PC Specialist PowerGlide Extreme review

£1249
Price when reviewed

We measured the maximum brightness at 234cd/m2, so colours are bright and, with a contrast ratio of 1,016:1, blacks are reasonably deep. The screen is perfectly adequate for gaming and movies, but it isn’t so hot with proper graphical work – its average Delta E of 5.3 is higher than we’d like, and we noticed a green tint across white areas.

This system won’t win any awards for style. It can’t match the sleek lines of Apple and Sony all-in-ones; its serviceable, glossy plastic gives it a bland look. Build quality is good, though, and the PC Specialist impresses in other ways. It has more in common with the business-like HP than its stylish rivals: the approach is less elegant than the Z1, but you can get inside this system to upgrade and replace every component – tinkering is covered by PC Specialist’s three-year warranty.

PC Specialist PowerGlide Extreme

The rear panel can be removed via screws and a tug. The graphics card sits in a daughterboard, so it’s perpendicular to the motherboard, and they’re both hidden beneath metal shrouds. A further pair of daughterboards, again hidden, sits on the opposite side to add additional I/O ports.

One area where the PC Specialist falls short is upgrade room. The 2.5in SSD occupies the single 3.5in hard disk bay, with the hard disk relegated to the SATA dock at the top of the machine; there’s a single mini-PCI Express x1 slot free; both SO-DIMM sockets are full, and you can’t upgrade the memory since 8GB is this machine’s limit.

You’re largely stuck with what you pay for, then, but that’s no bad thing since this is the most powerful all-in-one we’ve seen. For similar money to its £1,249 price you can get the A-Listed Chillblast Fusion Flash – similarly powerful but with a better IPS monitor – but if you’ve decided an all-in-one is the way to go, you won’t find one faster. And the touchscreen may give it new life when Windows 8 arrives.

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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