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Palicomp Alpha Excite review

Tom Morgan
22 Jun 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
829.50
inc VAT

Overclocked, great graphics, ample storage and great upgrade potential; this is a fantastic PC

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Specifications

4.5GHz Intel Core i5-3570K, 8GB RAM, 24in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Palicomp's Alpha Excite was built to play the latest games. Its overclocked Ivy Bridge Core i5-3570K processor and 2GB AMD Radeon HD 7850 graphics card won't break a sweat, even if you try to play the latest titles at 1080p with maximum detail.

Palicomp Alpha Excite

A Cooler Master Elite 330 midi tower forms the backbone of the system. Its reserved looks and lack of LEDs should appeal to anyone not wanting their PC to become the focus of the room. A minimal front panel has just two USB ports and two 3.5mm audio jacks, but the rear I/O panel of the Gigabyte Z77-D3H motherboard has plenty of I/O ports too.

Four USB2 ports are paired with four USB3 ports, which means you're unlikely to need a USB hub. There's one PS2 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port and five 3.5mm audio jacks for 7.1 surround sound. There's also a digital optical audio output, as well as VGA, DVI and HDMI ports for the processor's integrated graphics chip.

Palicomp Alpha Excite

Two thumbscrews keep the side panel in place, so it’s easy to get in to the case. It's incredibly tidy, too, thanks to the modular 750W power supply. It tames unruly cables if you don’t want to upgrade, but provides flexibility if you are. Three empty 5.25in drive bays and six vacant 3.5in drive bays use tool-free mounting brackets, so you won't need a screwdriver to add more storage.

The Gigabyte Z77-D3H motherboard is dominated by a massive Thermaltake CPU cooler, but it still has plenty of expansion options. Two of the three PCI-E x1 slots are available, with the third being obscured by the dual-slot graphics card, but both PCI slots are ready to use. There's also a second PCI-E x16 slot if you want to add a second graphics card. An mSATA port lets you add a small SSD, should you want to speed up the system even more. The only negative is that all four memory slots are filled, so you have to remove some of the installed memory if you want to upgrade.

Palicomp Alpha Excite

Although the massive Thermaltake CPU cooler keeps temperatures low, even with the huge overclock to 4.5GHz, cooling is otherwise fairly basic. There's only one 120mm front intake and one 120mm exhaust, with the single 80mm fan mount on the side panel obstructed by the huge CPU cooler. This does mean the system is quiet when idling, but long gaming sessions could see temperatures or fan noise rise.

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