Palicomp Alpha Inferno review
This blisteringly fast PC is among the most powerful you can get at this price
Review Date: 11 Dec 2012
Price when reviewed: £850
Reviewed By: Kat Orphanides
Modern processors and graphics cards are incredibly powerful. As a result, today's gaming PCs are more powerful and better value than they’ve ever been. If you buy a high-end PC today, expect to be gaming on it in three or even five years' time.
The Palicomp Alpha Inferno is a fantastically well-specified machine, with an Intel Core i5-3570K processor that's been overclocked to 4.7GHz, an overclocked XFX AMD Radeon HD 7950 with 3GB of memory and 16GB of super-fast 2,133MHz Patriot memory occupying all four memory slots. It's the vast amount of RAM that really sets this computer apart from the wealth of Core i5-3570K-based gaming systems that have been on sale recently. On the face of it, you really aren't going to need that much for gaming, although it's useful if you enjoy audio or video production, or need to run virtual machines. It's also a good way of future-proofing a system. Over the last couple of years, the amount of memory we expect to see in a PC has crept up from 4GB to 8GB; The Alpha Inferno’s 16GB should support your future computing needs as software becomes more complex.
The Alpha Inferno’s motherboard is an Asus P8Z77-V LX, which is probably the board we see more frequently than any other in OEM PCs. There's a good reason for this: it's relatively inexpensive and has a good range of features. The motherboard has two PCI-E x16 slots and two PCI-E x1 slots, although one PCI-E x1 slot is blocked by the graphics card, and three PCI slots. That's gives you plenty of scope to install all the extra sound cards, TV tuners and other expansion cards you might need.
If storage is of greater interest to you, there's an unused onboard USB3 header, so you can add up to two more extra fast USB ports on either a backplane or front panel adaptor. This is in addition to three USB2 headers and the existing external ports. If internal storage is of greater interest to you, there are three vacant SATA2 ports. Both the motherboard's SATA3 ports are hooked up to hard disks and a SATA2 port is in use for the Blu-ray drive. You get plenty of storage in this system, with a 120GB SSD system drive providing enough space for the operating system and a few programs, and a 2TB HDD for all your data and other software.
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