The Palicomp Excalibur X6 1055OC35 is a chassis-only power PC with an overclocked six-core AMD chip.

Viewed next to this month’s rather fearsome-looking Cyberpower Ultra Scylla GT, the Palicomp seems a slightly drab imitation. However, underneath the lid these two PCs have a great deal in common. And, with a lower price – albeit with no screen – the Palicomp could be seen to offer better value for money.

At the centre of the PC is also the superb hexcore AMD Phenom II X6 1055T. Offering considerable bang for your buck, this processor returns significant power for its modest price tag. Boasting six cores, this has the additional fillip of having been boosted from 2.8GHz to 3.5GHz. This yields a trifling two-point advantage over the similarly overclocked CyberPower in our WorldBench 6 test suite, for a total of 137 points.

Look inside the Palicomp Excalibur X6 1055OC35, and you won’t see much sign of the advanced cooling needed to overclock to this extent – certainly not compared to the towering structures that can be seen inside the CyberPower. However, the Excalibur places much of its faith in the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro, and this still sizeable (yet relatively quiet) heatsink/fan unit helps keep temperatures down.

The Palicomp Excalibur X6 1055OC35 is neatly arrayed internally, although there isn’t the same amount of room that you get with the CyberPower. Unlike that PC, none of the memory slots are obscured though. And you also get all of the cables for the PSU, which is nice – not all manufacturers provide these, which could cause problems should you want to change graphics card.

The Gigabyte 770T-USB3 motherboard provides support for USB 3.0, and two of these ports are included amongst the 12 located on the back and front of the PC. A front-mounted eSATA port is potentially useful too.

The 4GB of PC3-1066 RAM (running at 1333MHz) comes from Crucial, and while it may not have quite the prestige of the CyberPower’s Corsair alternative, the Palicomp Excalibur X6 1055OC35's memory appears to do the job admirably.

Two Samsung 500GB hard drives are set for RAID 0, providing good speed and capacious 1TB of storage. Just remember that if one drive fails, you lose all your data, so backup, and frequently, to another drive.

The AD-7241S DVD writer is another in the formidable line-up of 24-speed drives offered by Sony, and its all-round performance is extremely robust, with LightScribe facilities added for extra versatility.

Both the Palicomp Excalibur X6 1055OC35 and the CyberPower have similar ATI 5770 graphics cards. This is a good product for the money, and, combined with the strong raw speed of the Excalibur, helps secure impressive frame rates in our gaming tests. Topping the 200fps mark in FEAR, while hitting 74fps in Crysis (1024, High), this would be a vibrant gaming machine given the price.

The warranty isn’t particularly lengthy, a statutory one-year only, which is a little less than we’d prefer to see for an overclocked system that carries no guarantee from the chip maker AMD.

See also: Group test: what's the best desktop PC?

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Palicomp Excalibur X6 1055OC35: Specs

  • 2.8GHz (overclocked to 3.5GHz) AMD Phenom II X6 1055T
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Gigabyte 770T-USB3 motherboard
  • 4GB DDR3-1333 RAM
  • 2 x 500GB SATA
  • ThermalTake Evo 750W PSU
  • CM Scout case
  • Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro rev 2
  • 1GB Peak 5770
  • DVI/HDMI
  • 2x USB 3.0, 10x USB 2.0
  • 1x FireWire & Mini FireWire
  • 1x eSATA
  • 24x DVD±RW DL drive
  • 2.8GHz (overclocked to 3.5GHz) AMD Phenom II X6 1055T
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Gigabyte 770T-USB3 motherboard
  • 4GB DDR3-1333 RAM
  • 2 x 500GB SATA
  • ThermalTake Evo 750W PSU
  • CM Scout case
  • Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro rev 2
  • 1GB Peak 5770
  • DVI/HDMI
  • 2x USB 3.0, 10x USB 2.0
  • 1x FireWire & Mini FireWire
  • 1x eSATA
  • 24x DVD±RW DL drive

OUR VERDICT

CyberPower’s superior warranty could be the deciding factor in a hot-rodded system such as this. The Cyberpower Ultra Scylla GT offers powerful performance and if you don't mind an overclocked chip, it represents decent value for money.

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