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Novatech Enigma review

The odd pairing of components and software make this machine a bit of an enigma

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Our Verdict

Sadly, it seems like NovaTech have cut a few too many corners for this to be a serious contender

For

  • Decent graphics option
  • Good motherboard
  • Core i7

Against

  • 32bit Vista
  • Only 3GB of RAM
  • Weedy monitor resolution

The Core i7 processor is a finely tuned slice of performance silicon.

In that context, we have high expectations for the quality of the components it should be paired with.

Unfortunately, we therefore have misgivings about the corner-cutting that Novatech has indulged in with the Enigma in order to hit the £1,000 price point.

The core of the system stacks up just fine. Intel's own SmackOver X58 motherboard is a decent choice, although it's somewhat compromised by its four memory DIMM slots.

There's a decent 530 Watt PSU, the ATI Radeon 4850 graphics card is one of our favourites and the Antec 900 case is also a popular choice.

However, 3GB of memory just doesn't do justice to the capability of the Core i7 920 processor.

Admittedly, the choice of Vista Home Premium in 32-bit form means you wouldn't get any benefit from adding more – but this only emphasises the fact that Vista 64-bit and 6GB of memory would be preferable.

The biggest problem is the 19in LCD monitor: a dingy panel with only a 1,440 x 900 pixel resolution. This makes for a rather miserable window from which to view the efforts of the Core i7 and the Radeon HD 4850.