Mighty machines

Windows tested six of the best Intel Core i7 processor-based PCs that cost under $1,200. Read on to find out who took home our coveted awards...

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  May 10, 2009

Intel's Core i7 processor delivers excellent performance and has low power requirements. As a result it's perfect for use in a desktop PC, which is why we asked six vendors to send us their best machines with a price cap of US $1200. So, read on if you're interested in finding out who took home our coveted awards...

Aftron 1080

Super-sized storage

Price $1200
Contact: +9714 282 3363
Web: www.aftron.com

The Aftron 1080 is the first machine the Windows team has ever tested from Al-Futtaim Electronics and we're happy to say that it left a very good impression.

The machine is packed with quality components starting with an Intel Core i7 920 processor that runs its four cores at 2.67GHz. The CPU is cooled by a standard Intel LGA1366 cooling fan and both processor and cooler are bolted to a board packing Intel's X58 chipset. The 1080 also includes a cool 6Gbytes of memory and for those interested in gaming, you'll also find a Radeon HD 4870.

As impressive as these components are the Aftron stands out mostly thanks to its superlative storage system. Peering inside the chassis we spied three 500Gbyte Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 hard drives and on booting the PC, we noticed that they were running in RAID 0 mode.

Thanks to this, the machine returned a seriously impressive PCMark hard drive score of 7,909; the second highest figure in this test. The only system with a higher score is Sky's Solid State Disk (SSD) powered eXPeditor with 8,464. The Aftron also returned strong numbers on the CPU and memory front and thanks to its GPU, also proved a reasonable gaming machine whether you have a 17-inch LCD or a larger, higher resolution screen. In use we found the machine 100% stable and thanks to its two 120mm cooling fans, it was also whisper quiet.

Performance: 4/5
Features: 5/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Verdict: A quick machine overall and it's the best in this grouptest if you have intensive storage requirements that demand speed and capacity.

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