For their software build Novatech opt for a very minimalistic configuration. Microsoft Office 2010 can be added during the order process and various version of Windows 7 are available, ours used Home Premium 64-bit. Other than this we get the Windows Live suite, device drivers, Firefox and Silverlight. Interestingly Novatech also use Microsoft Security Essentials for their anti-virus, a far better solution than MacAfee or Norton which add unnecessary bloat to the system.
In terms of Windows Updates, none are installed at the factory and so it is advisable to run through the process after connecting the system to a network.
One of the key features Novatech advertise about The Revolution is that it is an AMD Vision certified system and this means we also have some of their software available to us. The first is Fusion Media Explorer which is an application that uses AMD CPUs and GPUs to create a 3D browser interface in which we can manage our media. It also features integration with Facebook and YouTube for those who regularly access those sites.
The AMD Fusion Utility works in a similar way to power profiles within Windows however this software takes the idea one step further, allowing us to create profiles which disable software processes we do not need during tasks. For example we can set up a profile to disable background tasks when gaming, ensuring maximum framerates from our system.
AMD also include some useful encoding functionality in their drivers. The first tool is Avivo Video Convertor, a free item, which allows us to convert many of the most common video formats to those which are compatible with DVD, iPod etc. Through use of AMD technology this tool reduces the time taken to convert when compared to alternative products. AMD also allow us to take advantage of Drag and Drop acceleration. This means that when we move a media file to our portable device, provided it is compatible with Windows Drag and Drop Transfer, the Radeon GPU will speed up the transcoding/conversion of the video into a format which is compatible with the player.
Finally we have Overdrive, another AMD utility, which allows us to configure various performance aspects of the system. Overdrive also includes the ability to find a maximum safe overclock for the PC, boosting performance, and the option to save profiles as required.
As Novatech use retail components for their build we get a fully functional BIOS on The Revolution. Based on Award Software code the Gigabyte version allows us full control over every aspect of the motherboard. Gigabyte also provide a great BIOS tool, Q-Flash, which makes the update process quick and easy. Just add the BIOS file to a USB drive, boot into Q-Flash and update.