This excellent AMD Kaveri PC performs brilliantly in games and applications, and comes with a great 24in monitor
4GHz AMD A10-7700K, 8GB RAM, 24in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 8.1
We’re always impressed when PC makers push the boundaries of what we expect in any given price category. By including a 24in monitor in a £500 PC system, the Palicomp AMD Kaveri Evolution immediately grabbed our attention. It’s designed to be an all-round home PC, perfect for browsing the web and doing your email, but also up to occasionally editing images, encoding video or playing games.
The Iiyama ProLite E2483HS screen has a resolution of 1,920×1,080 and a matt finish that will cut down on unwanted reflections from overhead light sources. It doesn’t suffer noticeably from the low contrast and lack of colours vibrancy that can affect some matt screens, either.
We tested the monitor using our calibration and measurement tool, which put its contrast ratio at a very respectable 935:1, with a black level of 0.29cd/m2. Its colour reproduction is absolutely fine for desktop use, movies, and games, although it’s not the best choice for colour-sensitive tasks: our test showed that the screen displayed 88.9% of the sRGB colour gamut, which is around average for a display of this price.
Although we’ve seen better gaming performance from other PCs at this price, the Kaveri Evolution’s AMD A10-7700K processor’s on-chip GPU can still manage less-demanding 3D games at moderate settings. In our Dirt Showdown test, running at at High quality, 4x AA and a resolution of 1,280×720, we saw an average frame rate of 50.8fps. Moving up to 1,920×1,080 and Ultra quality made this drop to 21.2fps. That not smooth enough to be playable, but if you drop the quality to High at the same resolution you’ll see 35.6fps on average, with a minimum of 29.1fps, which is easily smooth enough to play.
Palicomp has overclocked the A10-7700K processor to 4GHz, which gives it a significant performance boost in our application benchmarks. At this clock speed the processor managed an overall score of 72 in our benchmarks, compared to the score of around 67 we usually expect from 7700K processors running at their native 3.4GHz. This processor has an unlocked multiplier, so is simple to overclock without affecting other components, such as the RAM or graphics. The Asus A88XM-Plus motherboard’s UEFI interface makes it easy to adjust the processor’s multiplier, while a chunky Thermalright cooler keeps your processor from overheating under the strain.
The PC’s Zalman case is well cooled, with four quiet fans, and is fairly well proofed against dust and fluff. If you want to add a graphics card in the future, you’ve got around 370mm of depth available in the internal bay. There are two drive cages, providing space at the top for two 5 1/4in drives and an external 3 1/2in one, and at the bottom for four 3 1/2in in drives and a 2 1/2in model. The system is currently equipped with a 1TB hybrid SSHD and a DVD-RW drive. The SSHD has an 8GB solid state cache to help improve the performance of the 1TB hard disk. It certainly helped with boot times; this PC managed to load Windows in just 15s.
|Processor external bus||100MHz (HyperTransport)|
|Processor clock speed||4GHz|
|Motherboard chipset||AMD A88X|
|USB2 ports (front/rear)||3/4|
|eSATA ports (front/rear)||0/0|
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Wireless networking support||none|
|PCI-E x1 slots (free)||1 (1)|
|PCI-E x16 slots (free)||2 (2)|
|Free Serial ATA ports||6|
|Free memory slots||2|
|Free 3.5in drive bays||4|
|Hard disk model(s)||Seagate SSHD ST1000DX001-1CM162|
|Graphics card(s)||integrated AMD Radeon R7|
|Graphics/video ports||HDMI, DVI, VGA|
|Sound outputs||5.1 line out, headphone, microphone|
|Supported memory cards||none|
|Optical drive type(s)||DVD+/-RW +/-DL|
|Viewable size||24 in|
|Screen model||Iiyama ProLite E2483HS|
|Screen inputs||HDMI, DVI, VGA|
|Operating system||Windows 8.1|
|Operating system restore option||Windows disc|
|Warranty||three years RTB|