MSI looks to add executive chic to a winning laptop formula
Altech Computers Gameforce Commander
- Powerful performance
- Poor case
It doesn't use the latest AM2 socket, but its performance is impressive.
Price$ 2,899.00 (AUD)
Upon first glance you may scoff at this machine's appearance, - its case looks awful - but beauty does lurk beneath the surface in the form of a powerful and well-put-together configuration for gaming and multimedia pursuits.
The machine scored 122 in World Bench 5, thanks to its Athlon 64 X2 3800+ CPU and 2GB of DDR400 RAM, and it screeched to a score of 5558 in 3DMark2006, thanks to its dual GeForce 7600GT-based graphics cards. Quake 4 with 4x antialiasing (AA) scored 77 frames per second (fps), while FEAR scored 43fps without AA and 25fps with AA.
More impressive was the machine's hard drive performance, which recorded 45MBps in our file transfer tests. This result is very fast and is a direct result of the RAID 0 configuration that Altech has implemented, which consists of four 80GB Samsung drives. These are attached to the Foxconn 939SLI32-eSATA2's Serial ATA (SATA) ports, which are controlled by NVIDIA's NVRAID utility. All four SATA ports are taken up on the board, but if you want to add more drives, you can do so via the two external SATA ports (eSATA), which are located on the rear port cluster of the motherboard.
Other connectivity options include FireWire and USB 2.0 ports, which are also located on the front of the case. Unfortunately, the ports are recessed deeply on the front panel and can be hard to use.
Cooling for the CPU is by way of a large heat sink with heat pipes and a fan, while a front-mounted 8cm fan keeps the hard drives cool and a 12cm fan extracts warm air from the case.
Rounding out the package is a 19in Samsung LCD monitor, basic Microsoft input peripherals and a set of Creative SBS580 speakers.
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This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
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