Palicomp Phoenix i5 Nemesis review

Barry de la Rosa
3 Mar 2011
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Palicomp Phoenix i5 Nemesis
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The second Sandy Bridge PC we’ve seen is almost unbeatable value, with excellent performance and expansion potential.



4.4GHz Intel Core i5-2500K, 4GB RAM, 22in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Last month's CyberPower Infinity i5 Silent Edition blew us away with incredible benchmark scores, thanks to its new Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5-2500K processor. Palicomp has risen to the challenge with the Phoenix i5 Nemesis, which achieves virtually identical results, but costs £100 less.

Like CyberPower, Palicomp has overclocked the i5-2500K to 4.5GHz, although it warns potential customers that some chips won't run this fast, so it only guarantees a 4.4GHz speed. Its benchmark results are virtually identical to the Infinity i5's, which is no real surprise. Those who like to dabble in 3D modelling will relish the prospect of getting what only recently would have been considered workstation-class rendering speeds from such a relatively cheap chip.

Unlike CyberPower, Palicomp has opted for an AMD (formerly ATI) graphics card, the Radeon HD 5770. Although this card has now been overtaken by a new 6000-series, it still managed to outperform the Infinity i5's Nvidia GeForce GT 450 in all three gaming benchmarks, even achieving a playable 33fps in the demanding STALKER Sun Shafts test. While it may not be as future-proof as newer models, the 5770 will handle anything you can currently throw at it.

Palicomp Phoenix i5 Nemesis

The i5 Nemesis comes in a CoolerMaster Elite 330 case which has a huge array of tool-less drive bays, but we find its design is aging somewhat and it doesn't look as menacing as the PC's name would suggest. There are a total of seven 3.5in bays, two of which are external and available for upgrades such as a card reader or fan controller. The latter is hardly necessary, as despite three large fans plus the graphics card, we barely heard the i5 Nemesis, even under full load.

The motherboard also has plenty of room for upgrades: a total of eight SATA headers gives you the option of filling up most of those free drive bays. The 4GB of RAM is fitted as two 2GB DIMMs, so you could theoretically add another 16GB without throwing away your initial investment - although this would be overkill for most applications. One of the PCI-E x1 slots is covered by the graphics card's heatsink, and the bottom PCI-E x16 slot is too close to the floor of the case to fit a graphics card, but this still gives you a choice of five free slots for a variety of expansion cards.

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