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Wed 22 Dec 2004 04:00 AM

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Everex does PC double

Everex Systems has introduced two new PC models aimed at gamers and digital entertainment fans.

Everex Systems has introduced two new PC models aimed at gamers and digital entertainment fans. The firm’s new Condor is a small form factor (SFF) gaming system that the company claims packs in as much performance as a standard desktop PC, while Everex is pushing its new Spectra desktop as a centre for digital home entertainment.

Everex’s Condor is based on Intel’s 865G Pentium 4 platform, allowing it to support CPUs at speeds of 3.2GHz and above. The Condor features embedded on-board graphics, though demanding users can improve matters by adding an AGP 8x video accelerator card. It also supports Intel’s Prescott processors and includes a PCI expansion slot, allowing for further component upgrades.

In terms of inputs and outputs the Condor offers plenty, with six USB, one Firewire, SPDIF, headphone, microphone and PS/2 style keyboard and mouse connections. Everex reckons to have gone the extra mile to make sure gamers aren’t distracted by whirring fan noise as it says the Condor’s acoustic, thermal design produces less than 24db of noise. The company is also making a big play of the Condor’s tool-less chassis, which can be opened by simply pressing a button, giving gamers quick access to internal components and making maintenance and upgrading a cinch.

The Spectra meanwhile is the latest addition to Everex’s suite of entertainment PCs. Powered by the latest Intel P4 Prescott processor with hyper threading, this system lets users listen to the radio and MP3 files, watch TV or DVDs on an existing television, and record their favorite programs using the integrated Personal Video Recorder (PVR).

The Spectra also features integrated ‘g’ standard wireless LAN (WLAN 802.11g) and can function as a wireless access point, allowing users to run a wireless network from the PC without their having to purchase a standalone access point product. Further Spectra features include 7.1 channel audio, an 8-in-1 media card reader, a dual-format DVD writer and no less than six USB ports. The system runs Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center Edition.

“Consumers are always seeking more options especially entertainment capabilities from their home PC," commented Hassan Ashi, managing director for Everex System’s Middle East. "The Everex Spectra makes this possible by enabling consumers to enjoy the best of digital entertainment and personal computing without comprising any of the two functionalities.”

Pricing for Everex’s two new models depends upon configuration, but ranges from $750 to $900 for the Condor and $1250-$1350 for the Spectra entertainment PC.

Everex has unveiled several entertainment centre PCs in the region over recent months, though the jury still appears to be out on how much such products can offer users a usable TV service. This is not down to the products themselves but a lack of support in the region for Microsoft’s Media Center OS. Though the software giant recently launched the 2005 version of the OS in the US and Europe, it has declined to roll out the platform here due to the software’s Electronic Program Guide not being fully supported. According to Mazen Shehadah, product marketing manager for Microsoft South Gulf, this lack of support is down to the difficulty of getting such a broad range of TV content providers on-board.

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