System builders guide, USB 3.0 HDD enclosure, and gamer PCs

‘Tis the season to be… working on your new PC. Tom’s Hardware has been posting a system builders guide for December, with the latest giving a detailed overview of the value of different priced rigs. Performance, power usage and overall efficiency are all compared, so you can get a good idea of what kit to buy in the pre-Christmas rush.

TweakTown reviewed the ineo Technology I-NA215U Plus, USB3.0 hard drive enclosure, which is part of the wonderfully named iPile Series. It gained a rating of 90 percent and a Best Value Award, being commended for its low price and high performance, while at the same time being ridiculed for its “lame” name.

AMD’s Radeon HD 6900 Series of graphics cards have barely hit the stores and iBuyPower has already released the Gamer Mage D335 and Gamer Mage D345 gamer PCs, which come with a HD 6950 and HD 6970 respectively, according to HotHardware. Prices come in at $1039 and $1,459 respectively.

HardwareHeaven tested the highly-anticipated Asus HD 6870 DirectCU graphics card, giving it 9 out of 10 and a Silver Award. It received brownie points for its good overclocked performance, great thermal cooling and very low noise levels, but the lack of a bundled game or HDMI cable prevented it from excelling in the value category.

PC Advisor reviewed the Freecom Hard Drive XS, a USB 2.0 storage device that comes in 1TB, 1.5TB and 2TB capacities. It was relatively well-received for its slim design and rubber cover, but its password-protection feature causes some problems with the drive not being recognised by the computer.

The HP Mini 5103 netbook was reviewed at AnandTech. This device features a 1.5GHz Atom N550 processor, which was slated as a bit dated. The netbook was classed as “decent”, but more powerful alternatives are already on the market.