A great screen and solid gaming performance, but the processor is showing its age.
ON REMOVING THE side panel of the Wired2Fire Velocity Ultima you’re greeted with the huge Raijintek Themis CPU cooler, which you don’t expect to see in a budget PC. It’s responsible for cooling an AMD Athlon X4 750K quad-core CPU running at an overclocked 4.4GHz. This processor is getting a bit long in the tooth, so we were surprised to see it.
The Velocity Ultima scored 57 overall in our tests. This is slow even for a budget PC, particularly considering how much the CPU has been overclocked. It should be adequate for most of your home computing needs for now, but we expect better at this price.
The processor’s integrated graphics also leave a lot to be desired, so Wired2Fire has installed a Sapphire 1GB Radeon R7 240 graphics card. In Dirt Showdown running at 1,280×720 resolution, 4xAA and High graphics it managed 49.9fps, which is reasonably fast for a PC at this price.
Dirt Showdown wasn’t playable at 1,920×1,080, 4xAA and Ultra graphics, running at only 20fps, but reducing the quality to High produced 34.3fps, which is playable. If you reduce it further to Medium you’ll get 46fps. This graphics card and CPU pairing performed similarly to one of AMD’s newer Kaveri processors using just integrated graphics.
The versatile Asus A88XM-A motherboard has four slots for DDR3 memory, two of which are occupied by 4GB of DDR31,600MHz RAM (8GB total). There’s support for up to 64GB, but few home users would need that much.
A PCI-E x16 slot is used for the dedicated graphics card, which blocks the PCI-E x1 slot. You also have six full-speed SATA3 ports, two of which are used for the Seagate Barracuda 1TB hard disk and DVD-RW drive. This leaves you with plenty of spare SATA3 ports if you want to install an SSD at a later date.
On the rear of the system are two USB3 and two USB ports, PS/2 connections for an older keyboard and mouse, Gigabit Ethernet and 3.5mm audio connections that can be configured for up to 7.1 channel audio.
The graphics card supports VGA, DVI and HDMI, so there are lots of options to connect to a display. On the front are headphone and microphone jacks, as well as two more USB ports. If you need more USB3 ports there’s an unused header on the motherboard.
The Vortex V1 case is well finished and easy on the eye. Inside you’ll find two external 5Viin bays, one of which is used for the DVD-RW drive, one external and two internal 3V6in bays, with one used for the hard disk. You also get 300mm to work with if you want to install a better graphics card, and the 500W FSP PSU gives you scope to use pretty much any card. There are no fans in the case but there are fan mounts at the back, front and side if you need the additional airflow.
The display supplied with the Velocity Ultima is a smart 24in AOC e2470Sw with a resolution of 1,920×1,080. We’re always happy to see a 24in display included with a budget system, and this one is a solid performer. Our calibrator measured the display’s contrast at an excellent 973:1. Black levels were 0.23cd/m2, which is average for a display at this price.
Our colour tests showed that the display can produce 84.9 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut, which is not bad, but it’s not the best display for tasks that require absolute colour accuracy, such as photo editing. Viewing angles are good and the tilt-adjustable stand means it’s comfortable to use.
The monitor has VGA inputs as well as a generous two HDMI connections, meaning you can easily connect a games console or set-top box and not have to worry about swapping cables.
We aren’t big fans of the included keyboard, which comes as part of an Octigen keyboard and mouse set. Its keys are overly spongy, without much travel, and it has a smaller than usual backspace key, which takes some getting used to. The mouse is comfortable enough to use, if rather basic.
The Wired2Fire Velocity Ultima shows itself to be a disappointing performer. Its processor is dated and you can find better gaming performance elsewhere. It does come with a versatile and good-looking 24in monitor, and the motherboard offers decent upgrade potential, but the Palicomp AMD Kaveri Evolution is a better all-round PC.
The Velocity Ultima scored 57 overall in our tests, which is slow even for a budget PC.