Pacstar Game Hunter
- Factory overclocked graphics card, P35 chipset for future upgrades, plenty of connectivity
- Uses 80mm fans instead of larger 120mm fans
While it's not the most sophisticated looking machine it does well in the gaming stakes, especially at this price.
Price$ 2,199.00 (AUD)
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With a typical gaming look to it, the Pacstar Game Hunter PC brings the promise of gaming enjoyment at a very reasonable price. With this system you get a heap of connectivity, upgradeability and plenty of power to play your heart out with.
Pacstar has chosen to go with an MSI 8800 GTS 320MB graphics card, which has been factory overclocked from a core clock speed of 500MHz to 575MHz, and a memory clock of 1000MHz, up to 1150MHz, providing an added boost of power. An Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz CPU also provides plenty of oomph, and as game titles begin to utilise all four cores of the CPU, its advantages will become more apparent.
Keeping the future in mind, Pacstar has installed a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3P motherboard, which has support for Intel's next generation Penryn CPUs (due out late 2007), which are built on a 45nm fabrication process and can support front side bus (FSB) speeds up to 1333MHz.
Many motherboards built using the P35 chipset (required to support Penryn) also support DDR3 RAM, the only RAM capable of meeting the 1333MHz FSB speeds of the new CPUs. However this board supports only tried and tested DDR2. Unless you're keen to be on the cutting edge, this is probably the best option for speed and stability until DDR3 becomes more prolific. With that in mind, the Pacstar Game hunter offers up 2GB of Corsair DDR2 800MHz RAM.
Also included are a ViewSonic VX2235wm 22in monitor, PS/2 Microsoft keyboard and mouse set. There is a DVD re-writer installed, as well as two 320MB Seagate hard drives configured in a RAID 0 (striping) array for added speed. The case offers an additional four hard drive bays for upgrades. The design is fairly garish, but there's plenty of connectivity available. On the face of the enclosure you'll find no less than four USB 2.0 ports and one FireWire port. An additional USB port is included on the media card reader, which is also found on the front panel.
Three 80mm fans have been pre-installed, which will be sufficient for the cooling, but are noisier than 120mm or larger 200-250mm fans, which are becoming more popular on cases. The rear port cluster includes all the usual suspects; there are 7.1 audio ports, four more USB 2.0 ports and another FireWire port. Pacstar has also added an e-SATA bracket with a Molex power-out port.
In our benchmarks the Pacstar Game Hunter did well, scoring 121 in WorldBench 6, 10,357 in 3DMark 2006 and 39,948 in 3DMark 2001 SE. In FEAR at a resolution of 1600x1200 and using the maximum quality settings, it averaged 61 frames per second (fps). In the DirectX 10 tests it performed reasonably, achieving an average of 72.35fps in Lost Planet: Extreme Condition at the default setting, then 45.9fps in 1680x1050 (with DirectX 10 fur effects turned on). In the Call of Juarez DirectX 10 demo it averaged 22.6fps in the default setting.
Encoding 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192Kbps files took only 52 seconds in iTunes and 90 seconds in Cdex.
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First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.