The interior of the Enpower Velocity 05 SLI is as well assembled as you can expect from a modern PC. It seems that the origami cabling that was once the trademark of Falcon Northwest and Voodoo PC has become near universal (cough--except for Gateway--cough). That means clean airflow throughout the inside of this PC, as well easy access to drive bays and expansion slots for upgrading. Our configuration has two free memory slots, as well as room for three more hard drives and three more optical drives or other 5.25-inch bay hardware.
Card expansion is a little trickier. Technically, the motherboard has two additional x16 PCI Express slots and two free standard PCI slots. The spare PCI Express slots mean you can turn this PC into a dual-graphics-card, SLI gaming monster, but in order to do that not only will you need to pay an additional $325 for the second GeForce 8800 GTX card, you'll also need to put up another $162 or $257 for an 850-watt or 1,000-watt power supply, respectively. The default 600-watt power unit won't be able to handle two 8800 GTX 3D cards (although you could use it with a pair of lower-end 8800 GTS cards). It's also frustrating that if you don't know the power-supply info going in, PC Club's Web site offers no help in matching a power supply to a particular configuration.
That brings us to our final point: a gripe about PC Club's service and support. The warranty is fine; the default plan gets you a single year of parts-and-labor coverage. Phone support appears nonexistent, however. None of the included documents has a phone number to call, and the only place we could locate PC Club's main number (888-9PC-CLUB) was in the information on its Web site about how to obtain an RMA number for a return. Other support info on PC Club's Web site is hilariously out of date. If you want to figure out how to install a modem on your Windows Me machine, it has you covered. But if you're looking for a graphics card driver or any information that pertains to recent hardware or software, you're out of luck. To be fair, Polywell's online experience isn't that much better. Perhaps the boutique PC vendors have something to offer after all.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Apple Mac Pro
OS X 10.4.8; 2 x 3.0GHz Xeon 5160; 1,024MB DDR2 FB-SDRAM 667MHz; 512MB ATI Radeon X1900; 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm SATA/150
Dell XPS 710
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo X6800; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; (2) 512MB Nvidia GeForce 7950 GX2 (Quad SLI); (2) 150GB Western Digital 10,000rpm Serial ATA/150 hard drives (RAID 0); 750GB Seagate 7,200rpm Serial ATA hard drive
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 overclocked to 3.2GHz; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; (2) 512MB ATI Radeon X1950 XT (CrossFire Mode); (2) 150GB Western Digital 10,000rpm serial ATA/150 hard drives (RAID 0)
PC Club Enpower Velocity 05 SLI
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 768MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX; (2) 150GB Western Digital 10,000rpm Serial ATA/150 hard drives (RAID 0)
Polywell Poly i680 SLI Quad Core
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 768MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX; (2) 150GB Western Digital 10,000rpm Serial ATA/150 hard drives (RAID 0)
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