PC Specialist PowerGlide Extreme review

£1249
Price when reviewed

The all-in-one PC market is dominated by Apple’s iMac and, to a lesser extent, Sony and HP’s machines, so we didn’t expect PC Specialist to offer serious competition. But the firm has done just that, albeit by rebranding an OEM system made by Gigabyte.

The PowerGlide Extreme has an Ivy Bridge Core i5-3570K whose four cores, 3.4GHz stock speed and 3.8GHz Turbo Boost delivered a healthy benchmark score of 0.93. That compares well with other all-in-ones: the expensive Intel Xeon-powered HP Z1 scored 1.02, and the 27in Apple iMac scored 0.83 with an older Sandy Bridge processor.

PC Specialist PowerGlide Extreme

Graphics power comes from the Nvidia GeForce GTX 670, which is by far the most powerful GPU we’ve seen in an all-in-one. Its 64fps average in Crysis at Very High settings is stratospheric compared to rivals: the iMac only managed 26fps at High settings and the Sony VAIO L21 scored 33fps at Medium settings thanks to its mobile graphics chip. The PC Specialist is a gaming expert.

That performance comes with reasonable thermal figures, too. The processor’s idle and peak temperatures of 32°C and 73°C are fine, and the graphics card’s peak of 86°C is warm, but not dangerously high. There’s a high-pitched noise from the graphics card when stressed, but we’ve heard far worse from many desktops. The PowerGlide Extreme’s peak power draw of 264W is what we’d expect, although bear in mind the need for wall sockets: due to the lack of space, it requires three separate external power supplies.

PC Specialist PowerGlide Extreme

It has 8GB of RAM, a 120GB Kingston HyperX 3K SSD hosting Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, and another 1TB of storage in the form of a 2.5in Western Digital Scorpio Blue hard disk in a hot-swappable dock at the top. There’s 802.11n wireless, a Blu-ray reader, and speakers that provide plenty of volume and a reasonable amount of bass, even if the audio kit is lacking when it comes to clear treble sounds.

The screen is a 24in, 1,920 x 1,080 panel and, although its touch function is responsive, it feels like a nod to the future rather than useful today. PC Specialist hasn’t added any touch-specific software, so you’ll have to wait for Windows 8 to make use of it.

Warranty

Warranty3 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity1,120GB
RAM capacity8.00GB
Screen size24.0in

Processor

CPU familyIntel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency3.40GHz
Processor socketLGA 1155

Motherboard

Conventional PCI slots free0
Conventional PCI slots total0
PCI-E x16 slots free0
PCI-E x16 slots total1
Internal SATA connectors3
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory typeDDR3
Memory sockets free0
Memory sockets total2

Graphics card

Graphics cardNvidia GeForce GTX 670
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingMedium
Graphics chipsetNvidia GeForce GTX 670
Graphics card RAM2.00GB
DVI-I outputs1
HDMI outputs1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
DisplayPort outputs0
Number of graphics cards1

Hard disk

Hard diskKingston HyperX 3K
Capacity120GB
Hard disk usable capacity111GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA 6Gbit/s
Hard disk 2 make and modelWestern Digital Scorpio Blue
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity1,000GB
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity931

Drives

Optical disc technologyBlu-ray reader

Monitor

Resolution screen horizontal1,920
Resolution screen vertical1,080
Resolution1920 x 1080

Additional Peripherals

Speaker type2 x 5W
Sound cardRealtek HD Audio

Case

ChassisGigabyte proprietary
Case formatAll-in-one
Dimensions593 x 96 x 453mm (WDH)

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays0

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)5
PS/2 mouse portno
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Modemno
3.5mm audio jacks5

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption66W
Peak power consumption264W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings102fps
3D performance settingMedium
Overall Real World Benchmark score0.93
Responsiveness score0.82
Media score1.03
Multitasking score0.95

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