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Palicomp Alpha Blade review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1000
inc VAT

The Alpha Blade has it all, from storage to desktop and graphics performance


4.6GHz Intel Core i5-3570K, 8GB RAM, 24in 1,920×1,080 display

The first Windows 8 PC we’ve seen from Palicomp is a no-nonsense powerhouse. Its Intel Core i5-3570K processor is overclocked to 4.6GHz, and the PC even has an overclocked AMD Radeon HD 7950 graphics card.

Unfortunately, it’s not a pretty PC, certainly not compared to the Windows 8 machines we’ve seen from companies such as Wired2Fire and Scan. The Thermaltake case has rather too much cheap-feeling plastic and glossy strips to look particularly classy. The case doesn’t have any soundproofing, either, and the PC makes a slight rushing sound, which seems to come mainly from the graphics card.

Palicomp Alpha Blade

The case isn’t a problem from a practical point of view, though. You get five free 3 1/2in drive bays and two 5 1/4in models for expansion. There’s also a SATA docking connector on the top of the case, which means you can plug a 3.5in hard disk straight in. This is useful for transferring files from your old PC’s disk. While there’s nothing to obstruct airflow and all the PC’s cables are neatly tied up in bunches, they’re not hidden behind a false side panel as in some of the neater PCs we’ve seen.

Palicomp Alpha Blade

The PC’s motherboard is the same Asus P8Z77-V LX we saw in Wired2Fire’s Windows 8 Diablo Predator. This means you get a fairly modest selection of ports on the rear, including four USB, two USB3 and 5.1 analogue audio outputs and optical S/PDIF. The front of the case has two USB ports, but unfortunately no USB3, although you could always add another USB3 port using a backplate and the header on the motherboard. There are three PCI expansion slots and a spare PCI Express x16 slot, which you could also use for PCI Express x1 or x4 cards.

Palicomp Alpha Blade

The motherboard’s 120GB boot SSD and large 2TB hard disk take up both of the board’s SATA3 ports, while two of the SATA2 ports are taken up by the Blu-ray reader/DVD rewriter drive and top-mounted hard disk dock. This leaves a couple of SATA2 ports for extra storage.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor Intel Core i5-3570K
Processor external bus 100MHz
Processor multiplier x46
Processor clock speed 4.6GHz
Processor socket LGA1155
Memory 8
Memory type DDR3
Maximum memory 32GB
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V LX
Motherboard chipset Intel Z77 Express


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support none

Internal Expansion

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

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) OCZ Agility 3 + Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001
Interface SATA3 + SATA2
Total storage capacity 2,168GB


Graphics card(s) AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB
Graphics/video ports DVI, HDMI, 2x Mini DisplayPort


Sound Realtek HD Audio
Sound outputs 5.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out
Speakers none

Removable Drives

Supported memory cards none
Optical drive type(s) BD-ROM, DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Viewable size 24 in
Screen model Asus VS247H
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
Screen inputs DVI, VGA, HDMI

Other Hardware

Keyboard Logitech Wireless Desktop MK260
Mouse Logitech M210


Software included none
Operating system restore option Windows 8 disc

Buying Information

Warranty three years RTB
Price £1,000

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