Velocity Micro ProMagix E2240 review: Velocity Micro ProMagix E2240

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

The Good Clean design; speedy gaming and overall performance; allows for upgrade to dual 3D graphics cards.

The Bad Short on digital-media-oriented features; newer graphics cards offer more bang-for-the-buck.

The Bottom Line Velocity Micro's ProMagix E2240 is perhaps the fastest preconfigured gaming desktop you can find on store shelves. It might not offer all of the features you want in a PC to anchor your digital lifestyle, but that's not really its point. Instead, this system lives up to its admirable goal of providing solid 3D gaming performance, and also offering room to grow.

Visit for details.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Support 8

We've already reviewed Velocity Micro's ProMagix A50, which is the dual core, Circuit City version of this four-core Best Buy-only ProMagix E2240 midrange gaming system. The two are similar in price ($1,999), design, and configuration. Really, the only significant difference is the performance of the E2240, which, thanks to its overclocked Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor, comes out ahead. You'll want to avoid both of these system if you're looking for a TV tuner or other multimedia trappings, but any gamer in the market for a fast, clean system with a strong foundation for upgrading will be satisfied if they opt for Velocity's Best Buy rig.

As we noted in the review of the ProMagix A50, the E2240 is a new case design for Velocity Micro, but it maintains the company's straightforward approach to system building. You get very little in the way of front-panel ports or other business. The just-the-basics configuration gets you a media card reader, a dual-layer DVD burner (with LightScribe), and that's about it. There's also no TV tuner, nor wireless-networking capability. Velocity doesn't even include a remote control. Instead, this system is meant mostly for raw computing power, with an emphasis on 3D gaming.

  Velocity Micro ProMagix E2240 Velocity Micro ProMagix A50
Price $1,999 $1,999
CPU 2.7GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 3.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6850
Motherboard chipset Nvidia NForce 650i SLI Nvidia NForce 650i SLI
Memory 2GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM 2GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM
Graphics 320GB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 320GB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS
Hard drive (2) 320GB 7,200rpm (2) 320GB 7,200rpm
Optical drives 16x dual-layer DVD burner w/LightScribe 16x dual-layer DVD burner w/LightScribe
Operating system Windows Vista Ultimate Windows Vista Ultimate

The specs of the ProMagix E2240 show its gaming roots clearly enough. By overclocking the Core 2 Quad Q6600 from 2.4GHz to 2.7GHz, Velocity addresses the common complaint about quad-core chips (that they lose raw speed to faster dual-core CPUs), while preserving the benefit of the added processing threads. And because an ever-growing library of games is coming out that can take advantage of multiple CPU cores, any speed trade-off that's left in favor of dual-core chips is becoming less of an advantage.

Our performance charts bear this out. The only test on which the A50 outpaced the E2240 was on our iTunes test, which remains fairly sensitive to CPU speed. But on memory-intensive Photoshop and multicore-friendly Quake 4, you can see why the quad-core E2240 ends up being the better choice. And it's no surprise that the E2240 beat the A50 on the Cinebench test, which is designed to highlight the benefits of quad-core CPUs. But it's also interesting to see on that test and on the Photoshop test how Velocity Micro's overclocking gives the E2240 a leg up against other quad-core systems, including the HP and the Gateway, which both come with a stock version of the same chip, but with 3GB of RAM.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Velocity Micro ProMagix E2240
Apple iMac
Dell XPS 420

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Velocity Micro ProMagix E2240
Apple iMac
Dell XPS 420

(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering Multiple CPUs  
Rendering Single CPU  
Velocity Micro ProMagix E2240
Gateway GM5632E
HP Pavilion Elite m9040n
Dell XPS 420
Apple iMac

Quake 4 performance (in frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,280 x 1,024 (4x AA, 8x AF)  
Velocity Micro ProMagix E2240
Dell XPS 420
Apple iMac

The ProMagix E2240's dominant performance helps make up for its higher price compared with those other quad-core systems, although you might rightfully wonder why it costs $800 more than the HP but lacks the multimedia-oriented features. The chief reason is because of the Velocity's higher-end graphics card, which is significantly faster than the HP's budget card. The E2240 (and the A50 as well), also have SLI-capable motherboards, which means you can add another graphics card to this system post purchase, for an ever further boost to 3D performance. The other systems in our charts can't offer that upgrade path.

In the time since this system hit shelves, Nvidia has released its new GeForce 8800 GT 3D card, which promises better performance and a lower price than the 8800 GTS in both of these Velocity systems. You might take that into consideration when shopping in the store, since you can't make prepurchase changes to in-store systems. Velocity Micro also has no plans to revise the current in-store configuration. It would be fair to say that Nvidia's new chips may have this system looking a bit outdated, but the ProMagix E2240 is also a better gamer in this price range than anything else on store shelves, at least, if not online.

Best Desktops for 2020

All best desktops

More Best Products

All best products