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
Budget PCs Reviews
15,669 Reviews

Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35 review

£599 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Palicomp

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35 is an inexpensive and fast desktop PC base unit.

The Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35 is an inexpensive and fast desktop PC base unit.

Intel hasn't had it all its own way recently. Of the machines populating our Budget PCs chart, most are powered by Intel's rival AMD. The Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35 sees another outing for the AMD team. We're not convinced, however, that this tilt at the higher price point has been altogether successful.

The beating heart of the base-unit-only Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35 is its AMD Athlon II X4 630 CPU. Launched last autumn, the 630 is another attempt to bring quad-core processing to the masses. It's certainly well-priced, and opting for this chip over Intel's quad-core i5 750 should save you around £50.

However, if you're having to budget an extra £120 or so for a flat-panel, the Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35 would pitch against many of the machines in our £501-£750 PCs chart. And here, there are a few unflattering comparisons for Palicomp.

Like most of today's real-life applications, WorldBench 6 doesn't highlight the possibilities of quad-core processing. Yet Palicomp has given this 630 chip a healthy boost in clock speed - the factory setting 2.8GHz has been ratcheted up to a hefty 3.5GHz. Given that, the WorldBench score of 125 is a mite disappointing. This is a good 10 points slower than the best Intel Core i5 750 machines in our £501-£750 chart, and a massive 19 points down on this month's Yoyotech. CineBench shows the Palicomp to be a decent performer in quad-core applications though.

Overall, these AMD 630 processors might appear to save you a few pounds, but ultimately they are slower than Intel's Core i5 750 chips. In fairness to AMD though, the Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35's supporting hardware isn't as cutting-edge as it might be. Specifically, 4GB of memory is fine, but those chips are slower DDR2-800 from Crucial's Ballistix range. If you're spending this much on a base unit, you might be expecting faster DDR3 memory.

Hard drive storage is more impressive, and a pair of 500GB 7200rpm drives adds up to a capacious 1TB. The presence of two drives is pre-configured in the Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35's faster but risky RAID 0 array.

The Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35 gave us mixed results in games testing. Graphics are courtesy of an overclocked HIS-branded ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB memory, a potentially fast card that should outstrip most PCs at this price. But, whether hampered by the AMD chip or not, it fought its way to a moderate score of 58 in our lighter Crysis lab tests.

At a resolution of 1680x1050 and with the settings on Very High, the Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35 struggled past the 23fps mark.

These aren't bad scores, but they're marginally down on figures hit by PCs in our Top Five charts - and some of those systems have cheaper ATI 5750 cards. The Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35 is better in FEAR, managing a score of 221fps. Of those Top Five PCs, only the machine with an ATI HD 4890 betters this.

The Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35 does have its strengths. The Cooler Master chassis won't be unattractive to gamers eyes, with see-through casing giving a glimpse of many LEDs glowing inside.

We experienced no overheating issues, and the Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35 PC is reasonably discreet - notwithstanding an ever-present faint hum.

Inside is a generous-spec 750W supply, which offers potential for future upgrades, and the Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35 is spacious and well-organised internally. A battery of connectors includes 12 USB 2.0 ports, and a 24-speed Optiarc DVD dual-layer burner is a handy addition.

The system is supplied with 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium, although you can slice £50 off the price if you bring your own OS. We'd prefer to see a more confident warranty, however - particularly on an overclocked system.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35 Expert Verdict »

2.8GHz AMD Athlon II X4 630 (overclocked to 3.5GHz)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Gigabyte GA-M770-UD3 motherboard
4GB DDR2-800 RAM
2 x 500GB SATA HDDs in RAID 0
750W PSU
HIS ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB (overclocked to 950MHz core/1400MHz memory clock)
DVI, HDMI outputs
12 x USB 2.0
24x DVD±RW DL drive
gigabit ethernet
Cooler Master Scout case
1-year return-to-base warranty
WorldBench 6 score 125
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 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

For anyone needing a flat-panel too, it’ll be hard to make much saving over Core i5 750 systems in our £501-£750 PCs chart. The Palicomp Excalibur 630OC35 is let down by its AMD processor, making it that bit slower in most areas than Intel-equipped equivalents. Combined with the older DDR2 RAM, it’s enough to leave an otherwise competent PC struggling to hold onto the coat-tails of Intel i5 systems.

  • Palicomp Excalibur X6 1055OC35 review

    Palicomp Excalibur X6 1055OC35

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

  • Palicomp Excalibur 630-19 System review

    Palicomp Excalibur 630-19 System

    The specification of Palicomp's Excalibur 630-19 System budget desktop PC marks quite a departure from rival systems in the sub-£500 desktop PC chart, with a quad-core CPU, a set of external speakers, good upgrade potential and a 19in monitor.

  • Palicomp Excalibur Ballistix E85-4670-19 review

    Palicomp Excalibur Ballistix E85-4670-19

    Palicomp's Excalibur Ballistix E85-4670-19 delivers enough power to breeze through day-to-day computing tasks without a hitch.

  • Palicomp Core i5 Blast 760-24 6870 review

    Palicomp Core i5 Blast 760-24 6870

    With ATI's brand-new Radeon HD 6870 graphics card and 1GB of video RAM under the bonnet, Palicomp's Core i5 Blast 760-24 6870 is an excellent budget PC for gaming.

  • Palicomp Core i7 Blitz 950-24 SSD review

    Palicomp Core i7 Blitz 950-24 SSD

    Running the powerful 3.06GHz Intel Core i7-950 processor, Palicomp Core's i7 Blitz 950-24 SSD desktop PC boasts an impressive specification.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model