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Palicomp Intel i5 Revolution

Palicomp Intel i5 Revolution teaser
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £700
inc VAT

With an overclocked processor and graphics card, the Intel i5 Revolution ticks a lot of boxes


Processor: Quad-core 4.5GHz Intel Core-i5 4690K (overclocked), RAM: 8GB, Front USB ports : 1x USB3, 2x USB2, Rear USB ports: 4x USB3, 2x USB2, Total storage: 1TB hard disk, Graphics card: 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 960, Display: 24in Samsung LS24D300HS, Operating system: Windows 10


We’re starting to see PCs with the latest Intel Skylake processors, but there’s life in the old Haswell dog yet. Palicomp has taken the time-honoured approach of using a Haswell processor and applying a substantial overclock for its Intel i5 Revolution.

We’ve seen the Zalman Z3 Plus case a number of times in other PCs – it’s a popular mid-range choice. The Plus model used here differs from the standard case in that it has a viewing window built into the side panel. This gives you a glimpse of the components, although as the case’s internal lighting only consists of a dull glow from the front 120mm case fan, there isn’t much to see.

The case can be cooled either by a pair of 120mm fans or a 240mm water-cooling radiator at the top. Two 120mm fans are already fitted, so the PC doesn’t want for cooling. Conveniently, there’s a tray-like cutout on top of the case, which is just right for a phone or external hard disk plugged into one of the case’s front USB3 or USB ports.

Inside the PC is an Intel Core i5-4690K. This is no longer the most cutting-edge processor available but it’s still capable, especially when overclocked to 4.5GHz from its base clock of 3.5GHz and cooled with a Thermalright TrueSpirit cooler.

Palicomp Intel i5 Revolution guts

When put through its paces in our desktop application benchmarks, the processor helped the PC to an excellent score of 120. This isn’t far behind Intel’s newer Skylake-based processors and shows that the Intel i5 Revolution is more than up to difficult processing tasks such as video transcoding. However, the PC can’t quite match the multitasking performance of Wired2Fire’s Diablo Evolution, which has the same processor and overclock, but twice the RAM.

Two free slots are available if you want to add more RAM, and the system’s Asus Z97-P motherboard supports up to a maximum of 32GB. There are only four SATA3 ports, two of which are already in use by the 1TB hard disk and DVD-RW optical drive that come with the system. Depending on your upgrade plans, you might find this a little limiting. There is, however, an M.2 port if you want to fit a tiny M.2 SSD directly to the motherboard. It’s a neat way to fit a fast system disk, which will help the PC feel much snappier in Windows.

Graphics performance is provided by an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, which Palicomp has overclocked. It produced frame rates above what we’d typically see from this popular mid-range card. In Dirt Showdown at 1,920×1,080 with 4x anti-aliasing and Ultra graphics settings, we saw a huge 91fps, which is about 10% better than this card typically manages at stock speeds.

Palicomp Intel i5 Revolution rear ports

Similarly, in Metro: Last Light, which is a much more graphically taxing game, we saw an average frame rate of 32.1fps at 1,920×1,080 resolution, with SSAA on and graphics set to Very High quality. This puts the game into smooth gameplay territory at these stratospheric settings. Turning off super-sampled anti-aliasing bumped this up to a silky 55.1fps, without adversely affecting image quality.

The front of the case has a single USB3 and two USB ports. We like to see at least a couple of USB3 ports on a PC’s front panel. There are four more USB3 ports and two USB2 ports on the rear, and the audio jacks at the back can be used in conjunction with the case’s front headphone and microphone jacks to provide up to 7.1 surround sound.

The rear panel also provides PS/2 ports for an older keyboard and mouse, and Gigabit Ethernet for fast wired networking. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 graphics card allows you to connect displays to its two DVI and HDMI and DisplayPort outputs.

Palicomp will supply the Intel i5 Revolution with a keyboard and mouse set and a Samsung 24in LS24D300HS display for another £100. This attractive monitor has HDMI and VGA inputs and is suitable for colour-sensitive work thanks to its above-average 92.3% sRGB colour accuracy. A 955:1 contrast ratio and black level of 0.29cd/m2 aren’t quite as good as we would have liked, but they’re more than respectable for a low-cost display. Viewing angles let the display down slightly, however. Onscreen images quickly gain a yellow tint if viewed off-centre.

The keyboard and mouse are unspectacular generic peripherals. The slim keyboard won’t take up much space and has a plain design. There are no shortcut or macro buttons and the keys have a spongy action. At least the mouse has nicely contoured edges that help it fit well in your hand.

With an overclocked processor and graphics card, the Intel i5 Revolution provides great all-round power, and the full package includes a decent display. Those who want better application performance and the responsiveness of hybrid storage should consider the Chillblast Fusion Gladiator, however, while the Mesh Elite Pro 10 CS is worth a look if you want fast bootup speeds and application loading but don’t want to scrimp on gaming power. If you want the ultimate in application performance and gaming, though, the Yoyotech Warbird RS10 is the system for you. For other options check out our Best desktop PCs and buying guide.

Core specs
ProcessorQuad-core 4.5GHz Intel Core-i5 4690K (overclocked)
Processor socketFCLGA1150
Memory type1,600MHz DDR3
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardAsus Z97-P
Motherboard chipsetIntel Z97
Ports and expansion
Front USB ports1x USB3, 2x USB2
Rear USB ports4x USB3, 2x USB2
Other ports2x PS/2
Networking1x 10/100/1000
Case typeMid-tower
Case size HxWxD465x192x430mm
PCI (free)2 (2)
PCIe x1 (free)2 (1)
PCIe x16 (free)2 (1)
Serial ATA (free)4x SATA3 (2), 1x M.2
Memory slots (free)4 (2)
Drive bays 2 1/2″ (free)1 (1)
Drive bays 3 1/2″ (free)4 (3)
Drive bays 5 1/4″ (free)2 (1)
Total storage1TB hard disk
Memory card readerNone
Optical drive typeDVD-RW
Graphics card2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 960
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort
Sound cardRealtek ALC887
Sound card outputsLine in, line out, microphone
Display24in Samsung LS24D300HS
Native resolution1,920×1,080
Other hardware
KeyboardUSB Wired Keyboard
MouseUSB Wired Mouse
Operating systemWindows 10
Operating system restore optionRestore partition
Buying information
WarrantyThree year RTB
Price including delivery (inc VAT)£700
Price excluding monitor (inc VAT and delivery)£600
Part CodeHAS12

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