Overclockers Primo 6100i review
3.1GHz Intel Core i3-2100, 4GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Home PCs are often packed with features such as powerful processors, high-end graphics cards and other bells and whistles, but the vast majority of users only actually need to do a bit of word processing, manage a few digital photos and use email and the web, including web-based applications such as Google Docs and Facebook games.
If your needs are simple and you'd rather not spend money on features that you'll never use, Overclockers' Primo 6100i is built with you in mind. It costs just £418 for the base unit and has a 3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i3-2100 processor. It's no rival for the fast Core i5 systems we see so often, with an overall score of 62 in our tests, it's certainly up to most day-to-day computing needs. 4GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM ensures that the system won't grind to halt, even if you open numerous browser tabs and simultaneous applications.
Among the weak points of the Core i3 processor are its integrated graphics capabilities - Intel HD 2000 on-chip graphics aren't powerful enough to run most modern 3D games at anything approaching a decent resolution and frame rate, and the PC couldn't run our Dirt 3 test. However, if your interests are limited to the odd bit of casual gaming, you'll have no trouble running the likes of Popcap's Plants vs Zombies or even older 3D titles such as Valve's Portal, assuming you turn down the graphics settings.
The PC has an Asus P8H61-M motherboard, which provides you with a PCI slot, two PCI-E x1 slots and a PCI-E x16 slot which you can use if you want to add a graphics card later. The supplied unbranded 500W power supply should be sufficient to cope with even a fairly high-end graphics card such as AMD's Radeon HD 6950. Bear in mind, though, that most graphics cards will block the PCI-E x1 slot immediately below the x16 slot.
There are only two memory slots, both of which are occupied, so memory upgrades will require you to replace the existing modules. There are also four SATA2 ports, two of which are occupied by the hard disk and DVD-RW drive. The hard disk is small - only 500GB - but that's still plenty of space for a reasonable music, software and video collection. It's also not unreasonable for a budget PC, particularly given current supply problems with hard disk drives. The compact case - which is light and easy to move but feels sturdy - has three free 3 1/2in bays and one free 5 1/4 in bay.
At the front of the case, you'll find two USB ports and the usual 3.5mm mic and headphone ports. The motherboard's backplane gives you another six USB ports - none are USB3 - as well as a PS/2 port, DVI and VGA graphics outputs, a Gigabit Ethernet port and both 5.1 analogue surround sound outputs and an optical S/PDIF output for digital audio. The PC doesn't come with a keyboard and mouse.
At £400, the Primo 6100i is reasonably priced for its power and specification, but the Palicomp Hyper Flame is similarly priced if you order it without a monitor and peripherals. It also comes with a 1TB hard disk, a Blu-ray drive and more powerful graphics capabilities from its AMD Llano A8-3850 processor.