MSI looks to add executive chic to a winning laptop formula
Also Technology Gameforce
- TV tuner a nice touch.
- Only average performance.
It's not the best performer in its price range and there's some limitation on its upgradeability. Even with a TV tuner, the price just doesn't compare to what many other systems offer.
Price$ 1,949.00 (AUD)
If you're looking for a PC under $2000 that will play games and run all the normal programs from Office to virus scanners, this will do the job, but isn't at the top of its league. Following the latest trend is case designs, the Alsotech Gameforce face glows with blue lights and shines with metallic-looking plastic grills in alien-like X shaped patterns. A spider-in-web design, backed by a blue glowing extraction fan adorns the transparent side panel.
With an Intel Pentium D 950 3.40GHz dual-core CPU there's plenty of processing power. Couple that with 1GB of DDR2 667MHz RAM and you can expect reasonable performance. We ran the GameForce through PC WorldBench 5 in which it scored 98. Compared with other PCs under $2000 in our Best Buys chart, this is an average score, which is reasonably indicative of the components installed. Though you should never judge a book by its cover, the title and case design both suggest that this PC is intended for gamers. With this in mind we put the slightly aging Albatron GeForce 6600GT to the test. In older games, this system will run without a hitch, producing a score of 18,983 in 3DMark 2001 SE. The score of 1564 in 3DMark 2006 shows that it will handle newer games, but will likely struggle to run at higher quality settings. In-game benchmarks for Quake 4 and FEAR backed this up. Quake 4's demo run averaged 48.6fps (frames per second) with antialiasing (AA) turned off, but was unplayable with AA turned on. We ran FEAR's in-game test at full quality and a resolution of 1280x960, but only achieved an average of 16fps.
Also Technology have included an Ultraview HD TV tuner, which is a nice touch, a 200GB (7200rpm) SATA hard drive is supplied, as is a DVD re-writer. The build quality of the mid-tower case is up to scratch. The drive bays (4x 5.25in and 3x 3.5in) face front to rear, but are quite easy to access. The only supplied cooling is the side extraction fan, but two small fan-mounts have been placed side-by-side between the hard drive bays and the front panel to give your drives some airflow if it becomes necessary. Large grill holes at the rear mean there's not likely to be any restriction of airflow into the case as hot air is extracted, but this will also allow plenty of dust to flow through. Out of the box there isn't an excessive amount of heat being generated inside the case, but be aware if you plan to upgrade. The cable management is sufficient but unimaginative, consisting of a single cable-tie for the power cables and the IDE cables have been both folded and flattened. A 350watt power supply doesn't leave you with much headroom, so keep this in mind before you plan to buy more storage or a hefty new graphics card.
The front panel supplies two USB 2.0 ports, some easy-access audio ports and one FireWire port. At the rear there's another four USB 2.0 ports and an extra two have been supplied via an extension from the motherboard to the rear panel. An extra FireWire port has also been added via an extension from the motherboard.
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