There’s no doubt that Commodore is able to undercut Alienware on price. I specced up as similar a system as I could and the Commodore came in at around £500 cheaper, which is a fair wodge of cash. Of course, Commodore’s approach isn’t quite as slick, but makes for a more affordable system. Both have their merits and both have their place.
The other issue I have with the Commodore is really the noise it makes. It’s put a lot of effort into cooling, but I do think it needs to work on reducing overall system noise – the single piece of sound deadening on the inside of the case, just isn’t enough.
On the up side, it’s pretty darn fast, as you would expect for the price, with 2D scores all amongst the top tier of the systems we’ve seen. For 3D testing we limited ourselves to 1,920 x 1,200 and 2,560 x 1,600 as, for resolutions below this, there’s no point having SLI. It proved absolutely stable running our full tests suite and completed the full gamut of 2D and 3D tests without fuss, which is always good to see. It’s hard disk score in PC Mark is not quite as fast as we got from the two Raptors in this Shuttle SD39P2 – possibly the RAID chipset on Intel’s hardware is slightly better, but all in all the scores were very strong.
The sight of the Commodore logo brings back wonderful memories, but once you’re past getting misty eyed this is a fast, decently put together system with a very ordinary case, livened up with artwork. If you’re after a ready-made, off-the-shelf system, that’s a bit different, but don’t want to pay Alienware prices, then Commodore could well be for you – just be aware of the expansion and build quality limitations.
If you’re expecting the same level of innovation that Commodore delivered in the early 80s then you’ll be disappointed – this is just a PC. The C-Kin concept is pretty cool and is its biggest selling point. There’s a good selection to choose from and you should find something you really like. Be warned though, the case underneath is average at best and in the end, I just didn’t get the same buzz from using it as I would from a Dell XPS, Alienware or Vadim PC.
However, if you like the idea of artwork on your PC, and want to save a few quid compared to the likes of the aforementioned, it’s got to be worth considering. And yes, it’ll play Space Invaders.