HyperSonic Fusion AMP

31 Oct, 2003 By: Ron LaFon Cadalyst

HyperSonic PC Systems

3.5 stars out of 5
The Fusion AMP is the first system Cadalyst Labs has tested from HyperSonic PC Systems, and it immediately stands out with one of the most distinctive cases of any reviewed here. The Fusion AMP’s midsize tower has a sculpted front side—including the drive bay door—with a blue neon-style light on the lower part. This is all distinguished by an enamel metallic blue aluminum case. The enamel finish, which is available in other colors, carries through to both the keyboard and the housing for the Microsoft mouse included with the system.

Based on what is now an older processor, the AMD 28001, the system produced predictably low performance figures, even with a speedy NVIDIA FX 3000 graphics card. Because the motherboard design supports only AGP 4X and the FX 3000 is a fully AGP 8X–compatible card, performance was somewhat hobbled. This, combined with the older AMD microprocessors, resulted in a performance score of C+ for the Fusion AMP. As we go to press, HyperSonic PC Systems has a system with dual AMD Opteron processors on a new motherboard from MSI that fully supports 8X AGP graphics, but we weren’t able to test it in time for this roundup.

Aside from the attractive and distinctive case, the configuration of the Fusion AMP includes a Creative Labs Audigy 5.1 sound card and a 3.5" floppy drive with a 7-in-1 memory card reader. It comes with a Pioneer DVD-R/Samsung combo, with speeds at 52× CD-R/W and 4× DVD-R, plus two USB 1.x and four USB 2.x connectors.

The Fusion AMP earned an A+ for pricing ($4,386). Even with all the included extras and the NVIDIA FX 3000 graphics card, it has the lowest price of any system reviewed here. The 12-month warranty coverage is weak, but because it includes all parts, labor, shipping costs, 24/7 support, and next-business-day onsite service, and you can buy an upgrade, I gave it an A-.

About the Author: Ron LaFon

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