PLUS Atlas AM2 5200
- Future proof
- Nothing of note
The Plus Corp Atlas is a workhorse for gaming and will handle most other tasks with relative ease. PlusCorp has used some trustworthy components, which should keep this system running well into the future. Whether you're upgrading from a very low end system, or just like having the best, you're going to have fun with this computer.
Price$ 3,999.00 (AUD)
Plus Corporation has a habit of sending us PCs laden with the latest, flashiest and most powerful hardware on the market and the Plus Corp Atlas AM2 5200 PC is no different.
Though AMD announced it will be releasing a number of new processors from December 2006 onwards, at the time of testing the 2.6GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core CPU installed in this monster of a machine was at the top of the ladder. We ran World Bench 5 in which it scored 129. While this is a good score, it was certainly helped by the 2GB of 800MHz Geil RAM. To accommodate the CPU, Plus Corporation (PlusCorp) has used an Asus Crosshair motherboard (see PC World November 2006 for a full review), which is aimed at enthusiast PC users. A couple of handy features will please those who tend to have their heads inside their case as much as in front of the screen.
Firstly, a red LED-lit button on the printed circuit board (PCB) allows you to quickly and easily reset the BIOS without playing with the jumpers. Secondly, if you're having problems during system boot, an LCD on the rear panel gives you slightly more detailed text messages that you would otherwise have to decipher from the system beeps. It's not ideal but is a little more informative than usual. There's also a power button directly on the PCB (also lit by a red LED) that allows you to power the system on or off without having to connect the case power button to the board. This is handy if you are testing new hardware. Another button on the rear panel turns on a selection of blue LEDs that indicate key points on the PCB for upgrading, such as IDE or SATA ports and power connectors.
On top of these nifty power-user features, the Asus board also comes with two e-SATA ports on the rear. There are currently very few e-SATA external cases, but the trend is growing and the ability to connect an external SATA hard drive to your PC at speeds that theoretically exceed four times that of USB 2.0 will tempt many people with heavy storage requirements.
The Inno3D GeForce 8800 GTX used in the Atlas is the latest and by far the hottest graphics card to hit the world of gaming. Not only does it perform incredibly, scoring 9303 in 3D Mark 2006, but the dramatic changes in the GPU architecture and the addition of support for Microsoft's DirectX 10 application programming interface (API) that will ship with Windows Vista means that this card will keep your games running smoothly and looking pretty for some time to come. There's no sound card, only the onboard audio controller, but analogue and digital audio connections are available on the rear panel.
The system comes with two 7200RPM 500GB Western Digital Caviar hard drives, which are configured as a single terabyte in a RAID 0 array by default. However our review sample was not set up for raid 0 and therefore our benchmarks will reflect slightly slower results to those you may see on the final product. We copied 4.12GB of varying file sizes within the primary drive, which it completed in 197 seconds; a fairly impressive result. Aside from the speed, having a terabyte of space at your fingertips will be more than enough for most people to store their music, movies and of course program files.
The Antec P180B case is made from steel and therefore is reasonable heavy, but sturdy, and it comes in a sleek, all-black design. The main front panel swings open and sits flush against the side when fully extended revealing the front drive bays including a Dual Layer DVD-RW optical drive and a 3.5in floppy drive. The power button, some USB ports, a FireWire port and some audio ports are accessible while the panel is closed for convenience. The side panel can be removed via two thumb screws and from here all the components are reasonably accessible. The 650 Watt CoolerMaster power supply is located in its own chamber at the bottom-rear of the case and the two hard drives are mounted in a removable chamber at the front. A total of four extra 3.5in hard drive bays are available, along with two spare 3.5in floppy drive bays and four extra 5.25in bays. A 120mm fan blows air directly over the hard drives to keep them cool, and there are several fan mounts if you wish to add extra cooling..
The cable management is a little hectic, mainly because of the chamber separation in the case. The PlusCorp team has dealt with the problem using a few cable ties, but if you're planning to use those buttons on the motherboard you're going to have a hard time getting to them unless you do some re-arranging. Two more 120mm fans, one on the top of the case and one at the top-rear should keep the CPU fairly cool. The case dampens much of the noise but it's definitely not silent.
Join the newsletter!
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Apple iMac Pro
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Toys for Boys
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Internet Security
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
ESET Smart Security Premium
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Office 365 Business Premium isn’t one-size fits all but if you’re the right sized business for it to make sense, there’s a good amount of value to be found in the package’s comprehensive software offering.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 3 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 4 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
- 5 Huawei Nova 3i review: All Sell, No Soul
Latest News Articles
- Apple finally updates Mac mini with new quad- and 6-core CPUs, space gray case
- MSI releases Trident X Series
- MSI teams up with Sony for the upcoming Venom movie
- ASUS announces Intel Mehlow workstation products
- ASUS bring VivoMini PC to Australia
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?