With our commitment to only offering the best system specifications around we thought it was a good time to reassess the Pro PC range to see if there is anything we could be doing better.
Well, I am pleased to say that we have again managed to upgrade the performance of these machines without compromising build quality or price.
A Brief History Of The Pros
Our Pro level computers were introduced to offer customers a lower cost way of achieving multi-screen computing.
Speaking with our customers we noted that some wanted a machine with a high number of screens connected but the software running on the machines was not particularly intensive, an example of this would be a charting package for trading use or perhaps just multiple browsers open to view internet feeds simultaneously.
We experimented and came up with a computer specification which met these needs perfectly and it continues to be a good option for some of our customers.
Why Have We Upgraded Them Then?
We like to ship really top quality computers that both look good and perform well. Both the Ultra and Extremes meet this criteria easily but we felt that the Pros were slightly lacking in a few areas.
The use of a traditional (spinning) hard drive for the main boot drive really affects performance when directly compared to a machine with a solid state boot drive (SSD). The difference in boot time and program launching is really noticeable.
If you are used to using a machine with a solid state boot drive then using a Pro with a traditional drive feels like a real step back in performance.
In terms of aesthetics to be honest Iíve never been a massive fan of the CoolerMaster Elite 300 series cases. Donít get me wrong, they are good quality cases and look a lot better than many other cases on the market, but I personally felt they were again lacking in comparison to the gorgeous Antec 302 cases used on the Ultra and Extreme computers.
So What Are The Specific Changes?
Well, we have addressed the boot drive issue head on and now all Pros come with an SSD boot drive as standard! We have gone with a Kingston 60GB SSD drive which can be upgraded on the options to a 120GB one.
We have also left traditional drives as available options in case we have any customers who want to bypass the benefit of the SSD and just go for raw storage space on their C drive.
Note, people who want an SSD for the speed but need a lot of storage space can add in a secondary hard drive on the upgrade options.
Okay, now Iíll address the elephant in the roomÖ
Anybody who knows about computers will point out that a 60GB boot drive is pretty small, well yes, you are right it is small, but our testing has shown that it is actually enough for the vast majority of use cases of this computer.
Once Windows has been installed on the computer and all the latest security updates, drivers and patches have been applied a Windows 7 Pro computer will still have around 28GB of C drive space remaining, this rises to around 33GB for Windows 8 users.
This is ample space to install the vast majority of extra software packages needed, for example Google Chrome will take up only around 70 Ė 80 Mb as a basic installation and Office 2013 (which is a big piece of software) only needs less than 3GB of drive space for installation.
Trading software like MetaTrader 4 will consume much less than 1GB, so you can see that for many people 60GB will actually be enough space. For people wanting a bit more than the 120GB upgrade option is there for you.
We have also moved across to using ASUS motherboards on the dual, quad and six screen capable Pros, these are better quality motherboards than the previous Gigabyte boards and offer great reliability and performance.
For looks we have upgraded to the new CoolerMaster N400 cases, these are visually much nicer than the previous case choice, they also feature 4 front mounted USB ports, 2 of which are USB 3 so this is really convenient.
Finally, we have upgraded the case cooling system whilst simultaneously making them quieter computers. This has been achieved by adding a front mounted case fan in addition to the rear case fan positioned close to the CPU cooler. To reduce noise levels the new front mounted fan is fitted with a manual fan controller which is tuned down to reduce spin speeds and noise.
For the 6 and 8 screen versions of the Pro we also add in a 3rd case fan mounted on the side panel which blows air directly across the graphics cards to aid with cooling, again this fan is manually tuned down to provide good airflow without causing any additional noise.
So Who Should Buy The Pro Computers?
These upgrades really improve the performance of the Pro machines, there is no doubt about that, they are fantastic for people with low to medium usage requirements.
Examples of this would be watching Internet feeds through browsers, using charting packages like MetaTrader 4, desktop office usage like Word or Excel, and general email use.
Upgrade options are there to allow more intensive program support as well.
What Are The Differences Between This And The Ultra Machines?
If you compare the spec and price of a Pro to an Ultra machine you will see that you can almost match an upgraded Pro to a base specification Ultra but at a cheaper cost, so why would someone choose an Ultra over a Pro?
With an Ultra machine the main differences are the graphics cards, CPU cooling and the case.
The graphics cards are quite a bit more powerful than the ones in the Pro PC which can help performance levels on software with fast updating graphics.
The CPU cooler used on an Ultra is upgraded and offers better cooling and a quieter experience, this extra cooling is nice on the i5 CPU and is better for the i7 upgrade which is available on the Ultras but is not available for the Pros.
The case used on the Ultras is larger, has slightly better build quality and offers slightly better cooling than the N400 on the Pros. It is pretty much a silent PC in operation, the Pro is really (really) quiet, but emits more of a hum than the Ultras.
Finally, the better case size, cooling and CPU cooler allow us to offer higher levels of upgrade options on the Ultras than we would be able to do on the Pros, so they can be specíd up to a much higher performance level if required.
So there you have it, a full low down on the Pro computers, as ever if you have any further questions simply let us know!
Written by Darren @ Multiple Monitors
Last Updated: May, 2014