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Palicomp Core i3 Blast 530OC44 review

Verdict

Astonishing performance that redefines what we've come to expect from a budget PC

Review Date: 30 Aug 2010

Reviewed By: Mike Jennings

Price when reviewed: £425 (£499 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
6 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

Intel's Core i3 processor has single-handedly raised expectations for budget PC performance to a level unrecognisable just a year ago. Having become the go-to chip for manufacturers, we're seeing more and more effort being put into overclocking as a way of adding value, culminating in this: the £425 exc VAT Palicomp's Core i3 Blast 530OC44, a PC that grabs that level, straps a rocket to it and fires it into the stratosphere.

Out of the box the Core i3-530 runs at a respectable 2.93GHz, but Palicomp has overclocked it to a mighty 4.4GHz. To do so, the stock Intel cooler just wouldn't do; instead Palicomp has used a Thermaltake ISGC-400 cooler and replaced the fan with a PWM-equipped model. This change helps keeps the CPU cool - it peaked at a safe 79 degrees C - and also helps keep the system down to a quiet hum.

But most importantly, it makes the Palicomp insanely fast. It effortlessly outclassed the A-Listed PC Specialist Aurea i3-530 Pro, which scored 1.66 with the same CPU at standard clock speeds, and went far enough to threaten far dearer PCs. An overall benchmark score of 2.56 isn't quite the fastest we've seen, but it's higher than anything else currently on the A List - even narrowly beating the £1,260 Chillblast Fusion Photo OC III, the fastest PC currently in the Enthusiast PC category.

Palicomp Core i3 Blast 530OC44

That score on a £425 PC is almost enough to open wallets on its own, but with a fair chunk of that budget swallowed up by the processor, cutbacks elsewhere are understandable. The Radeon HD 5450, for instance, is the weakest card in ATI's current range, and not really intended for gaming at all. It managed only 27fps in our Low-quality, 1,366 x 768 Crysis benchmark, but throw a 1080p video at it and it will cope just fine. It's also passively cooled which, when added to the custom CPU cooler, makes the Palicomp nice and quiet, particularly when compared to most high-powered PCs.

It all sits inside a Cooler Master Elite 330 chassis, which isn't particularly exciting or complex, but Palicomp has made the best of it. For starters, it's tidy: the PSU isn't modular and there's no separate motherboard tray, but cables are tucked neatly away behind the optical drive cages and only emerge when they're needed. Palicomp has taken care to tie various wires down, with SATA cables lashed to the side of the unpainted interior and the front panel connectors secured to the bottom.

There's plenty of room to grow, too. The ASRock P55 Pro/USB 3 motherboard provides a second PCI-Express x16 slot running at x4 speed alongside pairs of PCI Express x1 and PCI slots, and both spare DIMM sockets are easily accessible despite the large Thermaltake CPU cooler. Five SATA/300 sockets lie free, with one perpendicular to the board, and the handful of empty hard disk and optical drive bays offer tool-less entry. The backplate is good, too, with a single USB 3 port, seven more USB 2 ports, eSATA and a pair of PS/2 sockets.

Elsewhere, the specification is decent enough: 4GB of DDR3 RAM is more than enough to keep Windows 7 Home Premium ticking over, and the 1TB hard disk is large enough to cope with sizeable media collections. A DVD writer is included, too.

It's quiet, tidy and versatile, then, but the real feather in the Palicomp's cap is its combination of price and performance. Although it won't have you gaming, the Core i3 Blast 530OC44 delivers the kind of raw application power that can't be matched by systems costing three times as much. It goes straight onto the A List, and it will be hard to topple.

Author: Mike Jennings

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User comments

Tweek the spec

I would suggest that if they could substitute the graphics for a stock 1GB GTX 460 and over clock that to 800MHz then they would have a serious gaming PC all for around £600 including VAT

By Jaberwocky on 30 Aug 2010

agree with that

but then they would need a more expensive case and PSU and the price would add up.

