Wired2Fire Diablo Nucleus Review – A fast PC with a twist

Well, this is a first. For manufacturers building a desktop PC always means balancing one component against another: where should they spend a bit extra, and where can they safely skimp to keep within your budget? £600 is a realistic amount for a general-purpose system at the moment, and we’ve seen quite a few at this price. But it takes some clever compromises to make the money stretch far enough in all directions, and with this configuration Wired2Fire has gone down a route we haven’t seen before in a machine of this type – it’s ditched the hard drive.

Wired2Fire Diablo Nucleus Review

For everyday multitasking as well as more demanding tasks, you can’t do better.

Now, before you shake your head sadly thinking that sterling’s exchange rate has forced their hand into this cost-cutting exercise, this isn’t as daft as it sounds. Windows 10 comes installed on an SSD, which may have a capacity of just 240GB (less than a quarter of the usual 1TB hard drive), but it works a lot faster. It’s a highly effective choice, combining with Intel’s 3.2GHz i5 processor to put the Diablo Nucleus right at the top of our performance results in this price bracket.

Both for everyday multitasking and for demanding tasks like photo and video editing, you really can’t do better.

Even 240GB is quite hard to fill with software and office files, but larger files like photos, videos and music will need more space. If you already have a spare 2.Sin or 3.5in SATA hard drive, you can install it in one of the three available bays in the compact Thermaltake Versa H15 chassis.

If not, you could wait and add one later, or save yourself the job by taking one of Wired2Fire’s numerous options when you order the system, starting for a decent 1TB Seagate Barracuda drive – the same price you’d pay if you shopped around for it online.

That omission aside, the Diablo Nucleus leaves little to be desired. For gaming, there’s a Radeon RX 460 graphics card with a reasonable 2GB of memory, which will also help with compatible photo and video programs. It can’t keep up with the likes of the RX 480 or the rival Nvidia GTX1060, but we even managed to run demanding 3D games in Full HD by turning down some quality settings. This was the only part of our test that produced more than a whisper of fan noise, while the single case fan and Intel processor cooler got by with just a mild whirr, helped by airflow-friendly mesh panels. If you upgrade to a hotter graphics card later, there’s room for up to four big 120mm fans and a 240mm water-cooling radiator.

You could also fit a DVD or Blu-ray drive in the 5.25in optical bay, and the standard 8GB of memory is helpfully provided as a single module, leaving three slots free for more. The second PCI-Express x16 slot (the first is filled by the RX 460) doesn’t provide enough room to double up the graphics card, but you could fit a Wi-Fi adapter or a good-quality sound card, while you also get one PCIe x1 and one basic PCI slot. A total of two HDMI, two DisplayPort, two dual- link DVI-D ports and one VGA give you plenty of options for connecting monitors, and there are plenty of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 sockets too, but no ultra-fast USB 3.1 ports.

SPECIFICATIONS

3.2GHz Intel 15-6500 quad-core processor • 8GB memory • Sapphire Radeon RX 460 graphics card • 240GB SSD • 5x USB 3.0 3x USB 2.0 • Gigabit Ethernet • 2x HDMI ports 2x DisplayPort 2x DVI ports • VGA port • Windows 10 Home 475x210x491mm (HxWxD) Two-year warranty

It’s possible to find a machine at this price with a better graphics card or more expansion space, but the i5-6500 is money well spent, making the Diablo Nucleus a fine all-round PC with scope for upgrading.

VERDICT:

A hard drive is optional, but all the essentials for great performance are present and correct in this well thought-out system

ALTERNATIVE:

PC Specialist RX1 GT

An eight-core AMD processor, an RX 460 and 1TB hard drive makes this a decent alternative

10 Total Score
Wired2Fire Diablo Nucleus

A hard drive is optional, but all the essentials for great performance are present and correct in this well thought-out system

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