Bios and Initial Setup
As the Apollo uses an Asus Rampage motherboard the BIOS on the system is the standard version which ships with retail boards. This means that the system is as configurable as any self build and has the same scope for tweaking and overclocking. Upon checking the various screens it was clear that the BIOS had been pre-configured before shipping to ensure that the memory timings and speed were correct.
When booting for the first time we found ourselves straight into the desktop rather than configuration screens and as hoped all of the relevant drivers were installed.
PC Specialist had also ensured that a Windows update had been completed and that the latest patches were installed but for some reason they had neglected to install the LAN driver that was available.
Upon checking the add/remove programs section we found that there were a number of programs and features installed in addition to the required software. Most of these were not intrusive but items like Creative MediaSource should, in our opinion, never be factory installed as it is not required and for the majority of users only serves to add bloat to the build. We can however see the point of adding PowerDVD as it adds the ability to play Blu-Ray movies on the installed drive. Finally we were disappointed to see that on an enthusiast system User Account Control had been left enabled.