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Palicomp Excalibur 630OC-19 review

Palicomp Excalibur 630OC-19
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £499
inc VAT

A dedicated graphics card makes the Excalibur great for playing games, but the 19in monitor is a little disappointing


3GHz AMD Athlon II X4 630, 4GB RAM, 19in 1,440×900 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

We don’t expect to see dedicated graphics cards in a PC costing around £500 and when we do see one it’s not usually very good. It’s quite refreshing, then, to see that Palicomp has managed to fit an ATI HD 5670 in its Excalibur 6400C-19.

This managed a respectable 41.6fps in our Call of Duty 4 test, showing that this PC is capable of dealing with games. More modern titles may need to have detail settings turned down, but they’ll still be smooth.

Performance otherwise is pretty good, too. Palicomp has overclocked the AMD Athlon II X4 630 processor from 2.8GHz to 3GHz. Combined with 4GB of RAM the Excalibur managed an overall score of 89. It’s quick enough for most jobs, but you can get faster computer for the same price.

Typically at this price, fitting a graphics card means that compromises need to be made elsewhere. In this case, it’s the monitor: a small 19in model. In fairness, the BenQ G900WD is a high quality display, with natural colours and decent contrast. With both VGA and DVI inputs (HDCP support), it’s a flexible display. However, its 1,440×900 resolution is a little cramped compared to the 22in or larger monitors we’re used to seeing with PCs at this price.

Apart from the sole PCI-E x16 slot taken up by the graphics card, there is plenty of room inside the case for expansion, with three PCI slots and two PCI-E x1 slots, although one of these is blocked by the graphics card. Adding more memory should be simple, as the motherboard supports up to 16GB and there are two free slots. All of the memory can be used as Palicomp has opted for a 64-bit version of Windows. If you wanted to add more hard disks to the existing 500GB hard disk, there are four free SATA ports.

Externally, there are also plenty of expansion options: as well as the cornucopia of memory card slots, there are two USB ports mounted on the front panel, and you’ll find six more on the rear, although two of these are taken up by a cheap keyboard and mouse set. There are also two older PS/2 ports which will accept older mice and keyboards, but there aren’t any FireWire or eSATA ports. However, adding eSATA is just a matter of buying a suitable bracket for a few pounds and connecting it to a spare SATA port inside.

The keyboard and mouse are the first things you’ll want to upgrade, as they really aren’t up to scratch. The keyboard is very springy, with a half-height Enter key, and the mouse is too small and light for everyday use.

The dedicated graphics card makes this computer capable of playing games, but it comes at the expense of other system components and we’re not fans of the small display. If you’ve already got a monitor that you can use, you can buy this PC without its monitor for £449. However, we think that Mesh’s Nero Pro is the better all-round computer, as it’s faster, has a 23in Full HD monitor and large 750GB hard disk. We’d rather opt for this and add a graphics card later.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor AMD Athlon II X4 630
Processor external bus 215MHz (2150MHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplier x14
Processor clock speed 3GHz
Processor socket AM3
Level 1 cache 4x 128KB
Level 2 cache 4x 512KB
Memory 4
Memory type DDR2
Maximum memory 16GB
Motherboard ASRock K10N78
Motherboard chipset Nvidia GeForce 8200


USB2 ports (front/rear) 3/8
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support none
Other ports none

Internal Expansion

Case midi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 2 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports 4
Free memory slots 2
Free 3.5in drive bays 4

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Western Digital Caviar Black (WD5001AALS)
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 500GB
Spindle speed 7,200rpm


Graphics card(s) 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5670
Graphics/video ports VGA, DVI, HDMI


Sound ATI HD audio
Sound outputs 7.1 line out
Speakers N/A

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards SD, SDHC, CF, Memory Stick PRO Duo, MMC, RS-MMC, microSD, Memory Stick Micro (M2), xD
Optical drive model Optiarc AD-7241S
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Viewable size 19 in
Screen model BenQ G900WD
Native resolution 1,440×900
Response time 5ms
Screen inputs VGA, DVI

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard generic wired keyboard
Mouse generic wired mouse


Software included Nero Burning ROM 9
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £499

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