With cheap graphics cards come cheap gaming computers.

The performance of these bargainous boxes of tech has reached new highs too with the launch of AMD's latest cost-cutting card, the HD4850.

Yoyotech has jumped on this card and spawned the Spartan 300, a machine thoroughly capable of speedy DX10 gaming on a budget.

It would be foolish though to assume that it's simply the choice of GPU that's responsible for the impressive performance of the Spartan.

Ramped-up speed

Sitting at the heart of the machine is Intel's latest overclocker's chip, the E7200. It may not have the feature set of its pricier quad-core brethren, but we're still yet to see many titles taking full advantage of anything more than a dual-core CPU.

It's also a remarkably cool chip – the stock speed of 2.5GHz has been ramped-up out of the box by Yoyotech to 3.5GHz without breaking sweat. Indeed, we had it happily running all our benchmarks on passive cooling alone.

Cool running

And that's another area where the Spartan impresses: the decibel count – or rather, lack of it.

Thanks to the Antec 300 chassis, the large rear and top fans keep the innards cool without sounding like twin turbines humming away under your desk; unhooking the fan on the excellent Freezer 7 Pro CPU cooler too cuts out even more of the noise.

The Antec PSU has a large diameter fan spinning slowly to keep itself cool as well, and this entire combination of cooling elements adds up to a rather quiet, chilled machine.

Bargain gaming machine

Obviously when you're putting together a £500 gaming rig, then compromises need to be made, but Yoyotech has been very canny in its selection of components.

The 4850 delivers excellent performance for the price and with a quad-core CPU largely an extravagance in gaming terms, the E7200 – especially in its overclocked state – is an excellent choice.

The P43 chipset too has most of the features of the more expensive P45 boards except without Crossfire support, and if you check out our CrossFire X versus SLI feature you'll see why that's unnecessary.

Storage is normally an area that gets marginalised too, but the 320GB Samsung drive is by no means a compromise. In the Spartan 300 Yoyotech has put together a very impressive budget gaming machine that's well worth anyone's money.