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Novatech Realm Pro review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £532.35
inc VAT

Despite good 3D performance, the relatively slow processor and poor monitor mean the Realm Pro is overshadowed by other PCs here.


2.8GHz AMD Athlon X2 7850, 4.000000 RAM, 18.5in 1,366×768 display, Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit


With its dark grey case, the Realm Pro doesn’t look particularly special.

It’s the biggest PC on test and, thanks to tool-free screws, its components are easy to access. A large duct on the side panel helps to funnel heat generated by the processor, while a rear case fan aids the circulation of air.

Despite the large case, the components are a little cramped inside, with one end of the graphics card sitting right over a SATA port. In effect, the graphics card also writes off the two spare PCI slots: it sits directly over one slot, and placing a full-size PCI card in the other would block the graphics card’s fan, which could increase the temperature inside the case.

Novatech has opted for an AMD processor and 4GB of RAM. Instead of a quad-core Phenom, however, it’s chosen a 2.8GHz Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition. This has an unlocked multiplier, making it easy to overclock. Unfortunately for Novatech, it isn’t particularly fast to start with and is much slower than quad-core processors in our video-encoding test.

Thanks to an ATI Radeon HD 4830, the Realm Pro was able to post some decent results in our 3D tests, achieving 47.3fps in Call of Duty 4 at a resolution of 1,680×1,050. Novatech sells the base unit on its own for £447 including VAT, so you can choose your own monitor, but for this review it supplied a 19in Acer display. At the native resolution of 1,366×768, Call of Duty 4 ran at 63.9fps.

We weren’t hugely impressed with the VGA-only display, though. Viewing angles are a little restrictive and text wasn’t as sharp as it is on the Iiyama screen that comes with the Mesh Matrix II TT. We’ve no complaints with the bundled Logitech keyboard and mouse aside from the lack of extra function keys, such as media short cut buttons.

While the processor is a little underpowered, the Realm Pro is still well rounded, thanks to decent 3D performance. The problem for Novatech is that Mesh’s cheaper Matrix has a better monitor, plus a faster graphics card and processor for £33 less.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor AMD Athlon X2 7850
Processor external bus 200MHz (1.8GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplier x14
Processor clock speed 2.8GHz
Processor socket AM2+
Level 1 cache 2x 128KB
Level 2 cache 2x 512KB
Memory 4.000000
Memory type PC2-6400
Maximum memory 4GB
Motherboard Foxconn A6VMX
Motherboard chipset ATI RS690
Power consumption standby 2W
Power consumption idle 94W
Power consumption active 172W


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support none
Other ports VGA

Internal Expansion

Case midi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports 2
Free memory slots 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 3

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Hitachi Deskstar P7K500 HDP725050GLA360
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 500GB
Spindle speed 7,200rpm


Graphics card(s) 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4830
Graphics/video ports HDMI, DVI, VGA


Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Sound outputs stereo line out
Speakers none

Removable Drives

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


Viewable size 18.5 in
Screen model Acer X193HQ
Native resolution 1,366×768
Response time 5ms
Screen inputs VGA

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard Logitech Y-UT76
Mouse Logtech M-BU115


Software included Microsoft Works 9
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option none

Buying Information

Warranty TBC
Price £532

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