Pal­i­comp i5 Ti­ta­nium

PC ❘ £500 from Pal­i­comp

Computer Active (UK) - - Contents -

Mid-ta­ble PC up­sets the odds

There are two ways to build an aboveav­er­age PC for a given price. One pre­vi­ously favoured by Crewe-based man­u­fac­turer Pal­i­comp is to buy a rel­a­tively af­ford­able pro­ces­sor from AMD, In­tel’s dis­tant ri­val, and over­clock it – much like those en­thu­si­asts who in­stall jet en­gines on the back of Mor­ris Mi­nors. A while back (see our re­view, Is­sue 479) this ap­proach pro­duced the ex­cel­lent AMD Avenger, a £500 desk­top PC with more than £500 worth of per­for­mance lev­els.

This time they’ve gone the other way. The i5 Ti­ta­nium, as the name im­plies, is made of ti­ta­nium. No, wait, that’s just daft mar­ket­ing speak. It comes in a stan­dard black plas­tic case on a steel chas­sis. But in­side is an In­tel Kaby Lake i5-7400 pro­ces­sor. It’s not quite as fast as the pop­u­lar i5-7500, but not only did it stride con­fi­dently through our pho­toand video-edit­ing tests, its four cores walked our mul­ti­task­ing bench­mark test too. This makes it con­sid­er­ably quicker than the i3 pro­ces­sor com­monly found in bud­get sys­tems. If you’d bought the AMD Avenger, you’d be look­ing en­vi­ously at these re­sults.

Then again, you would have an Nvidia GTX Ge­force 960 graph­ics card, while the i5 Ti­ta­nium has none. That re­flects the fact that £500 buys less on the global parts mar­ket than it did a year ago. But if you don’t play games, that won’t bother you, and if you do, the good news is that the built-in HD Graph­ics 630 card pro­duced even smoother frame rates here than in other i5-7400 desk­top PCS, mak­ing most 3D games eas­ily playable. De­spite the case hav­ing only one (fairly quiet) fan, it never got no­tice­ably hot.

Win­dows 10 booted quickly from the 250GB SSD, and there’s also a 1TB hard drive. There’s no room for more in­ter­nal drives, which is dis­ap­point­ing for a desk­top PC, but the Asus Prime B250M-A moth­er­board has two M.2 sock­ets for fast SSDS. It also sup­ports In­tel’s new Op­tane mem­ory, which uses a small SSD to boost hard-drive per­for­mance. There are four mem­ory sock­ets, giv­ing you plenty of room for up­grad­ing from the sup­plied 8GB. The USB Type-c port on the back is only USB 3.0, not the faster 3.1, and there’s only Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net, not Wi-fi. How­ever, an Asus DVD writer drive is in­cluded and there’s a free 5.25in front bay if you wanted to add Blu-ray or a unit to read mem­ory cards.

Light­ning fast with tasks and plenty of ex­pan­sion op­tions

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