By Deathtaker27 on 30 Aug 2010

Checking their web-site, this base unit comes with a 550W PSU (is this mentioned in the review?), so perhaps it wouldn't be a stretch to fit a GTX 460 in it.

Unfortunately, there's no option to do this from the PC configurator on the Palicomp site, but it's definitely possible if you're willing to fit it yourself.

By pbryanw on 30 Aug 2010

nVIDIA Graphics Cards

Hi Guys,

nVidia graphics card upgrades section has now been added to the spec on the Palicomp website. If upgrading anything above the GTX460, you would also need to upgrade the PSU to the 750 Watt. But yes this would make a cracking gaming spec with the overclock being what it is! No need to change the case unless you want a smarter case like the CoolerMaster Scout or Sileo. To find the spec on the site, just type in the product code on the site search bar which is BLA4

By Palicomp on 31 Aug 2010

nVidia Card Probs With Win 7 Etc

Using anything but an ATI card with Win 7 causes problems, i can't beiliev no one has mentioned that here when suggesting GTX cards etc?
Also, if you ever used Palicomp on Ebay ( now known as megapc ) you'll be all too aware of this companies terrible reputation for strongarm aftersales calls, lousy warranties, expensive shipping charges and poorly constructed machines, not to mention their PREMIUM RATE customer "service" lines! i wouldn't buy a thing from these chancers!

By phils1969 on 1 Sep 2010

Palicomp

I would love to place an order with this company. But having a machine with a good spec could so easily be let down by poor customer service If I was to call their telephone line I would be charged 75 pence per minute, which I believe to be exhorbitant.

By bayhouse on 1 Sep 2010

LOCAL RATE SUPPORT

Hi Guys,

Just to let you know that Palicomp no longer have a premium rate telephone number for support, it is a standard landline local rate number. Please visit http://www.palicomp.co.uk/contact-us/info_2.html for contact details for sales and support. If any customers have any issues we are here to help resolve them. Also re Phils comment the nVidia cards having problems with Windows7, we have had no reported problems with any ATI cards or nVidia Cards having issues with Windows7. Customer service is our number 1 priority.

By Palicomp on 1 Sep 2010

NVidia Cards & Win 7

Im slightly surprised by the comment above, any vague search will gturn up multiple problmes with compatability of nVidia cards and win 7, problems with display interference, inability to display decent resolutions and actually crashing the Windows Assessment Tool are just a few of the many problems these cards have, and nVidia still havent sorted it our yet!
As for Palicomp finally changing their "support" number to a local call rate one, well i'd check that very carefully, even if it is a local cal rate 10p a minute when your left hanging on for an hour or having to constantly call back to get something resolved is still totally unacceptable, cjeck their feedback on Ebay - megapc - id steer clear!

By phils1969 on 2 Sep 2010

GOOD SUPPORT SERVICE

Dont know why this guy is trying to make our company out to be so bad. We do not put customers on hold and the average support call is just 10 mins and we also call customers back if they are worried about the cost of a local rate call.
Back to the matter at hand. This PC that has won the ALIST award is as it says in the review, awesome performance and value for money. Feel free to contact us on 01270 898104 with any questions.

By Palicomp on 2 Sep 2010

GOOD SUPPORT SERVICE

Dont know why this guy is trying to make our company out to be so bad. We do not put customers on hold and the average support call is just 10 mins and we also call customers back if they are worried about the cost of a local rate call.
Back to the matter at hand. This PC that has won the ALIST award is as it says in the review, awesome performance and value for money. Feel free to contact us on 01270 898104 with any questions.

By Palicomp on 2 Sep 2010

Happy with Palicomp

I've had 3 i7 PC's from Palicom for our company and been very pleased with both their service, delivery and quality of the product.

By fortysix on 2 Sep 2010

AVCHD video Editing?

Does anyone know if this PC would be suitable for AVCHD video editing using Pinnacle Studio 14? I don’t play games so no issues on that side.

Thanks in advance and apologies if this is the wrong forum to ask this type of question.

