PC Specialist Minerva System Review
Published: 10th November 2014 | Source: PC Specialist | Price: £999 |
If you spend more than a few moments taking a cursory glance around the internet you'll come across three distinct opinions. The first, and correct one, is to be found in our own forums wherein everyone accepts that we all have different requirements and budgetary restraints. The second and third ones are either that you're insane to buy a PC because you need to update them every two months, they cost a fortune to build and they're impossible to use without updating drivers every hour so buy a console. Or that if you haven't got quad GPUs and a LN2 i7-5960X CPU then you're worthless. Both the latter two opinions are poisonous bunk as ably demonstrated by the PC Specialist Minerva that has been the subject of today's review.
The Goddess of Wisdom is what inspired our wish to demonstrate that even a thousand pounds is enough to get a system which will happily play anything you throw at it, at 1080P and very high, if not maximised, image quality settings. We defy anyone to max out Far Cry 3 or Titanfall and not find yourselves impressed at the graphical quality on offer. The GTX970 is still a lot of money if you're lacking in funds but it's also not so far out of reach that we think it's not worth saving for. We knew when laying out the specifications that GPU power > everything else and so it proves.
That isn't to say that the i5-4690K is just along for the ride though. Coupled to the brilliant ASUS Maximus VII Ranger and backed up by Kingston's DDR3 and SSDs and some of the PC Mark scores were far beyond what we would have guessed them to be. It's all too easy to have a system at this price point aimed squarely at a single target and woeful at everything else. The Minerva happily trumped our i7-5960X bench system in PC Mark which is not an easy thing to do, especially when you consider how much one of those CPUs costs in relation to the entirety of this system.
PC Specialist themselves need to take a lot of credit too for the build quality and setup. The internals were beautifully laid out with all the cables neatly tucked away. The box of 'spares' was put together with similar care and even the tweaks to the Windows 8.1 Wallpaper and colour scheme were great touches. Of particular note is the form fitting hard-foam insert that ensured the innards of the system remained precisely where they were put. When you back this up with their excellent warranty and customer service then you would be as wise to purchase this from them as we were to give them our specification.
Under a grand nets you a system that is powerful enough to use in any gaming title you care to play whilst also having the well-rounded nature to not leave you twiddling your thumbs when photo-editing or similar tasks. A worthy winner of both our OC3D Value for Money and Gamers Choice awards.