Talking of the case, this is the standard Evesham tower that has made its way into the TrustedReviews lab many times before. Finished in silver and grey, this case does look pretty good, although this time Evesham hasn’t put any blue lights behind the front fascia. There is space at the front for two more 5.25in drives and there’s a 3.5in bay that’s crying out for a memory card reader. Right at the bottom of the front fascia is a flap that hides mic and headphone sockets, a six-pin FireWire port and two USB 2.0 ports. At the rear of the case is a mounting for a 120mm fan, but Evesham hasn’t included one. This isn’t a problem though since this system seems to run very cool, and to be honest, it already makes enough noise thanks to the loud cooler on the graphics card.
I would however be happy to live with the sound from the graphics card cooler, because the card itself is a good one. Filling the AGP slot is a Leadtek GeForce 6800 card, which is definitely a pleasant sight now that Doom3 has finally appeared. This isn’t the top of the range GeForce 6800, but it’s still a pretty tasty graphics solution. Unlike the 6800 Ultra and GT cards, the standard 6800 only sports 12 pixel pipelines, but retains the six vertex pipelines. The memory is also half that of its bigger brothers at 128MB, but that doesn’t mean it’s a slow card, because it’s not. A standard GeForce 6800 like this should be able to make short work of even the newest games, unless you’re trying to push it to super-high resolutions with the highest quality effects enabled.
Of course a good graphics card is only half the equation, and you also need a decent screen to make the most of it. Thankfully Evesham hasn’t cut any corners with the display, and has supplied a ViewSonic VX910 19in TFT display. We previewed the ViewSonic VX range a little while back and looking at the pictures that ViewSonic supplied I thought that the design looked pretty stylish. Now that I have a VX screen sitting in front of me, I can see that the pictures didn’t really do it justice – this monitor really does look great. There’s a slim black bezel surrounding the display which I like, and the thinnest of silver lips surrounding that. The stand has a pretty small footprint, and again uses slim lines to minimalism its impact on your desk. Finished in brushed silver and black this screen matches the Evesham case perfectly. But it’s not just the design of the screen that makes it stand out, the image is also superb. The lighting is even, the colours vibrant and the viewing angle wide. Both text and images are crisp and clear, with games looking equally impressive – it even has a 16ms response time which should keep hardcore gamers happy. There’s both D-SUB and DVI connectors at the rear, and even though ViewSonic doesn’t supply a DVI cable in the box, Evesham supplies one with the PC to compensate.
As far communication goes, the MSI motherboard has two Ethernet adapters (one of them Gigabit), so there will be no problem connecting this machine to your home network or broadband. If you’re still using dialup for your Internet, you can make use of the 56k modem that Evesham has also provided.
Even the input devices are colour coordinated, with a silver and black Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse in evidence. Having recently suffered badly from RSI induced tedonitis in my wrist, I’m well aware of how important a good keyboard and mouse are, and these are some of the most comfortable input devices I have used. The mouse in particular fits perfertly in my hand moved the pointer smoothly and accurately. Likewise, the keyboard was first rate, and the detachable wrist rest took all the strain off my, now weak, wrist.