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Elonex Artisan VX Viiv media centre PC

Viiv arrives in the UK

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Review Elonex might not be the first brand you think of when you're going to buy a computer and even less so as a supplier for your next PVR/DVD recorder. But Elonex has been making some excellent Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) PCs for quite some time. Its latest mode, the Artisan VX, is one of the first Intel Viiv-branded PCs that you can actually buy...

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The Viiv branding means the Artisan VX has an Intel CPU, although you might be disappointed to know that it's a standard, 90nm dual-core entium D 820 clocked at 2.8GHz rather than a more modern, low-power, 65nm Core Duo CPU. The desktop chip is still part of the Viiv spec and the low clock speed ought to make for a quieter machine. The motherboard is based on Intel's decent i945G chipset.

The chipset's own graphics have been replaced by a Nvidia GeForce 7300 LE graphics card - not the most powerful around, but it adds DVI and component video ports, which the integrated graphics chipset doesn't offer. The current version of the Artisan VX doesn't support HDCP, but this will be on offer as soon as suitable graphics cards are available, Elonex said.

MCE PCs require at least 1GB of DDR 2 memory, and that's just what Elonex has fitted. Storage is provided by a 200GB Samsung SATA hard drive - an ample capacity for recording TV shows and transferring content from cameras and the like, but not perhaps enough if the Artisan VX is going to be your main PC.

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