By kushma on 2 Sep 2010

AVCHD Video Editing

Hi Kushma,

Yes this PC will be just fine for your requirements, but we would recommend the Core i5 or a Core i7 PC so that the software would take full advantage of the true quad cores. Something like the following products on the site... BLA1, BLI1 or if your after a top spec PC with a TFT the KIN1(type these codes into the search bar on our website www.palicomp.co.uk)

By Palicomp on 2 Sep 2010

AVCHD video Editing?

Does anyone know if this PC would be suitable for AVCHD video editing using Pinnacle Studio 14? I don’t play games so no issues on that side.

Thanks in advance and apologies if this is the wrong forum to ask this type of question.

By kushma on 2 Sep 2010

True value?

I'm wondering actually that because at its core (no pun intended) its running hotter than it would at its base rate, that it might not last as long as a non-overclocked PC, and so you'll be forced into purchasing a new PC sooner?
I thought that was the whole point of overclocking - the light that burns twice as bright burns for only half as long?
Sure its being 'overcooled' so to speak, but its still running hotter right at its core.
I'm not sure...

By Heliosphan on 3 Sep 2010

BIG OVERCLOCK LOW TEMPERATURE & QUIET!

Hi,

Thanks for your comments regarding the overclock. But things have changed a lot since the old days. Overclocks now are very stable and as the review says we have used an advanced CPU heatsink and fan cooler and the CPU only rises to 79 Degrees C which is well within the tolerance of the CPU, and as Mike says in the review, it is a safe temperature. But if you are concerned at all go for the 3 year carefree service we offer as this would give you complete piece of mind. If you have any other questions feel free to contact us direct.

By Palicomp on 3 Sep 2010

Now testing support

Just received my PC, network and USB3.0 drivers not installed(upon installation PC hanged and would not reboot so had to reset CMOS settings, and lost Overclock settings.
Optional wireless card not added to PC. Have contacted support by email and will phone on Monday. Will keep everyone informed here.
Ian

By ianjenk247 on 1 Oct 2010

Support Good

UPDATE
Phone support on the standard rate phone number; they promised to credit my card for the wireless adapter, and investigate the shoddy build of the PC (front audio not plugged in, cables and connectors loose and dangling into CPU fan). They will also send instructions of how to apply the OC settings.
Let’s hope they deliver on their promises.
Ian

By ianjenk247 on 4 Oct 2010

Interesting tactic

Just got the email confirming despatch of this PC. Interestingly it lists the support number as 0911 184 2739 (75p per minute I believe). I do hope that this is an oversight

By leftsider on 11 Oct 2010

Does the job well.....but

The Kit is running well after light use but very fast. I paid extra £25 for next day dispatch took 3 days total to arrive from online order. Also paid for 3 years BTB/FP warrenty for £50 - they inluded 650W power and beefed-up fan , but extra systems fans were missing. Not keen on after-sales calls but this was an OK offer considering warranty was same retail price as freebies! Will keep updated on missing fans!!

By Pink_Squid on 12 Oct 2010

Pre-Sales tactics leave a lot to be desired

Bought one of these machines last week and choose to upgrade the graphics card to a Radeon HD 5770. Palicomp would not accept my order without an upgrade to 750Watt PSU (£50) and case fans (£10). The fans I accept, but a 750Watt PSU (AMD quote 450Watt PSU for the HD 5770) seems excessive (given the other components are not power hungry). I finally had to agree before the order could be placed. Also hard sell on the Warranty, I insisted on sticking with the basic 1yr RTB, but was shocked to receive 3 PayPal ‘invoices’ for the top priced warranty (I was not even paying by PayPal). This to me is devious, bordering on illegal, and could easily catch an unsuspecting buyer out.

