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
15,609 Reviews

Palicomp Phoenix i5 Sonar review

£499 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Palicomp

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The only desktop PC here to provide a multiplier-unlocked Sandy Bridge processor, Palicomp’s Phoenix i5 Sonar takes a 3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500K chip that’s designed for overclocking. Unfortunately, you’ll need a P67-chipset-based motherboard to take advantage: Palicomp supplies an H67 board.

The only desktop PC here to provide a multiplier-unlocked Sandy Bridge processor, Palicomp’s Phoenix i5 Sonar takes a 3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500K chip that’s designed for overclocking. Unfortunately, you’ll need a P67-chipset-based motherboard to take advantage: Palicomp supplies an H67 board.

The Palicomp Phoenix i5 Sonar's Gigabyte motherboard comes with SATA 6Gbps support, a full set of digital audio connections, HDMI and a large selection of software. The latter is often as bizarre as it is innovative – there’s a utility that forces your PC into sleep mode whenever your mobile phone goes out of Bluetooth range, for example. Its H67 chipset doesn’t support USB 3.0 as standard; the other vendors here have added their own cards, but Palicomp has not. Instead, you get 12 USB 2.0 ports.

Group test: What's the best budget PC?
Group test: What's the best £750 PC?

Despite this PC’s lack of overclocking abilities, there is still some benefit in having a ‘K’ chip over the standard version: its integrated graphics processor has double the number of execution units, giving the Palicomp Phoenix i5 Sonar PC an advantage in gaming. In our Fear test, this amounted to only an extra 2fps at ‘Maximum’ detail settings, but other titles may fare better – particularly those optimised for Intel graphics solutions.

Unfortunately, the Palicomp Phoenix i5 Sonar PC's overall system performance wasn’t as good as we expected. It scored 156 WorldBench 6 points, which is only four more than the Core i5-2400-based Chillblast Fusion Summit.

Group test: What's the best £1,000 PC?
Group test: What's the best desktop PC?

As with the other PCs, you also get 4GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive and a 21.5in AOC monitor. Pleasingly, the Palicomp Phoenix i5 Sonar pairs its external speaker set with a subwoofer.

>> NEXT PAGE: Budget PCs buying advice

Palicomp Phoenix i5 Sonar Expert Verdict »
3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500K
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (choose Windows 7 32bit at no extra cost)
4GB DDR3 RAM
1TB SATA
12 x USB 2.0
Gigabyte H67M-UD2H-B3 motherboard
450W WinPower PSU
21.5in AOC F22+ monitor (0.25mm pixel pitch, 1920x1080)
Intel GMA HD 3000 (Fear: 18fps)
onboard sound
2 x Logitech S220 speakers and subwoofer
24x/24x/12x/16x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
one-year return-to-base warranty
WorldBench 6 score: 156
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The Palicomp Phoenix i5 Sonar PC lacks USB 3.0 support and its general performance is no match for our fastest systems, but it’s the best on test for multimedia and low-level gaming.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Palicomp Phoenix i5 Sonar Advanced review

    Palicomp Phoenix i5 Sonar Advanced

    Palicomp promises a lot for your money in the Phoenix i5 Sonar Advanced budget desktop PC, including a Core i5-2500K processor, 8GB of RAM and a speaker set that boasts a subwoofer.

  • Palicomp Phoenix i5 Solar Flare review

    Palicomp Phoenix i5 Solar Flare

    Palicomp’s Phoenix i5 Solar Flare desktop PC outclasses the competition, with a far superior specification and significantly better performance.

  • Chillblast Fusion Neutron review

    Chillblast Fusion Neutron

    With £500 to spend, it’s hard to beat the Chillblast Fusion Neutron budget desktop PC.

  • Palicomp Phoenix i7 2600-24 BLU review

    Palicomp Phoenix i7 2600-24 BLU

    Palicomp's powerful Phoenix i7 2600-24 BLU desktop PC runs a 3.4GHz Sandy Bridge chip and offers the best graphics system here.

  • Palicomp Phoenix i7 Stealth review

    Palicomp Phoenix i7 Stealth

    The fastest Windows 7 PC we’ve ever tested, the Palicomp Phoenix i7 Stealth desktop PC scored a phenomenal 192 points in WorldBench 6.


IDG UK Sites

The 30 best TV shows on Netflix UK: Our pick of the best programmes you can watch right now

IDG UK Sites

Nostalgia time: Top 10 best selling mobile phones in history

IDG UK Sites

VFX Emmy: Game of Thrones work garners gong for Rodeo FX

IDG UK Sites

Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina review (2.6GHz, 128GB, mid-2014)