We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
PCs Reviews
15,609 Reviews

PC Specialist Apollo HD8600 review

£999 inc VAT

Manufacturer: PC Specialist

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

On paper, the PC Specialist Apollo HD 8600 looks tasty. Sadly, it couldn’t meet our expectations.

On paper, the PC Specialist Apollo HD 8600 looks tasty: it’s the second system here to house Intel’s new E8600 chip. There’s also 4GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive and a premium motherboard from Asus.

But the PC Specialist Apollo HD 8600 couldn’t meet our expectations, scoring a disappointing 119 points in our WorldBench 6 benchmark. In its defence, the E8600 is a new chip that has caused its fair share of compatibility headaches for manufacturers. By the time these processors start to ship in volume, we would expect any performance glitches such as these to be ironed out.

The PC Specialist Apollo HD 8600's Asus P5Q motherboard supports a number of high-end features, including an Intel P45 chipset, support for high-speed memory and advanced energy-saving functions. Its Express Gate mode allows you to boot the PC into a mini Linux OS in five seconds, from which you can surf the internet and quickly perform basic tasks without having to boot up Windows.

With graphics powered by an ATI Radeon HD 4870 card, the PC Specialist Apollo HD 8600 has the oomph necessary to run the most demanding 3D games – although the motherboard doesn’t support a Crossfire setup, so you won’t be able to add a second card later.

PC Specialist’s own Trigon case helps create a stylish and expensive-looking system with its solid build quality and four front-facing USB ports – these are accessible without opening the front door, which also conceals the PC’s Blu-ray drive.

Chart ranking: Power desktop PCs (Nov issue)

  1. Zoostorm 64-6502
  2. Mesh Elite GTX260 Pro
  3. CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition
  4. Chillblast Olympian
  5. PC Specialist Apollo HD8600

>> NEXT PAGE: Power desktop PCs buying advice

PC Specialist Apollo HD8600 Expert Verdict »
3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8600
Windows Vista Home Premium 32/64bit
4GB DDR2 RAM
750GB SATA
Asus P5Q
10 x USB 2.0
22in Hanns-G HW223DP (0.282mm pixel pitch
1,680x1,050)
512MB PCI Express Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD 4870 (games scores: Crysis = 60fps
Fear = 230fps)
onboard Realtek ALC1200
5 x Creative Inspire T6100
subwoofer
6x/3x (BD-ROM/HD-DVD)
12x/12x/4x/4x/6x/8x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-ROM)
Nero
CyberLink PowerDVD
one-year return-to-base warranty
WorldBench 6 score
119
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

With a little tweaking, the PC Specialist Apollo HD 8600 has the potential to be a truly great PC.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Update: PC Specialist Apollo Home GT budget PC

    Update: PC Specialist Apollo Home GT budget PC

    With the other four of this month’s Top 5 racking up 90 WorldBench points or more, the pace is getting pretty fierce in the bargain basement of PC charts. The PC Specialist Apollo Home GT doesn’t quite reach those heights.

  • PC Specialist Apollo 4850 Pro review

    PC Specialist Apollo 4850 Pro

    Once again, PC Specialist has produced a PC that looks and feels considerably more expensive than it really is.

  • PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS budget PC

    PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS budget PC

    It's possible to argue that the PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS is the most well-rounded machine in the chart.

  • Arbico 807 Pro budget PC

    Arbico 807 Pro budget PC

    The Arbico 807 Pro squeaked ahead of the PC Specialist Apollo 675GTS machine in a close-run fight for second place. If anything drew us to the Arbico 807 Pro, it was the quality of the graphics setup.

  • PC Specialist Apollo R600-X3 power desktop PC

    PC Specialist Apollo R600-X3 power desktop PC

    Future-proofing may be a contentious issue amongst PC purchasers. Working out exactly what will keep a PC fresh and sprightly two or three years from now is partly down to careful calculation, and partly down to blind luck.


IDG UK Sites

45 Best Android games: top Android games for your smartphone or tablet in 2014 (24 are free!)

IDG UK Sites

How Apple, Adobe, Microsoft and others have let us down over UltraHD and hiDPI screens

IDG UK Sites

Do you have the X-Factor too? Mix Off app puts fans in the frame

IDG UK Sites

iPad Pro release date, rumours and leaked images - 12.9 screen 'coming in 2015'