Wired2Fire Diablo Ultima: £699 gaming demon

Laptops will one day rule the Earth, munching the carcasses of desktops and belching IOMega Zip drives as they go. But until that day, here's a dirt-cheap gaming PC

The demise of the desktop PC has long been foretold. The prophets say laptops will one day rule the Earth, feeding off the carcasses of old ATX boxes, belching  Iomega Zip drives as they go. The doom-mongers are probably right, but let's be clear: as great as laptops are, nothing beats a desktop machine for sheer value.

Take, for example, the Wire2Fire Diablo Ultima. It's an exceptionally capable gaming PC, and it only costs £699. It uses an Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 overclocked to 3.2GHz, a BFG 8800GT 512MB graphics card, 2GB of Corsair DDR2 PC6400 memory, a 250GB hard drive, a DVD rewriter and a 530W Hiper power supply unit. A laptop with a similar spec would require the ritual massacre of a whole herd of piggy banks.

The whole thing is encased in a CoolerMaster Centurion chassis, which offers decent cooling -- an important factor given the overclocked CPU. There's plenty of space to upgrade with extra drives and the Asus P5KC motherboard comes with a second PCI Express slot, so you can add a second graphics card if you're uber-l33t.

We're about to get elbow deep in the Diablo Ultimate, so you can expect a full review in the near future. In the meantime, you can have a look at it, and its equally hellacious relatives, at the Wired2Fire Web site. -Rory Reid