What if you want a high-performance PC for gaming (or just about anything), but you don't want to mortgage your house? Altech has a solution for you with the Ariel G.
Altech is well known for building hardcore, expensive gaming PCs. Sadly, not all of us have a lot of cash to blow on a PC, so Altech has launched a new range of budget-conscious machines. Dubbed the Ariel G series, the most affordable of the bunch is the Ariel G 1055.
Powered by an AMD Phenom II X6 1055T CPU at 2.8GHz, the Ariel has tons of raw processing horsepower for games and demanding applications. A Radeon HD6850 with 1GB of RAM keeps the pixels flowing and 4GB of DDR3 ensures games load in the blink of an eye. All this hardware is supported by a Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 motherboard, a 1TB HDD and a 550W PSU. Even at this base spec, the Ariel gets a Blu-ray drive and 64-bit Windows 7 Home premium.
As expected from a professionally built PC, the inside is as neat as a pin, with all cables well routed and tied away. By default the Ariel is quite noisy, with the Radeon 6850 GPU being the worst offender. It‘s possible to set the graphics card fan speed to a lower level to quiet things down, but it will automatically ramp up when under load. On the plus side, the whole kit and caboodle is very powerful considering the price, and it will happily handle most modern games.
To test real world gaming performance we cranked Left 4 Dead 2 up to the maximum settings at 1,920 x 1,080 and ran a custom time demo. Once we updated to the latest drivers the Ariel averaged a very smooth 121fps. It also managed a fairly impressive P12,944 3DMark Vantage score. To put this in perspective, the Alienware Aurora system we tested late last year scored P30,134 but cost over five times as much.
The Ariel system also has a few other tricks up its sleeve. Aside from the usual 5.1 channel surround sound and Gigabit LAN, you also get USB 3.0 support, a DisplayPort output and a one-year RTB warranty. Available from Altech, retailing for $1,299
.APC rating: 8/10 (Highly Recommended)