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Eclipse Eco a50 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £400
inc VAT

A well-equipped PC with decent upgrade potential and good performance at a bargain price; only the low-resolution display is a disappointment.


2.6GHz AMD Athlon X2 5050e, 2.000000 RAM, 18.5in 1,366×768 display, Windows Vista Home Premium

Eclipse Computers

Eclipse has managed to submit a complete PC, including an 18.5in widescreen display, for just £400 including VAT.

To keep the price down, the Eco a50 uses some budget components, but Eclipse has done a good job of picking them so that there are no obvious weak areas.

The 2.6GHz dual-core Athlon 64 X2 5050e processor may be one of AMD’s older chips, but it’s still capable. The 2GB of RAM helped this PC managed an overall benchmark score twice that of Novatech’s Ion Fusion nettop.

As you’d expect at this price, there’s no dedicated graphics card, and the onboard Radeon 3100 graphics chip isn’t capable of playing games. However, it can decode 1080p HD video, so you could use your PC to watch movies if you add a Blu-ray drive. For would-be gamers, there’s a free PCI Express x16 slot, so adding a dedicated graphics card such as Sapphire’s £84 Radeon HD 4830 is easy. As the motherboard supports Hybrid CrossFireX, you can add an ATI card and use both graphics chips together for slightly better performance.

As well as the free graphics card slot, there are two free RAM slots for up to 8GB of memory, although you’d have to switch to the 64-bit version of Windows to take advantage of all that RAM. Expansion isn’t limited to the inside of the case, as a total of eight USB ports provide plenty of room for peripherals.

The 18.5in widescreen monitor seems a real bonus at this price, but it’s not quite as good as we’d hoped for and it has a resolution of 1,366×768, the same as a 720p HD TV. This appears quite a low resolution for the monitor’s size. Fortunately, picture quality is excellent, with accurate colours and a bright, even backlight. There’s a range of preset picture settings, so you can quickly change the image settings to match the content you’re viewing.

If performance is more important than size but you still want a PC on a low budget, the Eco A50 is a better choice than the nettops. For just £400 you get a decent computer, although if you can stretch your budget further, Mesh’s Nero 9950HD is a better choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor AMD Athlon X2 5050e
Processor external bus 200MHz (1GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplier x13
Processor clock speed 2.6GHz
Processor socket AM2
Level 1 cache 2x 128KB
Level 2 cache 2x 512KB
Memory 2.000000
Memory type DDR2
Maximum memory 8GB
Motherboard Asus M3A78-CM
Motherboard chipset AMD 780G
Power consumption standby 5W
Power consumption idle 59W
Power consumption active 97W


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support none
Other ports none

Internal Expansion

Case midi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports 4
Free memory slots 2
Free 3.5in drive bays 2

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Samsung HD502HI
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 500GB
Spindle speed 5,400rpm


Graphics card(s) ATI Radeon 3100
Graphics/video ports VGA, DVI, DisplayPort


Sound VIA HD Audio
Sound outputs 7.1 line out
Speakers none

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards none
Optical drive model TSSTcorp SH-S223B
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Viewable size 18.5 in
Screen model Blue H H95W
Native resolution 1,366×768
Response time 5ms
Screen inputs DVI, VGA

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard Microsoft Wired Keyboard 400 v1.0
Mouse Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse v2.1


Software included none
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £400

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