Velocity ProMagix E2230 review: Velocity ProMagix E2230

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

The Good Solid build quality; strong performance in both games and day-to-day apps; plenty of room for expansion.

The Bad Power supply comes in under Nvidia's specs for adding two cards.

The Bottom Line Its competition's prices range in all directions, but Velocity Micro's E2230 strikes the right balance of performance, expandability and features. We wonder if the power supply is strong enough to withstand many aftermarket upgrades, but even as is, you'll be happy with this strong midrange desktop.

Visit for details.

7.8 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8
  • Support 7

Velocity Micro ProMagix E2230

We've already written about Velocity Micro's lower-end Best Buy PC; now we take a look at the ProMagix E2230, a more ambitious $2,100 desktop. Like the less-expensive E2035, the higher-end E2230 combines a dual-core Intel CPU and a Nvidia graphics card to skew toward those looking for a decent gaming PC with a relatively down-to-earth price. Velocity Micro delivers that with its customary attention to build quality and with a case that offers more expansion room than its competition. We have a concern about the power supply in this model, but overall, Velocity Micro has done an excellent job balancing performance, features, and cost.

The configuration of the Velocity Micro E2230 comes close to several others we've reviewed lately, although the pricing for all of these systems varies by a wide margin. The E2230 comes with a 2.67GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 processor, 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM, a single 400GB 7,200 rpm hard drive and a 320GB GeForce 8800 GTS graphics card. Compared to the $1,470 Gateway DX430X and AVA Direct's $2750 Core 2 Duo SLI PC, the Velocity Micro only differs from those PCs by a component or two. We like those other desktops well enough, but Velocity Micro is faster than both of them on our application tests and almost exactly as fast on gaming. Considering that the E2230 gives you more upgrade room than the Gateway and it costs $650 less than the AVA Direct system, it becomes clear that Velocity Micro found a strong middle ground here.

The E2230's upgrade room is a key distinction. Like the lower-cost (and much slower) Velocity Micro E2035, this system has room for a second graphics card via Nvidia's SLI technology. While the Gateway DX430X might look like a better deal, especially for gamers, it lacks the expandability of the E2230. But similar to the AVA Direct Core 2 Duo SLI, we have some concerns about the Velocity Micro's power supply to actually support a second 320GB GeForce 8800 GTS. Nvidia recommends at minimum a 650-watt PSU for two of those cards, depending on the number of watts going to the internal 12-volt power connectors. While it's likely that the Velocity's a 500-watt PSU would be able to handle two of those cards, we'd feel better if it had a power supply that met Nvidia's spec, especially if you wanted to add 8800 GTX cards or better down the road. We're less concerned about the Velocity Micro than we were with the AVA Direct, which had the same problem, because none of this PC's parts are overclocked.

Aside from the 3D card, you also get room for four more hard drives, two more sticks of RAM, two more PCI Express cards, and an additional optical drive, should you decide you need to make any upgrades after purchase. Because the E2230 is a Best Buy off-the-shelf system, what you see is what you get.

Fortunately, we like the rest of what we got. The Lightscribe DVD burner gives you all the standard-definition disc burning capabilities you'd expect. And unlike the E2035, this model blessedly includes a media card reader, in combination with a floppy drive. We were also happy to see Windows Vista Ultimate. Not even the $4,000 Editors' Choice-winning Velocity Micro Raptor DCX came with Microsoft's new high-end OS.

The Raptor beats this system on service and support, at least in terms of the duration of its warranty. Rather than three years, the E2230 only comes with a single year of parts and labor coverage. All the better to get suckered into a Best Buy protection plan, we suppose. Still, you can benefit from Velocity Micro's thorough Web site for the life of this system, and you can also refer to its toll-free phone support line. While not quite 24-7, the hours of operation run from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT on Saturday. That's not half bad.

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

Adobe Photoshop CS2 image-processing test
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
In seconds  

Apple iTunes encoding test
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
In seconds  

(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering Multiple CPUs  
Rendering Single CPU  

Quake 4 performance (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
2048 x 1536 (4x AA, 8x AF)  
1600 x 1200 (4xAA, 8x AF)  
1280 x 1024 (4x AA, 8x AF)  
AVA Direct Core 2 Duo SLI
Gateway DX430X
Velocity Micro ProMagix E2230
Cyberpower Gamer Ultra 8500 SE
Velocity Micro ProMagix E2035

Best Desktops for 2020

All best desktops

More Best Products

All best products