Ti computers Quad Core

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Ti computers Quad Core
  • Ti computers Quad Core
  • Ti computers Quad Core
  • Ti computers Quad Core

Pros

  • Two-drive, Western Digital Raptor RAID 0 array; powerful graphics card

Cons

  • Its DVD burner was unreliable, it under-achieved a little in the WorldBench 6 and 3DMark06 performance tests

Bottom Line

TI has built a quad-core PC that has plenty of potential. It will play any of the latest DirectX 9-based games on the market without any qualms, and it's got enough grunt for serious multitasking, video rendering and file encoding workloads.

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This PC from TI Computers contains all the necessary ingredients for today's power-hungry high-end users. Its Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU (2.4GHz) gives it plenty of horsepower for rendering videos and multitasking, while its two 150GB Western Digital Raptor hard drives are combined in a RAID 0 array to supply the system with quick data transfer rates (up to 50MBps in our tests).

While the Raptor hard drives command a premium price over regular hard drives, due to their 10000rpm spin speed, the machine's most expensive component is easily the Palit GeForce 8800 Ultra graphics card, which is basically one of the fastest pixel-pushers currently on the market. This showed in our tests, where it averaged 25 frames per second (fps) in the DirectX 10-based Lost Planet benchmark, and 20fps in the DirectX 10-based Call of Juarez benchmark. Nevertheless, these aren't fast rates for smooth gameplay. We ran these games at high detail (1360x760 with 8x antialiasing for Lost Planet and 1680x1050 with 4x antialiasing for Call of Juarez), but it remains to be seen whether upcoming DirectX 10-based titles will be just as taxing on the 8800 Ultra graphics card. Its score of 11026 in 3DMark06, however, is slightly low.

In WorldBench 6, it didn't break any performance records, nor did we expect it to. Even so, its overall result was a tad on the slow side considering its fast hard drive array and 2.4GHz CPU. However, the individual application scores within WorldBench 6 didn't show any particular weaknesses -- it produced solid marks across the board. In our MP3 encoding tests using Cdex and iTunes, it produced expected results.

TI has used a conspicuous mid-tower ATX case to house its high-end components, and while it's not as tall or as deep as some cases, it has plenty of ventilation and cool air flows plentifully over the key components. A 25cm fan is mounted on the side panel, directly in front of the expansion cards and the CPU, to supply them with plenty of cool air, while a more modest 12cm fan is mounted on the front, and it keeps cool air flowing over the Raptor hard drives. TI hasn't been meticulous in its cabling effort, but considering the relatively small size of the case, the size of the Ultra graphics card and the amount of cables, it's done a good job.

The Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 Pro motherboard, upon which the system based, contains useful features for overclocking, including the ability to run a faster front side bus (FSB) without running a faster DDR2 memory speed. Considering the large amount of airflow through the case, it might be worth overclocking the 2.4GHz CPU to 3GHz, which would speed up processor-intensive tasks measurably.

For connectivity, the TI has USB 2.0, and microphone and headphone ports located low on its front panel, while the back of the case has the usual gamut of legacy ports (PS/2, parallel and serial) in addition to modern ports, such as FireWire and eSATA.

An LG DVD burner has been installed, which has a parallel interface, but its performance during our tests wasn't impressive. It was unreliable when reading a couple of our test DVDs, requiring multiple attempts before finally getting the job done. We'd prefer to see a Serial ATA-based ASUS or Pioneer burner instead.

While the two 150GB Raptor hard drives provide ample space and speed for Windows Vista and applications, TI has installed a separate 500GB Western Digital hard drive for data storage. And, there is still room for a couple more hard drives.

TI has built a quad-core PC that has plenty of potential. It will play any of the latest DirectX 9-based games on the market without any qualms, and it's got enough grunt for serious multitasking, video rendering and file encoding workloads.

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