Wired2Fire Hellspawn Ultima – overview
Tired of your Xbox and peeved that you're stuck with the PS3 for at least another year? Let's face it, the current generation of consoles is a bit past it, and unless you fancy playing endless Angry Birds clones for the rest of your life, the PC is where all the best games are at right now. If what puts you off PC gaming is the price, Wired2Fire's dramatically named Hellspawn Ultima is the system for you.
Wired2Fire Hellspawn Ultima – graphics processor
Not so long ago, a graphics card capable of playing the latest games would have set you back more than half the cost of this full system alone. Not any more. The Hellspawn Ultima has one of AMD's latest Radeon HD7850 graphics processors. It's not enough for multiscreen or stereoscopic gaming, but so long as you're sticking to a standard 1920x1080 monitor it'll play any current game at very high image quality settings. And by ‘very high quality’ we mean ‘it’ll make your console look like a fuzzy mess of pixels’.
Wired2Fire Hellspawn Ultima – quad core CPU
You won't be gaming all the time, of course, and the Ultima is also equipped with an Intel Core i5 2500K CPU. It's not one of the very latest Intel processors, but in terms of desktop and games performance you won't notice the difference – other than the price saving, that is.
Wired2Fire Hellspawn Ultima – case and design
The Xigmatek chassis that's been chosen for the Hellspawn Ultima is a bit bland and old fashioned, and holds it back on styling points. At least it's almost silent thanks to large, slow spinning case fans keeping it cool. Stick it under a desk and you won't notice it's there. If it's going to be on display, however, you'll probably want to change it for one of the Corsair or Fractal Design options in the Wired2Fire configurator.
Wired2Fire Hellspawn Ultima – upgradeability
Inside the Hellspawn Ultima everything has been professionally put together and there's no trailing wires to mess up airflow. There's a respectable 650W power supply too, along with tons of space for extra components, so if you do want to add anything at a later date, it'll be straightforward enough to do it. For the time being, though, it's got all the power you need.
Wired2Fire Hellspawn Ultima – value
There's no monitor, keyboard or mouse included with the Hellspawn Ultima, and you don't get much software beyond a copy of Windows pre-installed (that's a good thing). But at under £700 it's one of the best value systems around – if you've already got peripherals, that is. The only modern touch it's really missing is an SSD drive for fast booting, but we can live without that. Or add it later.
Wired2Fire Hellspawn Ultima – verdict
Is there any reason you aren't into PC gaming yet? This year's already seen Diablo III as a PC exclusive, and there's the awesome ArmA III, Guild Wars 2, MechWarrior Online and Hawken yet to come. If you haven't played the persistent world zombie survival horror DayZ yet, you've not experienced one of the finest gaming experiences known to man. As far as gaming goes, 2012 is the year of the PC renaissance, and with the high-power, great-value Hellspawn Ultima around, you've no excuse not to take part.