The PC itself is indeed fast but not as fast as stated. Mine is only OC’ed to 4.29GHz, and although I understand that not all the CPU’s can be clocked at 4.4GHz, they should not claim it as being overclocked to 4.4GHz (but I guess ISP get away with it, with broadband speeds !!!!). Operationally, I have received 7 or 8 BSD (Blue Screen of Death) errors and some other Windows ‘Serious’ errors, which, thankfully, after a reboot do not appear again in the session. I have not contacted the technical support yet about this, but plan to soon.

By pwallage on 13 Oct 2010

Pre-Sales tactics leave a lot to be desired

Bought one of these machines last week and choose to upgrade the graphics card to a Radeon HD 5770. Palicomp would not accept my order without an upgrade to 750Watt PSU (£50) and case fans (£10). The fans I accept, but a 750Watt PSU (AMD quote 450Watt PSU for the HD 5770) seems excessive (given the other components are not power hungry). I finally had to agree before the order could be placed. Also hard sell on the Warranty, I insisted on sticking with the basic 1yr RTB, but was shocked to receive 3 PayPal ‘invoices’ for the top priced warranty (I was not even paying by PayPal). This to me is devious, bordering on illegal, and could easily catch an unsuspecting buyer out.

The PC itself is indeed fast but not as fast as stated. Mine is only OC’ed to 4.29GHz, and although I understand that not all the CPU’s can be clocked at 4.4GHz, they should not claim it as being overclocked to 4.4GHz (but I guess ISP get away with it, with broadband speeds !!!!). Operationally, I have received 7 or 8 BSD (Blue Screen of Death) errors and some other Windows ‘Serious’ errors, which, thankfully, after a reboot do not appear again in the session. I have not contacted the technical support yet about this, but plan to soon.

By pwallage on 13 Oct 2010

PALICOMP UPDATE

Hi Guys,

Just a few updates to your messages. All Palicomp support is avaible on 01270 898104 as per our website. If anyone has any questions or issues please contact us and we will resolve any issues you have.
Regarding the latest comment with the graphics card, the ATI 5770 1GB graphics card is a power hungry card and we do reccomend going for the 750W to do the job. The vast majority of these specs go out the door at 4.4Ghz, but there are a few odd combinations of CPU and Motherboard that will force the overclock slighly lower, but no difference in usable speed will be noticed, as nearly all process will seem instant with this fast clock speed.

By Palicomp on 14 Oct 2010

Sales Line

I have just phoned the sales line and tried to rectify a order on line - they were very unhelpful to the point that I cancelled my order and would under no circumstances order from them ever!!!

By noggebmop on 16 Oct 2010

Reply To Noggemop

Hi Sir,
Im not sure if this is the truth or someone just making it up. But we've only had 1 customer on today who wanted to cancel his order, and the customer had placed 2 orders on our website and called up asking to cancel them as they had made a mistake and that they were going to resubmit another order? So we cancelled the orders as requested? We havent had any customers on that we would help rectify a sales issue, this would be totally out of order, as we here to give advice and sell PCs. So I dont understand your comments. However I have spoken to the boss and he has asked that you call 01270 898104 and we will address any questions you have with any order.

By Palicomp on 16 Oct 2010

Put the record straight

I ordered this PC, worried by what had been said on here. I received the post sales phone call, but resisted the temptation to spend more. The Logitech 2:1 speakers were out of stock, I accepted a replacement however the delivered ones were a bit shoddy, so I emailed support. Emails were always answered promptly and I received a refund on the speakers. It has to be said that this PC is blisteringly fast and whisper quiet. I've had the solid state drive fitted which probably helps.

All in all - despite some of the comments above, I'd recommend this PC. With the caveat that the extra fans are really needed.

Well done Palicomp, particularly with the prompt response to support queries

By leftsider on 21 Oct 2010

Unable to use Sleep

I was unable to wake up the computer after it went into Sleep, had to reboot. Palicomp tell me that I should disable Sleep in power settings as "as it cannot be used with overclocked systems".

Is this correct? Anyone using Sleep successfully on this machine?

