be upgraded to 4GB.
It got an impressive score of 110 in our World Bench 5 tests and aced FEAR's in-game benchmark, averaging 60fps in 1280x960 at full detail, including 4x antialiasing and 16x anisotropic filtering. Two 300GB hard drives are set-up in a RAID-0 array for speed and the machine copied a 4.12GB set of raw data at 25.6MB/s, which is a good result.
The case is sturdy, modest in size and isn't overly noisy. Cable management was neat but could have been better handled, although a dedicated shroud keeps the CPU away from any clutter and ensures it gets a constant supply of cool air. One large fan at the rear extracts air from the case. While the HDD's are situated near a grill at the front of the case, they are not in the path of any direct airflow. On the other hand, due to this location the bays are easily accessible for future upgrades.
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