The Bottom Line
- Fast Dual Core Processor Performs Well For Gaming And Single Tasks
- Strong 3D Graphics Card
- Slower DDR Memory
- Lacks Secondary Graphics Card Slot For CrossFire
- Intel Core i5-650 Dual Core Desktop Processor
- 8GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- ATI Radeon HD 5770 Graphics Card With 1GB Memory
- Intel HDA 7.1 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet
- 10 USB 2.0, HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort
- Windows 7 Home Premium
Guide Review - Systemax AG-1601 Mainstream Desktop PC
Aug 17 2010 - Systmax markets the SG-1601 as a gaming system and this plays an important role in what parts they selected for the desktop. Most PC games are not optimized to use more than two processors cores. As a result, the system uses the Intel Core i5-650 dual core desktop processor instead of the more common quad core processors. This was one of Intel's fastest clocked dual core processor and it performs very well with games or single applications. It does lag behind quad core processor though when heavily multitasking or doing tasks such as desktop video.
The system handles multiple applications quite well thanks to the 8GB of DDR3 memory that Systemax puts in the SG-1601. Unlike most companies that are using the speedy 1333MHz modules, it uses slower 1066MHz modules. This lowers the performance of the system for applications that are very heavily dependent upon memory such as graphics and video editing work.
Storage features for the Systemax SG-1601 are pretty typical for a $1000 desktop PC. It comes equipped with a one terabyte hard drive that provides a good amount of space for applications, data and media files. A dual-layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CDs and DVDs. Unlike some major brand PCs, Systemax does not include an internal card reader.
Since Systemax markets the SG-1601 for gamers, the graphics systems is a pretty critical component. It uses the popular ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card that supports Direct X 11 and can play most games up to the 1920x1200 resolution. The card does lack performance for heavy filtering effects at this high resolution but it can do so for lower resolutions. On the whole, it is a nice graphics card for those looking at gaming. Systemax also includes a higher wattage 500 watt power supply that can allow it to run faster cards if the user is inclined to upgrade down the road.
Unfortunately, the SG-1601 does lack a second PCI-Express graphics card slot. This prevents users from adding in a second ATI graphics card for a CrossFire configuration to boost their 3D graphics performance. This is really disappointing since the 500 watt power supply should be able to handle a second Radeon HD 5770 card.
Overall, the Systemax SG-1601 does a fair job at a gaming specific system. Those hoping for a more general purpose system beyond gaming may be a bit disappointed by the lack of a quad core processor, Blu-ray drive or other features that can be found in similarly priced desktops from other companies.