Palicomp's powerful Phoenix i7 2600-24 BLU desktop PC runs a 3.4GHz Sandy Bridge chip and offers the best graphics system here.

Every system in this group test runs one of Intel’s brand-new Sandy Bridge processors. Palicomp’s Phoenix i7 2600-24 BLU is among three PCs that offer the 3.4GHz Core i7-2600.

This chip is capable of superb performance, and is a big leap forward from the Core i7-950s we’re used to seeing at this price. The Palicomp Phoenix i7 2600-24 BLU recorded a staggering 163 points in WorldBench 6 and, interestingly, it wasn’t even the fastest desktop PC on test.

That is, of course, in terms of Windows speed. The Palicomp Phoenix i7 2600-24 BLU's Radeon HD 6950 is not only the fastest graphics card specified here, but it comes with double the video memory of any other. It triumphs in gaming.

The Palicomp Phoenix i7 2600-24 BLU desktop PC also takes advantage of a superior motherboard. Its Asus P8P67 Pro is similar to the standard and ‘LE’ versions used by Arbico, Chillblast and Dino PC, but it offers enhanced support for dual graphics cards and a pair of eSATA ports. Bluetooth and overclocking facilities are built in.

Unfortunately, you’ll need the ‘K’ version of the i7-2600 chip to take full advantage of its Bios-replacing extensible firmware interface (EFI) – a graphical, mouse-driven interface for configuring settings.

The Palicomp Phoenix i7 2600-24 BLU's 4GB of DDR3 RAM and one-terabyte (1TB) hard drive are standard inclusions. Two PCs here surpass this memory allocation with 8GB, and the Dino PC complements storage with a speedy solid-state disk (SSD).

With a 23.6in full-HD monitor, a Blu-ray Disc drive and a set of 5.1-channel speakers (five speakers and a subwoofer), the Palicomp Phoenix i7 2600-24 BLU has decent multimedia credentials.

Power PCs chart ranking

  1. Palicomp Phoenix i7 2600-24 BLU
  2. Arbico Elite i7268 HDX
  3. Chillblast Fusion Zeus
  4. CyberPower Infinity i5 Silent Edition
  5. Dino PC Ravenous 2600

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