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Palicomp Intel Haswell i5 Commander review

Kat Orphanides
21 Feb 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
650
inc VAT

A powerful graphics card makes this one of the best value gaming systems around

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Specifications

4GHz Intel Core i5-4670K, 8GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 8.1

The Palicomp Intel Haswell i5 Commander is a well-made gaming PC built within a Zalman Z3 Plus case with a fairly neat internal layout. There are a lot of cables packed in behind the right-hand case panel, as the 550W Thermaltake PSU doesn't have detachable leads, but business side of the chassis is clearly laid out.

Palicomp Intel Haswell i5 Commander

The PC has a quad-core Intel Core i5-4670K processor overclocked to 4GHz. It managed a healthy score of 123 overall in our application benchmarks and is more than powerful enough for anything you'll need to run in the foreseeable future. The Asus Z87-K motherboard is one of our favourites, and it has a healthy range of expansion slots. The main PCI-E x16 slot is occupied by a graphics card, which also blocks the PCI-E x1 slot beneath it, but that still leaves you three PCI slots, one PCI-E x1 slot and a second PCI-E x16 slot, which actually runs at x4. Two 4GB memory modules occupy one pair of RAM slots, leaving two free for future upgrades.

The motherboard has a good selection of rear ports, including two USB3 ports, four standard USB ports, a pair of PS/2 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port and three 3.5mm audio ports that can output up to 5.1 surround sound.

Palicomp Intel Haswell i5 Commander

The graphics card, meanwhile, has two DVI outputs, an HDMI port and a DisplayPort output. The graphics card is the powerhouse that dictates the gaming performance of a PC, so we’re pleased to see the i5 Commander has an overclocked 2GB AMD Radeon R9 270X inside it. Even though the R9 270X is by no means a terribly expensive graphics card, its performance proved to be nothing short of excellent.

We expect any decent graphics card to wipe the floor with Dirt Showdown at Ultra quality and a 1,920x1,080 resolution these days, and the R9 270X did so with an average frame rate of 87.9fps. What most impressed us, though, was the R9 270X’s performance in Crysis 3. With High quality graphics 4x anti-aliasing and a resolution of 1,920x1,080, the PC produced an excellent average frame rate of 40.7fps. Even with graphics quality set to Very High, the highest setting possible, the PC still produced a playable average frame rate of 30.9fps. The AMD Radeon R9 270X is an excellent choice for a mid-range gaming PC such as this.

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