By dgudka on 23 Oct 2010

@Put the record straight

Fast? Yes.
Whisper quiet? I think not, especially with the extra fans. My partner keeps thinking that she has left the washer on 8o)

By SAPEDIMan on 26 Oct 2010

Can't Get Through

I'm sat here with the phone to my ear and it's just ringing & ringing. The DVD/CD was faulty on my PC so after days of going through the motions of trying to prove that it was indeed faulty, I posted it on 21st Oct by recorded delivery and informed Palicomp by email that I had done so. It's now Oct 27th and I have just dicovered that they have not received the parcel. It was sent first class recorded delivery so I presume that Royal Mail tried to deliver the parcel but could not get a signature for it and it is now in a sorting office somewhere. (I'm still on the phone by the way and it's still ringing). Without this device I cannot install XP on drive D: So the software that I bought this machine for (It won't run on Windows 7 hence the XP requirement) cannot be installed. To say I am mightily frustrated by this company is an understatement!(Phone is still ringing and I am not the fastest typer in the world)

By SAPEDIMan on 27 Oct 2010

Can't Get Through

I've just been to the office kitchen and made myself a cup of tea. The phone is still ringing!

By SAPEDIMan on 27 Oct 2010

UPDATE TO COMMENTS

To contact palicomp support this can be done one of two ways. Either by calling 01270 898078 which is our dedicated direct line to the Palicomp support team. If you have trouble getting through just call 01270 898104 and select option 1 on the main menu.
RE - SAPEDIMan I have just spoken to the support manager, and we are shipping a replacement DVDRW out for you today By Fedex so it will be with you tomorrow. Your drive hasnt been recieved yet as per your tracking details on Royal Mails website, but we have agreed to ship you this in advance. Any other issues just call support or e-mail support@palicomp.co.uk we are here to help and will resolve any issues any customers have got.

By Palicomp on 28 Oct 2010

Can't Get Through

Palicomp. Thanks for your reply here. I rang the number that you stated above in your "Palicomp Update" reply, 01270 898104 and I did select option 1 but the situation was as I described. I know you haven't received the return yet and I have emailed you last night after a very frustrating evening trying to build a bootable USB. Anyway IF I receive the replacement DVDRW today then I will be back here to let everyone know the good news.

By SAPEDIMan on 28 Oct 2010

?

I don't know why the "Cup of Tea" comment keeps getting posted.

By SAPEDIMan on 28 Oct 2010

Royal Mail Lost

Hi,
Support have just told me that you e-mailed in and confirmed that Royal Mail have lost your DVDRW drive and this is why there has been a delay. Not to worry we have today sent you out a brand new replacement by Fedex. If you have any future issues just call or e-mail us, sorry if it was a little busy yesterday, usually all calls are answered quickly.

By Palicomp on 28 Oct 2010

Royal Mail Lost

Hi,
Support have just told me that you e-mailed in and confirmed that Royal Mail have lost your DVDRW drive and this is why there has been a delay. Not to worry we have today sent you out a brand new replacement by Fedex. If you have any future issues just call or e-mail us, sorry if it was a little busy yesterday, usually all calls are answered quickly.

By Palicomp on 28 Oct 2010

Royal Mail Lost (DVD has arrived)

Credit where credit is due. I have just received my new DVDRW drive from Palicomp delivered by Fedex, so finally I should be able to crack on. Thanks Palicomp. Faith restored.

By SAPEDIMan on 29 Oct 2010

unhappy customer

I purchased a pc from palicomp about 5 months ago (i5 blast). Although i am now happy with the pc I had all sorts of problems. To start when the pc arrived they forgot the mouse and keyboard and the monitor was not what i ordered. Then I noticed a problem with the ram. It only showed 2 gb working not 4. I had to open the case to fix it my self, and the problem was it was not installed correctly. Also whilst I had the case open I noticed the Hard drive, Cd drive was different to my order and a fan was missing which I paid extra for. After a long debate with Palicomp the matter was resolved, well sort of.

