MPC Quad Fortress
The familiar colours of NVIDIA and Gigabyte once again grace our test centre in another custom designed PC from yet another local Australian reseller. This time, we're looking at Mega PC's MPC -- Quad Fortress, a quad-core PC with an Inno3D GeForce 8800 GTX graphics card and 4GB of Veritech DDR2 800MHz RAM. It has a lot of gaming power.
- Quality component choices
- Basic case
A typical custom PC with plenty of power and a touch of room for upgrades, the Mega PC MPC Quad Fortress is an easy choice for those who don't want to build their own PC.
Price$ 2,449.00 (AUD)
MegaPC has used the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 motherboard, which supports the next generation of Intel CPUs (codenamed Penryn), such as the Core 2 Extreme QX9650, but it also supports the previous generation (codenamed Conroe), such as the Intel Q6600 2.4GHz quad-core that's been installed in this machine. In this instance MegaPC has overclocked with CPU to 3GHz, but guarantees system stability, something we saw throughout our tests.
Some motherboards based on the P35 or X38 chipsets, which support 1333MHz front side bus speeds for Penryn CPUs, also support DDR3 RAM rather than DDR2. Some support both, but most, like this one, support only DDR2. This is not necessarily a bad thing as there are a few DDR3 options available at this stage, and they are generally more expensive when compared to DDR2.
On the subject of RAM, MegaPC has installed Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit edition to take advantage of all 4GB of RAM. Beyond Windows, however, the MPC -- Quad Fortress has no software included.
The iCute case offers a very basic design with some room to upgrade. Only one Samsung 500GB hard drive is currently installed, but one additional hard drive can be installed (the remaining two drive bays are blocked by the graphics card). There's a single 3.5in external drive bay and an additional three 5.25in optical drive bays beyond the one being filled by the LG DVD re-writer.
There's only one fan supplied with the case, but it's a massive 250mm intake fan on the side of the box. The SilverStone power supply (560W) has its own extraction fan, which removes warm air from the system. On the front panel, there are a pair of USB ports and headphone and microphone jacks. Overall, this case isn't the sturdiest choice, but it's definitely light.
The Inno3D 8800 GTX installed here can definitely handle itself. In 3DMark06, it scored 12,014 at the default settings. We gave it a run at the DirectX 10 version of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition where it averaged a solid 84.9fps (frames per second) using the default settings.
In WorldBench 6, the Quad fortress scored 109. With that score, this system should be able to handle most games and a little photo or video editing work, too. In our MP3 encoding tests, it took just 56sec to encode 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files using iTunes, and 89sec using Cdex (which uses one CPU core only).
To make life easier, Mega PC has installed a pair of brackets on the back of the case, which gives you access to e-SATA, as well as some additional USB ports.
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