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Palicomp Hyper Flame review

Barry de la Rosa
20 Dec 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
500
inc VAT

The Hyper Flame is a superb all-rounder with good performance, a decent monitor and even a Blu-ray drive

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Specifications

3.6GHz AMD A8-3850, 4GB RAM, 22in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

We're used to receiving heavily overclocked systems from Palicomp, so the Hyper Flame is something of an exception. It's still overclocked, but its AMD A8-3850 isn't the fastest chip to start off with. It's one of AMD's new Llano chips, which has a graphics chip integrated onto the main CPU. This is the most powerful integrated chip we’ve seen and is capable of playing some 3D games as well as playing HD video from the Blu-ray drive. You even get a 1TB hard disk.

Palicomp Hyper Flame

Not only do you get a Blu-ray drive, but also a smart 22in AOC monitor with a Full HD (1,920x1,080) resolution capable of showing off Blu-ray films in all their glory. We really liked the e2250Swda's curved bezel and svelte profile, and image quality isn't bad either: its LED backlight is bright, if a touch uneven, and colours are strong, especially if you turn on the monitor's dynamic contrast option in the on-screen menu.

Performance in our DiRT 3 test was modest. Achieving 35fps, you may have to turn down some quality settings to get playable frame rates on the latest games. It's not as good as a mid-range dedicated graphics chip, but it hasn’t led to corners cut elsewhere.

There's plenty of room inside the case for extras, although Palicomp hasn't done a very good job of tidying cables away - the cable powering the rear case fan is strung across the motherboard, while the CPU fan's speed controller was left dangling in mid-air. There's room for a decent mid-range card such as AMD's Radeon HD 6770, but larger, more powerful cards may not fit. Also, despite the tangle of cables, we couldn't find a spare Molex or PCI power plug.

Palicomp Hyper Flame

As well as two PCI-E x16 slots, you get two PCI-E x1 slots and three PCI slots, although fitting a graphics card will likely block access to one of these. The 4GB of RAM is fitted in two of the four DIMM slots, leaving room for more memory without having to dispose of the existing modules. There are three free SATA headers, and lots of free drive bays, including three with external access. It's worth pointing out that, despite the massive CPU heatsink and fan, two case fans and two more fans mounted on the side panel (which can be switched on and off manually), the Hyper Flame isn't noisy, even when under heavy load.

Externally, you get a total of eight USB ports - two of which support the faster USB3 standard - and one eSATA port. Audio is well catered for, with six 3.5mm audio ports plus an optical S/PDIF, and there's a choice of VGA, DVI and HDMI video outputs, the latter being able to handle audio as well. The Hyper Flame's aggressively-styled case won’t suit everyone, but those who keep their PC on the floor will appreciate the placement of the power button and two USB ports on the top of the case.

Palicomp Hyper Flame

While the Hyper Flame isn't the speed demon we're used to seeing from Palicomp, it's more than powerful enough for most people and still great value. A Blu-ray drive may not be everyone's top priority, but a 1TB disk and a Full HD monitor mean no obvious compromises have been made elsewhere, so the Hyper Flame wins our coveted Best Buy award. If you only want the fastest possible processor at this price, though, Chillblast's Fusion Neptune is a better choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorAMD A8-3850
Processor external bus120MHz (Overclocked)
Processor multiplierx30
Processor clock speed3.6GHz
Processor socketSocket FM1
Memory4
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory64GB
MotherboardGigabyte GA-A75-D3H
Motherboard chipsetAMD A75

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casetower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (2)
Free Serial ATA ports3
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays3

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB
InterfaceSATA2
Total storage capacity1,000GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)AMD Radeon HD 6550D
Graphics/video portsVGA, DVI, HDMI

Sound

SoundRealtek HD Audio
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL BD-ROM

Display

Viewable size22 in
Screen modelAOC e2250Swda
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Screen inputsVGA, DVI

Other Hardware

KeyboardCherry KU-0556
MouseCherry M-5400

Software

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

Buying Information

Warrantythree years RTB
Price£500
Detailswww.palicomp.co.uk

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