By Duke08 on 3 Nov 2010

Blue Screens

A friend recommended this but a colleague has had numerous blue screen issues since getting his machine, including after it's been sent for repair.
He's got upgraded cooling, graphics card
I've lost confidence now and cant help feeling that it's not worth the hassle. Anyone else had persistent blue-screen issues?

By Mr_Underhill on 12 Nov 2010

Blue Screens here too

I too have been plagued by blue screens and random reboots. It was believed to be caused by the aggressive OC settings but even with everything turned off, the problem persists.
I'm stuck with a PC I can't/daren't use.
Palicomp have suggested I return it to them as sometimes 'there's something special they need to do on PCs with 8Gb RAM' - REALLY! They supplied it in that config so shouldn't it just work?

The RAM was an up-sold to a better spec than I originally ordered so I wasn't really expecting these sorts of issues. In the past I've been happy to follow PC Pro's recommendations on kit and haven't been disappointed.

The Palicomp support number mostly just rings and rings. I eventually got through but they said I'd be better off communicating via email. I insisted that they progress my return since I'd been lucky enough to get through. They said I would receive my RMA number via email - still waiting despite chasing. I've been verbally promised a collection tomorrow. Am I confident?

£600 for an unusable PC. Let's hope Palicomp can turn this around and win back the faith of this customer.

By thefool on 16 Nov 2010

Finally received RMA

Surprised - True to their word, my PC was collected today so I await their findings. Communication isn't their strong point - I got the RMA by chasing them again. Let's hope I get some good news soon.

By thefool on 16 Nov 2010

Order

I have justed ordered one of these and it is shippling later today. They tried to upsell the warrnaty and said I needed a bigger power supply becuase I chnaged the graphics card. Said I didnt think it needed the PSU upgrade and they gave it for free, cant blame them for the warranty sell as the machine is cheap. - one think the email confirmations still quote the premium support numbers, make sure you use the numbers on the website.

By JRT2010 on 17 Nov 2010

Customer Test for PALICOMP

Hi
I ordered one yesterday and today received and up selling phone call but no proper confirmation. I have sent them the following email and see this as a 'press-to-test' on their commitment to quality products and service. I will keep you informed.

Dear Sir

I am considering cancelling my order with your company for reasons I outline below, but am prepared to be offered assurances in writing which may make me proceed (these I have detailed below).

I ordered the CORE I3 Blast 530OC44 from your website on23 Nov 2010.

On the morning of the 24 Nov 2010 I spoke to a sales representitive (Harry) over the phone about the order, and he advised me that several items from the original spec were not available and gave me alternatives, he also sold me extended warranty. However, we made alot of changes and none of this has been reflected in the confirmation email I received below. This gave me cause for concern, I also notice the additional funds and deposit have not yet cleared and I am currently unsighted as to the final amount.

Upon checking my website account I noticed that the order had not been amended here either, on seeing this I checked several online forums discussing PALICOMP (including PC PRO where I spotted the product) and was dismayed to find almost universal negative feedback on the quality of both goods provided and after sales service.

This is the order I made on the website with the changes / discussion I believe were made over the phone with Harry highlighted in bold:

