NRG Typhoon i502
Last month we took you for a journey through the process of buying and building your own custom-specced gaming PC. If you’re the type to order something built-to-go, however, you still have plenty of options.
Paul Urquhart | Wednesday, October 27 2010
Product type: Gaming Desktop
RRP incl GST: $2399
- Overclocked Intel Core i5 750 CPU
- Powerful Radeon HD 5850 video card
- Great component selection all round
- Poor-to-average cable management
- Poorly mounted CPU cooler
A powerful gaming PC using quality parts for a good price, let down by construction quality
The spare cabling which was tucked away underneath the motherboard tray was much worse – no effort at all had been put into keeping these tidy, they were just haphazardly crammed in there. Granted, you don’t usually go into this area of the case, but this is just poor form in my book.
Most worryingly, the CPU cooler was poorly mounted and wasn’t making very good contact with the CPU. This caused the CPU to throttle (running at a lower speed to avoid overheating) and gaming performance suffered heavily. Temporarily applying pressure to the cooler allowed me to test the unit without this being an issue but this is cause for serious concern, as I doubt the average user would know to double-check this, and would assume it’s just a poorly performing machine.
Lastly, the 120mm fan attached to the cooler was set to run at maximum speed, which made the Typhoon extremely noisy – I manually turned this down because it was driving me crazy and really didn’t need to be set so high in the first place.
On the plus side, once I had got around the CPU cooler issue at least, it performed like a dream. The highly clocked CPU and reasonably high-specced video card powered me through both Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Crysis Warhead at their highest settings on my 1,920 x 1,080 monitor, and a quick spin through 3DMark Vantage yielded 15,566 points in performance mode (I remember marvelling at systems which could break 10,000 points here not too long ago).
In theory, the NRG Typhoon is fantastic value. For $2,399 you get what are basically the best ‘mainstream’ parts available, and all components used are from high quality, reputable brands. The ability to simply jump into a game and turn all the graphics settings to High is immensely satisfying, and it’s great that you don’t have to re-mortgage the house to do so these days.
The reality, in this case at least, is that NRG need to put more care and effort into building their systems. Perhaps the issues I had with the system I received are a one-off, who knows? If I was their Quality Assurance Officer, though, I certainly wouldn’t have let this dog out of the kennel.
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