As an all-in-one PC aimed at gamers, the PC Specialist PowerGlide Extreme GT640 offers a distinct performance advantage over other all-in-one systems when it comes to gaming graphics. It also uses a quad-core Intel Core i5-3570K processor which is, aside from the HP Z1's Xeon chip, the most powerful CPU we've seen in an all-in-one, recently. See also: Group test: what's the best all-in-one PC?

The PC Specialist PowerGlide Extreme GT640 is a very fast overall performer, yet at only £899 is one of the least expensive all-in-one PCs around.

Unfortunately, the system build quality doesn't live up to the performance. Like the Chillblast Fusion Flex AIO (reviewed here), the PC Specialist PowerGlide Extreme GT640 is built from an off-the-shelf barebones all-in-one system to which PC Specialist has added its own choice of components.

PC Specialist has opted for Gigabyte's GB-AEGT all-in-one chassis which allows for relatively high-powered graphics cards drawing up to 400W. In this case, an nVidia GeForce GT640 which is the key to its gaming performance.

The chassis uniquely includes an external SATA slot into which you can slide a 2.5in hard disk or SSD to expand the already capacious 2TB storage. It also features a 24in screen with two-point multi-touch and a tilting 2Mp webcam. Tidier than Chillblast's solution, this system keeps all cabling tucked away inside although it certainly won't win any awards for looks.

Our review model suffered a problem with the touchscreen being out of alignment, and it proved impossible to calibrate.

All this desktop PC hardware also requires considerable cooling, and the PC Specialist PowerGlide Extreme GT640 is fitted with annoying noisy fans which get even louder under load – especially gaming.

Perhaps suited to a PC-savvy enthusiast who doesn't want a vendor-supplied user experience foisted upon them, the PC Specialist PowerGlide Extreme GT640 comes without pre-installed software, leaving it to you to configure the system as you wish. You'll also need to add keyboard and mouse.

 PowerGlide Extreme GT640

PC Specialist PowerGlide Extreme GT640: Specs

  • 3.4 - 3.8 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5-3570K Custom Intel H61 8GB DDR3 1333MHz 2TB SATA3 HDD 24" 1920 x 1080, TN panel, touchscreen (2 points) Nvidia GeForce GT 640 (1GB) On board Intel HD Audio Blu-ray reader/DVD writer Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi 5x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI in, HDMI & VGA out None Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 571 x 128 x 464 10.5 kg Card reader, SATA dock, tilting 2MP webcam 1 year collect and return, 1 year parts, 3 years labour
  • 3.4 - 3.8 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5-3570K Custom Intel H61 8GB DDR3 1333MHz 2TB SATA3 HDD 24" 1920 x 1080, TN panel, touchscreen (2 points) Nvidia GeForce GT 640 (1GB) On board Intel HD Audio Blu-ray reader/DVD writer Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi 5x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI in, HDMI & VGA out None Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 571 x 128 x 464 10.5 kg Card reader, SATA dock, tilting 2MP webcam 1 year collect and return, 1 year parts, 3 years labour

OUR VERDICT

With uninspiring plastic looks, particularly noisy fans and no pre-installed software, this is no family PC. We feel the majority of users simply wouldn't put up with it. Where the PC Specialist PowerGlide Extreme GT640 scores is in Windows speed, particularly gaming where support for more powerful graphics cards and processors gives it an advantage.

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