CORE I3 BLAST 530OC44
CAREFREE WARRANTY - 1 Year Standard Return to Base - Upgraded to 3 year Care free warranty - £54.99 (upgrade of Power Supply and CPU)
Q-JUMP - STANDARD BUILD & TEST PHASE - Upto 10 Working Days - Upgraded to Q-Jump - £5.00
INTEL CPU - LGA1156 - Intel Core I3 530 2.93GHz 4MB L3 Cache - Upgraded to I3 540 3.06Ghz - free
CPU COOLING - STANDARD STOCK HEATSINK/FAN ON CPU - I asked about this and was told my standard already fitted was the ThermaltakeISGC-400, I agreed to upgrade to the Artic freezer Pro7 Ultra Silent Cooler on advice that this was more suitable- £20.00
INTEL LGA1156 MOTHERBOARD - ASROCK P55 PRO/USB3 With Intel P55 Chipset - Was told this was end of line so was upgraded to the Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 iP55 with Intel P55 chipset - Free
DDR3 MEMORY - CORSAIR 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600Mhz
PRIMARY HDD - Maxtor 1TB SATA2, 7200 RPM & 32MB Cache
SLAVE HDD - No Slave Hard Drive
PRIMARY OPTICAL - SONY 24XDVD+/-RW Lightscribe & Dual Layer
SLAVE OPTICAL - No Slave Optical Drive
GRAPHICS CARD - ATI Radeon 5450 512MB DX11 & Pixel5 - Was told this was end of line also and would be upgraded to the 1024MB version - free
NVIDIA GTX GRAPHICS CARD - ATI GRAPHICS CARD IN ABOVE LIST AS STANDARD
CASES - Coolermaster Elite 330 Black Mid Tower Case - Was told this was unavailable and would receive different unit, I imagine this will be Coolermaster Scout Gaming Tower - free
PSU - 550W Power Supply Unit - upgraded to 650W - free
KEYBOARDS - None
SOFTWARE - NEW OS - WINDOWS 7 PREMIUM 64BIT
EXTRA SOFTWARE - None
MONITOR - None
CARD READER - INTERNAL 80IN1 3.5'' Media Card Reader
NETWORKING - Internal Wireless LAN For Wireless Networking
PCI SLOT - NONE
PCI SLOT 2 - NONE
SOUND CARD - ONBOARD Standard Min 5.1 Or 7.1
SPEAKERS - NONE
COOLING - Pack Of 2 x Case Fans Silent & Powerful, Highly Recommended To Reduce Overall System Temperature & Prolong Life Of PC

What I would therefore like before deciding to proceed with the order is the following:

1. Your assurances that the online feedback represent isolated cases and that your will provide me with a quality product and customer service.
2. Your assurance that I will be provided with a detailed invoice by Close of Play Thurs 25th 2010 listing the product components as outlined above and the cost
3. Confirmation of exactly what computer case I will be receiving.
4. Your commitment to inform me by email should you change any of the components as agreed in the detailed invoice outlined in Para 2 above.

I do not think I am being unreasonable in being cautious about this matter, in order to be fair I will post this email on the PC PRO A List Comments page about your product (on which I see you have been engaged) in order for you to demonstrate to a wider audience your commitment to quality product and service.

I hope we can do business

Your faithfully

Mike Hogben

By hogblower on 24 Nov 2010

REPLY TO HOGBLOWER

Hi Michael,

Firstly can I please point out that due to low price point and the high spec on this PC and winning the ALIST award, it has made this spec the best seller on our website. From time to time items can run out of stock, so we do call all customers after placing an order. Firstly do a fraud check, and to also see if the customer wants to make any additional changes and make sure everything is in stock and notify of dispatch date etc.

We called you yesterday and what has happened in this particular case because there were a few changes to the spec, you have come away probably not remembering everything correctly. So what I have done for you below is listed the changes and what you agreed to. I hope this reassures you that you are dealing with a reputable company, we 100% deal with any pre sales or aftersales issues as quickly and positively as possible. We have made several changes over the last few years to increase customers satisfaction including, giving a local rate telephone number for our support team, and as you know and have already taken advantage of our 'Buy Now Pay Later' interest free deals. I'm sure you will be very impressed with the speed and performance of this PC, it is outforming PCs that cost a lot more and is a very good all round PC base unit. Also just let me reassure you that the changes discussed have been made manually and you are getting a full vat receipt later today with full breakdown etc. We cannot physically change the order on the online system so any manual changes are done on our back end system. So please look out for an e-mail later from the Accounts team.

