Evesham.com – Athlon GeForce 700 review

AMD-powered home/games machine
Photo of Evesham.com – Athlon GeForce 700
£969 + VAT

Evesham.com (formerly Evesham Micros) is a heavy supporter of AMD and its Athlon range of processors and the chip is now cheap enough to be built into some quite inexpensive PCs. The cunning name of the Athlon GeForce 700 tells you quite a bit about the make-up of the machine.

Housed in a midi tower case, as so many are these days, the Athlon GeForce 700 uses an Athlon 700 as its motive power and this is supported by 64MB of main memory. Although this is adequate for Windows 98 and typical business applications, you could be cramped if you upgrade to Windows 2000 or start using the machine for heavy graphics or video work. As time goes on, a good few games will ask for 128MB, too. Obscene, yes, but true.

The front panel sports a 10-speed Pioneer DVD drive and a standard floppy, with a 19GB hard drive inside for fast, permanent storage. This provides a good balance with the processor and memory. There are seven expansion slots in the machine, with six to the PCI standard and a single ISA. It’s reassuring to have one slot to the old ISA standard, in case in upgrading you need to bring some specialist card with you.

Two of the PCI slots are occupied, with a V90 modem and a SoundBlaster 128 sound card. The SoundBlaster provides general purpose sound to a pair of Creative speakers, which would benefit from the inclusion of a sub-bass unit, but are fine for simple sound effects.

The GeForce in Evesham’s model name refers to the Hercules 3D Prophet graphics card, a favourite among PC builders at the moment, which uses an nVidia GeForce 256 graphics processor at its core. This is a high-performance card and quite unusual to find in a PC at this price point. With 32MB of graphics memory and searing 3D speed, it’s excellent for all forms of games, particularly those involving people running around castles with big guns, giggling to themselves.

Evesham provides a 17-inch monitor from a company called Vibrant, a less well-known supplier, but the display itself is fine. The tube face is slightly rounded, but the picture is clear and well focussed. The keyboard comes from Accuratus and has an extra three keys for shut-down and suspend, but not for things like Internet connection or sound control. Also supplied is a Logitech Pilot Plus mouse.

Company: Evesham.com

Contact: 0800 0830800


Verdict
Evesham knows how to put together a good PC and has squeezed a lot of high value components into its modestly priced Athlon GeForce 700. They work well together and provide a system with high performance on both general applications and games, and most of the essentials for use at home or in a small office. At the price, this machine is a fine choice.