Scan 3XS P55 OC £919
14th Nov 2009 | 10:00
Sub £1,000 desktop PC with Windows 7 pre-installed, so where's it going wrong?
Scan is determined to make its presence felt in the rig-building world (£10K rigs aside) with this sub-£1,000 Windows 7 Core i5 machine. With the 3XS P55, Scan has undercut the CyberPower Achilles rig, but for that saving you miss out on a panel.
Right now it's all about CyberPower in the bid for PCFormat's top P55- based rig. Its Achilles machine from a couple of issues ago took the coveted PCF Gold Award thanks to a combination of excellent bundle (coming with a 22-inch panel included in the price tag) and quality overclock to 3.6GHz.
This isn't a huge issue, as the chances are if you're forking out the best part of a grand on a new rig you might well have a decent screen already plugged into the last machine you bought/built.
Where it does win out over the Achilles in the specs department, though, is the amount of storage available, with the Samsung 1TB drive and the slightly faster GTX 275 taking care of graphical duties.
This, though, represents one little niggle. Despite the fact the GTX 275 is a fantastic card, this is the first rig through our testing labs with Windows 7 and, as such, the lack of a DX11 card is notable.
For only an extra £50, you could have had a 5850 ticking that DX11 box. This says more about the current lack of physical cards than anything about its price/ performance, though.
The GTX 275 is very close to the 5850 in terms of rendering speed, so it depends on whether you'd rather keep that £50 to yourself or slot in a card that will render tessellated flags.
Scan has, though, worked to achieve a mammoth +1GHz overclock on this system, thanks mainly to the excellent and incredibly quiet Scythe Gentle Typhoon cooler purring away on top of the CPU.
Hitting 3.8GHz as a factory overclock (and hence as part of the warranty) means that in terms of CPU performance alone, it absolutely flies.
Across the board, it comes out tops in our benchmarking suite, the Achilles only keeping pace in the ArmA II test thanks to its own factory overclock.
It's definitely no looker though, with an uninspiring CoolerMaster Glite chassis housing your highend componentry. But that's just me trying to find fault with the build and, as you can tell, I'm really stretching.
The components are well chosen, the overclock's stable and thoroughly tested and the insides are as tidy as the cell of a nun with OCD. The whole thing runs incredibly quietly too, despite that huge overclock, another testament to that impressive Scythe cooler.
The 3XS P55 is under a grand, comes fully equipped with the latest OS and all it's really missing is the check-box feature of a DX11 graphics card. With the AMD cards representing the definition of few and far between at the moment, and DX11 gaming still something of an ephemeral beast, that's not something you're really missing out on for now at least.
Kudos to Scan then; turns out it can do reasonably priced rigs too.
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