Gaming PC Review - TRU Computers Muon

Friday, 29 June 2012 06:39 PM Written by 

If you’re like me, you enjoy gaming on a PC and you know what makes a good gaming PC, but you don’t have the time or skills necessary to build one yourself. The folks at TRU Computers have a product that may help this situation with their top-of-the-line gaming rig called, “The Muon.”

I spent ample time with The Muon and put it through a gamut of tests featuring many different types of computer games and settings. Here were my findings.

 

The Look

The look of the Muon reflects its mission of power. It’s a beast. The fire engine red metal case houses the innards with blue LED lighting around the fans. If you’re not a fan of red, it’s available in other colors, including hot pink for lady gamers.

The disk drive is hidden by a magnetic door in the front, keeping the profile of the machine looking smooth and clean. There are fans on the top, sides and rear of the machine, which are behind black metal grates. Essential ports can be found atop of the Muon for easy access to USB, audio, microphone and SATA ports.


The Specs

Here’s the oft-important spec rundown of the Muon. If a section has multiple items, that means that portion is upgradable.

Processor

Intel Core i5 - 200k 3.7 ghz Turbo Boost Quad Core

Hard Drive

Green 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0GB/S

Video

Radeon HD 6790 1GB 256 Bit GDDR5

(Upgradable to dual Radeons via CrossFireX)

Memory

8GB DDR3 PC3 12800

(Maximum Memory Supported – 32GB)

Optical

DVD Burner – 24x DVD+R, 8X DVDRW

OR

Blu Ray Burner – 12X BD-R 2X BD-RW 16X DVD+ROM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache

Power Supply

Green 500W 80 Plus Bronze Cert. Active PFC

OS

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit

Ports

DVI, AVI, HDMI, Optical Audio, USB 2.0 (4), USB 3.0 (2), phone, mic

 

The Performance

I put this computer to a serious gaming test. I played first-person shooters, strategy, MMO, and action games on many different settings and modes, and with multiple monitors. The Muon handled it all beautifully. Seldom did the frame rate dip below 60 FPS, even on demanding games like “Crysis 2.” Older games like “Bioshock” and even “Portal 2” often ran above 100 FPS when the vertical sync was disabled.

Demanding single-player games like “Skyrim” stay at the favorable 60-FPS level on high settings as well. MMOs are no sweat. The most demanding MMO out right now is “Rift,” and the system handles it.

The only game the Muon struggled with was today’s ultimate gaming test of “Battlefield 3.” With the maxed-out “Ultra” settings, the rig slowed to about 30 FPS. The system is better suited for “High” graphical settings, which are still quite demanding. If you spring for the dual Radeons, you’ll be able to run “BF3” on Ultra.

The system’s biggest problem was with anti-aliasing on demanding games. Even “BF3” became playable with Ultra textures when the anti-aliasing was turned off. Other first-person shooters had similar results. Again, adding the extra video card will alleviate the issue.

The numerous ports at your disposal open the opportunity for multiple monitors. You should go for it if you have the room. This PC can certainly handle it.

If you drop coin on a gaming PC, there is the chance that you will use it for other things other than gaming. The Muon is superbly snappy when browsing the web or watching videos. Even when a game is paused in the background, the extra RAM works well to open extra programs and handle additional video.

A stand-out feature of the Muon is its “green” system. Both the power supply and the hard drive are high-efficiency parts, cutting down on system heat and energy costs. If the system is quiet and cool when running demanding games, that means the system is working well. Efficiency is key.


The Value

The Muon is a premium computer with a premium price of $1399. This package comes with:

  • 12 months of maintenance and virus protection
  • Microsoft Office 2010
  • File transfer from an old PC
  • 2-year warranty

When compared to similar gaming machines, this price is downright reasonable–especially with the inclusion of a 2TB hard drive. The starting price of an Alienware Aurora, a 2TB machine, is $1500.  A comparable I Buy Power machine is $1519.

The Muon isn’t cheap, but you certainly get your money’s worth.


The Bottom Line

The bottom line all depends on what you’re looking for in a PC. If you’re looking for a high-end gaming rig that can play today’s top games, then the Muon can handle that. It’s built to be upgradable, too. So when the fast-moving world of PC gaming moves forward, so can you. This is a serious computer for serious gamers.

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.