Wired2Fire Diablo GTX review
Fast application performance and a big monitor, but gaming proves a let-down
Review Date: 28 Feb 2011
Reviewed By: Mike Jennings
Price when reviewed: £750 (£900 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
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.
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.
Author: Mike Jennings
Hello Mike, many thanks for the review.
I would like to point out to your readers that all components are fully configurable on our website. The graphics card, which accounted for the lower graphics score, can easily be swapped for the HD 6950 2GB. Given the system we submitted was £60 cheaper than our competitors and it included a Blue-Ray drive, you could swap these for an HD 6950 and still have a price lower than £799 + VAT. Which makes our system very price competitive indeed.
By Wired2Fire on 2 Mar 2011
Looking on their web site, the machine above doesn't come with a monitor, so not a good deal at all...
By davest8 on 2 Mar 2011
For the system with monitor please look in our "Review/Offer Systems" section.
Direct url is http://www.wired2fire.co.uk/build.php?systype=11&f
By Wired2Fire on 2 Mar 2011
Ah OK - thanks for the link
By davest8 on 2 Mar 2011
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Spotify now free on tablets and smartphones
- Nokia's Android smartphone "due next year"
- MPs push for tighter laws against online spying
- Should Microsoft make Windows 8 free?
- Canonical finds first partner for Ubuntu Touch smartphones
- Dell's Chromebook 11 for schools starts at £190
- Leap Motion: we can't fix "broken" Windows 8
- Surveillance panic could lead to restrictive data laws
- CyanogenMod offers encrypted text messages
- Play it again: Berlin's Computer Game Museum
- Switching from iPhone to Android: what I miss, what I don't
- Tech City: Easy to score when you move the goalposts
- How to remove SkyDrive from the Windows 8.1 Explorer
- Switching from iPhone to Android? Switch off iMessage
- Why is Google pumping more money into Firefox?
- Sky Broadband Shield review
- Samsung Galaxy S4: how to double your battery life
- Motorola Moto G review: first look
- IBM Watson meets Willy Wonka
- Best tablet PCs to buy in 2013
- Closer to reality: photorealism in computer graphics
- Windows 8.1: Top 10 advanced features
- Securing the Internet of Things
- Internet of Things: five unlikely hacking risks
- Life behind the wall: censorship in China
- 42 best Android apps
- 3D museums that never close
- 29 best Windows 8.1 apps
- Bring an old PC up to speed
- The importance of load balancing
- Windows Phone App Studio: an easy way to create your first Windows Phone 8 app
- The end of Windows XP support: what it really means for businesses
- Don't rely on Chrome's password vault
- Using Buffer to manage your social media
- Microsoft needs its own Steve Jobs
- Forget credit cards: hackers want your Facebook account
- Can't get fast enough broadband? Here's what to do
- Leap Motion and the battle against UI stagnation
- How to build a really bad network
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW