Novatech Enigma

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.

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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.