3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2014
I replace my desktop PC at home about every 6 or 7 years, so this is an upgrade from a Windows Vista machine that's powered by Intel Core 2 duo with an nVidia GeForce 8600 GT graphics card. Needless to say this new Tytan beast from Asus is a MASSIVE leap forwards for me in terms of performance and capability. I have always had Intel processors with nVidia graphics cards and they have never let me down, so I tend to stick with what I know and reward that reliability with my loyalty. I generally settle for something mid-range, so the Intel Core i5 with nVidia GTX650 fitted the bill perfectly - and the budget.
When I took delivery, the first thing that astounded me was the sheer size and weight of it. I know these are both listed in the item description above, but to be honest I didn't really pay much attention to it. I just looked at the picture and thought it was a 'typical' mid-range desktop size, but this thing is huge - bigger than any desktop I've ever had before. Setting up is quick and easy, just plug in the supplied wired keyboard and mouse (the mouse is a very basic two button with a scroll wheel), power up and connect to the monitor. There are no monitor cables supplied, so you will need either a HDMI, VGA or Dual-link DVI's for a twin monitor set-up.
Fasten the included wi-fi antenna to the back of the PC for easy connection to your home wi-fi.
Pressing a discreet 'push' symbol on the front of the tower causes the spring-loaded panel to pop out and glide down in a very satisfying fashion to reveal the optical drive and card readers. You have to manually push it back up against it's will to close it, and press the 'push' symbol again with a double-click to latch it shut. Upon power-up the front lights glow blue, which indicates the machine is not running overclocked. The fans are audible but no more than you'd expect for a machine of this build.
There is a button to overclock the machine which turns the lights red and the fans then blow very fast and noisy. It is unlikely that I will ever use this so regrettably I can't comment on the effectiveness of it.
Then loads up Widows 8. Oh dear.
I knew from the start that I wanted to upgrade the OS to 8.1, which you can't do until all the outstanding Windows 8 updates have been completed. All 94 of them (as of 27th June 2014). It took 5 hours and 45 minutes before my machine was finally running Windows 8.1, and then shortly after, my screen went black with nothing but a white pointer on it. It was dead.
I powered up the old machine and frantically searched the internet for reports of this phenomenon, and there are plenty out there. Everyone seemed to have a different solution to the problem and I just didn't know what to try. I read everything from having to re-load Windows 8 to uninstalling your graphics card, not something I wanted to be doing on a brand new PC (and it doesn't come with any Windows installation disc anyway).
In the end I just pressed and held the power button on the tower to shut it down, waited a bit, then turned it back on again with my fingers crossed. Thankfully, everything was fine and Windows 8.1 loaded up as normal. Phew. What I 'think' had happened, is that Windows 8.1 had downloaded and installed a background update for the nVidia graphics card, which needed a hard re-boot. It's just disappointing that the machine wasn't supplied with all this already done.
This review could now easily turn into a rant about all the things that are wrong with Windows 8 on a conventional desktop PC, but instead I will sign off with a few tips about how you can quickly make it more like what you're used to (it took me another 3 hours to figure all this out).
Windows 8 does not come with any software for downloading e-mail from a POP3 server such as BT Yahoo! Mail. You will need to download and install Windows Essentials 2012 to do that.
If you want your proper start button back, download and install 'Classic Shell' and then you'll be about as close as you can get to the Windows of old.
The machine is pre-loaded with a free trial of McAfee antivirus. If you have BT Broadband, downloading your free BT NetProtect Plus (powered by McAfee) is simple, as it automatically removes the trial version and replaces it with the BT version.
Overall I'm pleased with it. Only 4 stars because of all the hassle (nearly a full day) in setting it up.