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CNET First Look
Velocity Micro Vector Holiday EditionVelocity Micro's Vector Holiday Edition offers one of the best deals we've ever seen in a mainstream PC. For under $1,000, this system provides a Blu-ray drive, overachieving speed, and room to grow in an attractive, well-built package. We enthusiastically...
-Hi, I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET.com. Today, we're gonna take a look at the Velocity Micro Vector Holiday Edition. So this $999 PC is an Editor's Choice system, and that's because it's one of the best deals we've ever seen. For that $999, you get a Blu-ray drive, wireless networking, an overclocked Core i5 CPU, a terabyte hard drive, 4 gigs of RAM, and a fast NVIDIA graphics card. Basically, this system has more features than we've ever seen in a PC for under $1000. It's faster than systems that cost $200 or $300 more, and it comes in a fantastic-looking, well-built case. Now, Velocity Micro says they're gonna offer this system until at least January 1st. So, you have a month to pick it up and we highly recommend that you do if you're all interested in the performance-oriented mainstream desktop. If it's popular enough, they may extend it into a Winter Edition, but we obviously have no guarantees. Now, you can see there's a pretty clean front side here. There's an SD card slot. It's got a couple of formats on it, as well as a Blu-ray drive up here. On the side, there's a couple of USB ports as well as FireWire and audio jacks. Now, onto the back, you can see all the connectivity ports back here and there's a lot of great options here, thanks to the motherboard. For data connections, you get 6 USB 2.0 ports, a couple of USB 3.0 jacks, as well as FireWire and eSATA inputs. That array of ports lets you connect pretty much any external devices on the market right now. For AV jacks, you get an optical digital audio output as well as standard 7.1 outs. Down to the video card, you get a couple of DVI jacks as well as a mini HDMI output. This is no living room system but it's still nice to have the option. Now, this clean design is pretty typical of Velocity Micro's desktops. All the cables are bound and tied out of the way; makes upgrades and removing parts very easy. You can see there's a lot of room for hard drives over here. You've got 1 drive installed (that's a terabyte drive) as well as room for 5 additional drives you can plug in. Now, here's one of the more impressive features about this PC. There's a Core i5 CPU underneath that fan right there. Now, that's a Quad Core CPU that ships at 2.8 gigs, but Velocity Micro's overclocked it to 3.6. Now, overclocking is impressive for a few reasons. It gives you better performance (that's pretty obvious) but Velocity Micro managed to do it with stocked fans. That means you don't have to pay for liquid cooling or some other features that would add to the price of this PC. Also, we found that the overclocking is rock-solid stable, and we know this because it had no problems on our stability test. So, you can see the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 graphics card here. That's a nice fast mid-range card. It should play pretty much any game out there at decent resolution and image quality. If you want more graphics performance though, this system does have room for a second graphics card down here, as well as a 600-watt power supply that should be able to support a second mid-range card. We probably wouldn't try to add 2 high-end cards to this system, but 2 upper mid-range cards should be totally fine. Now, there are 2 PCI slots on the motherboard, but one of them is currently occupied by the wireless card. But if you're gonna add a second graphics card to the system, you'd wanna take the wireless card from where it is now and move it to that higher spot to make room. So, given all those features, its build quality and its impressive $999 price, this system is easy to recommend as an Editor's Choice. So, I'm Rich Brown. This is the Velocity Micro Vector Holiday Edition.