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PC Specialist Fusion 945 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £649
inc VAT

Despite a reasonable specification, the Fusion 945 doesn't have the power, or the features required, to really stand out.


3GHz AMD Phenom II X4 945, 4.000000 RAM, 22in 1,680×1,050 display, Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit + Windows 7 Upgrade

PC Specialist

PC Specialist’s Fusion 945 isn’t particularly fast by current standards, especially not at this price.

Its AMD Phenom II X4 945 is hardly slow, but doesn’t compare well against the Intel Core i5 PCs that are available at the same price. The Fusion 945 is a fast PC and would have been in the running for an award if we’d seen it a few months ago. However, by opting for a cheaper processor, PC Specialist can afford to spend a bit more on the other components. Among the best of these is the monitor. The Acer 22 W is an excellent 22in widescreen display, with accurate colours and wide viewing angles.

The Fusion 945’s case is sturdy, reasonably attractive and adequately cooled. It doesn’t do much in terms of sound damping, but the fans don’t make a great deal of noise. The Asus M4A78 motherboard has three free PCI slots and one free PCI-E x1; a second is blocked off by the graphics card, a 512MB ATI Radeon 4670. This isn’t up to graphically intensive games such as Crysis without compromising on settings such as anti-aliasing, but it managed to run the less demanding Call of Duty 4 at a whisker under 30fps. If gaming is a priority, there are better-equipped PCs at this price, such as Mesh’s Matrix II 925 HD.

The 750GB hard disk provides plenty of storage. The memory card reader can handle all the usual digital camera formats except xD and brings the total number of front USB ports up to three. There are six at the back, along with an eSATA port, plus serial and parallel ports, which could be useful if you need support for old hardware. The keyboard and mouse – a wired Logitech set – are comfortable to use.

The collect-and-return warranty saves you the cost of sending the PC back to PC Specialist if a fault develops within 12 months. Unfortunately, despite this and the large 22in monitor, the Fusion 945’s specification pales next to Mesh’s Blu-ray-equipped Matrix II 925 HD and is totally outclassed in terms of power by the sheer might of the Core i5 PCs. RL Supplies’ Modula Performa is a better choice if you want great performance, particularly if you’re prepared to add extra RAM.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor AMD Phenom II X4 945
Processor external bus 200MHz (2GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplier x15
Processor clock speed 3GHz
Processor socket AM3
Level 1 cache 4x 128KB
Level 2 cache 4x 512KB
Memory 4.000000
Memory type PC2-6400
Maximum memory 16GB
Motherboard Asus M4A78
Motherboard chipset Nvidia nForce 720a
Power consumption standby 3W
Power consumption idle 76W
Power consumption active 142W


USB2 ports (front/rear) 3/6
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/1
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 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports 3
Free memory slots 2
Free 3.5in drive bays 2

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Western Digital Caviar (WD7500AADS-00L5B1)
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 750GB
Spindle speed 7,200rpm


Graphics card(s) 512MB ATI Radeon 4670
Graphics/video ports 2x DVI, TV out


Sound Via VT1708S
Sound outputs 7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, stereo out, mic in
Speakers none

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards SD, SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick, CompactFlash, MicroDrive, SmartMedia
Optical drive model HL-DT-ST GH22NS40
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Viewable size 22 in
Screen model Acer 22 W
Native resolution 1,680×1,050
Response time 5ms
Screen inputs DVI, VGA

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard Logitech Deluxe 250 Keyboard
Mouse Logitech M-UAE96


Software included Nero Burning Suite 7, Cyberlink PowerDVD 7
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit + Windows 7 Upgrade
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £649

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