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Palicomp Phoenix i5 Quantum Slipstream review

Kat Orphanides
2 Apr 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
650
inc VAT

The Phoenix i5 Quantum Slipstream is a great PC with a blisteringly fast overclocked processor and a decent graphics card.

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Specifications

4.7GHz Intel Core i5-2500K, 4GB RAM, 21.5in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Palicomp’s Phoenix i5 Quantum Slipstream combines insane processor power, upgradability and a surprisingly decent selection of components and peripherals. An Intel Core i5-2500K processor is overclocked to a staggering 4.7GHz, which explains the enormous heat sink bolted on to the CPU. It also explains the system’s characteristic sound - a rush of air that's fairly unobtrusive but easily audible through the lightweight case.

The top PCI-E x1 slot is a little fiddly to get to, but usable. There are another two further down the ATX motherboard, but one is blocked by the graphics card. The motherboard is a Gigabyte P67A-UD4, which has an excellent range of ports and expansion slots. There are also three PCI and a spare PCI-E x16 slot, all of which are easy to get at. The board bears 4GB of fast PC3-12800 RAM and has the capacity for up to 32GB. The only two SATA3 ports are in use, but at least there are four spare SATA2 connectors. The internal layout is spacious and easily accessible, making this a good choice if you want to install lots of your own expansion cards.

At the rear of the case is a generous array of two eSATA ports and ten USB ports. Two of the latter are USB3, and there’s an unused USB3 header on the motherboard that you can use to connect a further two. At the front of the case are just two USB ports, plus headphone and mic connectors. Hardly any of the case’s internal or external drive bays are used - one 5 1/4in bay holds a DVD re-writer and a 3 1/2in internal bay houses a 1TB hard disk.

Palicomp Phoenix i5 Quantum Slipstream rear ports

If you’re building a PC with a powerful processor, it’s tempting to cut costs on the graphics card, which can be among the most expensive components. However, even the most straitlaced PC owners like the odd game here and there. The 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5670 isn’t the most powerful graphics card around, but it has full support for all the latest 3D games, although, as indicated by a frame rate of 22.7fps in Crysis, you’ll have to settle for lower quality settings to get playable speeds on some of them. Many, like CoD4, which ran at 43.7fps, won’t be any trouble at all.

The system comes with an AOC F22+ 21.5in widescreen monitor. Colours aren't the most accurate and contrast isn't the best, but it’s a perfectly serviceable monitor with a 1,920x1,080 resolution, a matt finish and VGA and DVI inputs. Palicomp has bundled a cheap generic mouse and keyboard with the PC. The mouse has a right-handed ergonomic design; the keyboard’s surface feels unpleasantly gritty and the keys are a little spongy, but its layout is fine.

For £650, this is a well-balanced PC with plenty of power. It's not quite as good as the Chillblast Fusion Aurora, though. However, don't forget that you can buy it without the monitor for £575 and pair it with a better monitor for a total of around £700. If you need the fastest possible processor, this is a great choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K
Processor external bus100MHz (Sandy Bridge DMI)
Processor multiplierx47
Processor clock speed4.7GHz
Processor socketLGA1155
Memory4
Memory typePC3-12800
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardGigabyte P67A-UD4
Motherboard chipsetIntel P67

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/10
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/2
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)3 (2)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays6

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Barracuda (ST31000528AS)
InterfaceSATA II
Total storage capacity1,000GB

Graphics

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

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC892
Sound outputs7.1 line out, coaxial S/PDIF out, optical S/PDIF out, stereo line out, mic in
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size21.5 in
Screen modelAOC F22+
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Screen inputsDVI, VGA

Other Hardware

KeyboardCIT KB-1807UB
MouseCIT MS-2018UB

Software

Software includedNero 9
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£650
Detailswww.palicomp.co.uk

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