Housed in a love-it-or-hate-it Trendsonic Wizard case and fronted by a pair of mandible-like ‘saloon doors', Palicomp's Phoenix E86C-22 is sure to look more at home at a gaming session than on your office desktop.

Avid gamers should also love the Palicomp Phoenix E86C-22's huge, slow-moving fan that's fitted in the case's side-panel. This helps to keep the system cool while keeping noise to a minimum.

Under the Palicomp Phoenix E86C-22's bonnet we find an old friend: the Core 2 Duo E8600 processor, which for a brief time was unbeatable in our high-end PC charts. It's now been outclassed by Intel's Core i7-series, but there's a good reason to stick with the ageing dual-core CPU over the i7: cost. The processor is less expensive, as are dual-core-compatible motherboards and memory. Not to mention that the E8600 is still pretty quick in its old age.

With the money saved, Palicomp has splashed out on a set of external speakers and a Blu-ray-compatible DVD drive to assist HD video playback on the Phoenix E86C-22.

A decent PSU is always an important consideration; rather like a PC's heart, it gives life to every part of the system. The Palicomp Phoenix E86C-22 comes with an 850W AlphaPower model, which is considerably more powerful than any other in this month's chart. It also has the largest hard drive: a full terabyte.

Unfortunately for Palicomp, we've seen far better WorldBench 6 scores from similarly configured systems; 118 points is looking just a little slow. However, the Palicomp Phoenix E86C-22's inclusion of an nVidia GeForce GTX 260 keeps gaming framerates nice and high.

Chart ranking: Power desktop PCs

  1. Arbico Elite i748 XL
  2. Eclipse Galaxy X58n260
  3. Palicomp Phoenix E86C-22
  4. CyberPower Gamer Ultra HD II
  5. Chillblast Fusion Excalibur

>> NEXT PAGE: Power desktop PCs buying advice

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