Naturally the graphics card is the most interesting part of any gaming PC, and OCUK has chosen the XFX ATI Radeon HD 5770 Alien Versus Predator Edition (this doesn’t mean the video card is going to violently burst out of your PC in a mess of cables; it just means you get a copy of the game included). Unfortunately, while a great performer for its price of just over £100, the 5770 is not the ideal card for a PC costing over £700.
That said, the Titan Xenomorph AVP Edition tramples older and less demanding games into the dust, achieving a respectable 62.8fps average in Stalker: Call of Pripyat at maximum detail. It’s in demanding fare like Crysis that the card starts to struggle though, as 1,920 x 1,200 was barely playable at High Detail and to enable a smooth experience on Very High Detail we had to drop the resolution down to 1,280 x 960.
Nor will you be able to add a second graphics card despite the motherboard’s free 16x PCIe slot, because in CrossFire mode this second ‘graphics card slot’ only runs at 4x – not that the non-modular 400W Corsair CX PSU gives you too much lee-way for high-powered card setups in the first place. As far as other free ports on the motherboard go, you get several headers (USB and FireWire), three free SATA ports and a single PCI slot.
So how does the £752.98 Titan Xenomorph AVP Edition hold up to the competition? In fact it doesn’t do too badly, as component prices have risen significantly recently. Before, the Scan 3XS i3 OC offered an almost identical specification (with a smaller hard disk and cheaper case but a Blu-ray drive) for almost £60 less, and was slightly better built to boot.
However, it has since gone up to £729.85, leaving a price difference of around £20. If you upgrade the 3XS i3 OC’s case to an Antec Three Hundred as well, the gap narrows to £10, and at this stage it really comes down to whether you prefer the Scan’s Blu-ray capabilities and superior cable tidying or OCUK’s included game, green lighting and larger hard drive. Throw in Scan’s better warranty, however, and the 3XS wins out as far as we’re concerned.
Also, if you can spare another £200, it’s definitely worth considering the Award-winning Cryo Nano, which not only provides a far more powerful setup in a much smaller case, but also gives you full CrossFire expansion capabilities.
Decent but in no way outstanding (unless you really like green lighting), OCUK’s Titan Xenomorph AVP Edition gaming PC fails to generate the enthusiasm its name might inspire when push comes to shove.