Wired2Fire Diablo GTX review

28 Feb 2011

Fast application performance and a big monitor, but gaming proves a let-down

Price when reviewed: 
900(£960 inc VAT)
4

Wired2Fire has relied heavily on Xigmatek enclosures in recent months and, while the Asgard isn’t the largest or flashiest chassis on offer, it’s easy to see why it keeps cropping up.

The inoffensive looks hide an air of understated practicality, with the matte interior offering tool-free entry to the empty drive bays, of which three 5.25in and 3.5in bays are empty. Fastidious cable tidying throughout makes upgrading and managing the PC simple, even if the Xigmatek’s modest dimensions mean it’s slightly on the cramped side. It also lacks a motherboard tray.

There’s a good amount of upgrade room, though. The pair of empty DIMM sockets aren’t impeded, and the second PCI Express x16 slot runs at x8 speed, providing enough additional bandwidth for all but the most powerful graphics cards.

The neat build and Xigmatek Scorpion CPU cooler also contribute to an extremely quiet system that’s barely audible when idling, although the graphics card does emit a fair amount of noise when running at full pelt.

Wired2Fire Diablo GTX

The understated design certainly doesn’t correspond with a lack of processing power. Its overclocked Core i5-2500K runs at 4.8GHz, and an overall benchmark score of 3.27 is impressive, so there’s plenty of juice for handling the most demanding software, even if the Palicomp Phoenix i5 Sniper was faster.

Elsewhere, the standout part is a Blu-ray drive – not often seen in a system this cheap – and it’s partnered with 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard disk.

Gaming power is provided by a relatively rare Nvidia card, the GeForce GTX 460. It’s a fine product, but disappoints when stacked up against the AMD Radeon HD 6950 cards we’ve seen in other systems at this price: it helped the Wired2Fire score 25fps in our 1,920 x 1,080 Very High quality Crysis test, with the Palicomp running through at twice that speed.

It’s a shame, because Wired2Fire has chosen an impressive monitor. The Hanns.G HH251DPB has an unusual 25in diagonal and offers quality up there with the best 24in panels we’re used to seeing with a mid-range system, complete with fine colours and detail. There’s a slight lack of brightness and some backlight bleed, but the size makes up for that.

That impressive TFT helps propel the Wired2Fire into the reckoning, but it doesn’t gel comfortably with the lack of gaming performance. It’s a good combination for watching Blu-rays - and it's slightly cheaper than rivals, too - but don’t expect a do-it-all PC. If that’s what you’re after, the Palicomp’s a better bet.

Details

Price ex VAT £750
Price inc VAT £900
Overall rating 4
Performance 4
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 4

Warranty

Warranty 2 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,000GB
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Screen size 25.0in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 3.30GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 4.80GHz
Processor socket LGA 1155
HSF (heatsink-fan) Xigmatek Scorpion

Motherboard

Motherboard Asus P8P67
Motherboard chipset Intel P67
Conventional PCI slots free 3
Conventional PCI slots total 3
PCI-E x16 slots free 1
PCI-E x16 slots total 2
PCI-E x8 slots free 0
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots free 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots free 1
PCI-E x1 slots total 2
Internal SATA connectors 4
Internal SAS connectors 1
Internal PATA connectors 1
Internal floppy connectors 0
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 2
Memory sockets total 4

Graphics card

Graphics card Inno3D GeForce GTX 460 SE Green
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce GTX 460
Graphics card RAM 1.00GB
DVI-I outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
DisplayPort outputs 0
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Samsung Spinpoint F3
Capacity 1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 931GB
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Cache size 32MB
Hard disk 2 make and model N/A
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity N/A
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity N/A
Hard disk 2 spindle speed N/A
Hard disk 2 cache size N/A
Hard disk 3 make and model N/A
Hard disk 3 nominal capacity N/A
Hard disk 4 make and model N/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacity N/A

Drives

Optical drive Samsung SH-B123L
Optical disc technology Blu-ray reader/DVD writer combo
Optical disk 2 make and model N/A
Optical disk 3 make and model N/A

Monitor

Monitor make and model Hanns.G HH251DPB
Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Pixel response time 5ms
Contrast ratio 800:1
Screen brightness 300cd/m2
DVI inputs 1
HDMI inputs 0
VGA inputs 1
DisplayPort inputs 0

Additional Peripherals

Speakers N/A
Speaker type N/A
Sound card Realtek HD Audio

Case

Chassis Xigmatek Asgard
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 185 x 475 x 408mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply Corsair CX600
Power supply rating 600W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 3

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 8
FireWire ports 1
PS/2 mouse port yes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 2
Front panel memory card reader no

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard Logitech Deluxe 250 keyboard, Logitech B110 mouse

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7
Recovery method Windows disc
Software supplied N/A

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 68W
Peak power consumption 408W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 3.27
Office application benchmark score 2.53
2D graphics application benchmark score 3.49
Encoding application benchmark score 2.92
Multitasking application benchmark score 4.13
3D performance (crysis) low settings 137fps
3D performance setting Low