Correct Changes From Phonecall...
1. Purchase of carefree package with free upgrades
2. Upgraded to Arctic Freezer Pro7 Silent Heatsink (good idea)
3. Q-Jump added at reduced price due to taking finance and out of stock issues
4. Graphics card was out of stock yesterday so as agreed upgraded to next one up 5450 1GB

Incorrect/Other issues
1. Motherboard wasn't even discussed and we wouldn't be able to achieve the high overclock on any other board anyway, so this will remain P55PRO/USB3
2. Case was out of stock yesterday, but we have more coming in so this will in fact be the CoolerMaster Elite330 still

From time to time things do obviously go wrong, this happens with all companies, its the way they are dealt with that makes the difference, and I can assure you that we are here to help in anyway we can, nothing other than the above will be different on your order and if you have any further questions or issues, please contact 01270 898104 for sales or 01270 898078 for support.

By Palicomp on 25 Nov 2010

Happy with PALICOMP order

I have been impressed by the speed of response and customer engagement from Palicomp and this reassurance has convinced me to go ahead with the order.

I look forward to receiving my unit and will let people know how it goes.

By hogblower on 25 Nov 2010

Use with Protools

hi there, i currently use Protools 7.3.1 si can the PC come with XP installed? Or alternatively would the PC be adequate to run Protools 8? thanks

By huwrees on 2 Dec 2010

ProTools

Hi, The PC comes with Windows7 Premium 64Bit, according to forums online, the Protools 7.3.1 and 8 are both fully compatible with Windows7 64Bit. But we also have XP in stock if you prefur to use that. Feel free to call us on 01270 898104 option 3 to discuss.

By Palicomp on 2 Dec 2010

ProTools

Hi, The PC comes with Windows7 Premium 64Bit, according to forums online, the Protools 7.3.1 and 8 are both fully compatible with Windows7 64Bit. But we also have XP in stock if you prefur to use that. Feel free to call us on 01270 898104 option 3 to discuss.

By Palicomp on 2 Dec 2010

Issue 196 Labs - What happened?

I was looking at buying this PC but was confused by the new issue Labs which had the 530 OC44-22. This seems to be the exact same PC with a 22in monitor and upgraded Graphics card but it only managed a 2D score of 2.17. What could have caused this significant drop in performance?

By Coastline1 on 10 Dec 2010

Happy with Pc

I've had my Palicomp PC for over a month now, and although i was a little worried about the 'hard-sell' phone call when i first placed my order i.e warranty ,power supply and queue jump upgrade,i realise now i shouldn't have been.
Pc arrived the next day and has worked brilliantly,together with a clock speed of 4.26ghz .
I've yet to use any aftersales services because nothing has gone wrong. (fingers crossed) .
Very Recommened .

By Gaz69 on 2 Jan 2011

Premium Rate Support Line

I see from recent emails from Palicomp that they persist in quoting their premium rate 0911 (75ppm) support line.

By emteec on 5 Jan 2011

PC not working

Update from my recent'Happy With PC' comments..
PC is now not working, and im only getting a blue screen on start.

By Gaz69 on 26 Jan 2011

Overall Very Happy with Purchase

Update from my customer test post.
After the intial emails the computer arrived on time...with the wrong case and with a broken media card reader.
The support however was excellent, far better than I would have expecting and on a local rate number.
The unit was collected after Christmas and arrived back in good time, correct case but sadly no card reader at all...
Once again, excellent customer service response and a reader arrived a few days later which I fitted myself.

So, not perfect in terms of getting the build exactly right, but then in my opinion every company will make the odd mistake it is how they are dealt with that is important. Palicomp has impressed me in this respect and I would certainly use them again.

I appreciate this post is most likely condemning me to a ironic blue screen of death but there you go.

By hogblower on 1 Feb 2011

no comment on the blue-screens?

Well, it seems that there are a few people on here who are getting the dreaded blue-screen issues. Including Gaz69 a few days ago.
Since there's been no comment on this by Palincomp, I can only assume they are busy sorting out all the other issues they've got!??
It knocks my confidence in PCPro mag too I'm sorry to say.
FWIW, I hope you dont get these bluescreens hogblower. Good luck

By Mr_Underhill on 2 Feb 2011

Very satisfied with Palicomp.

Update from my previous comment 'PC Not Working'.
Upon getting only a 'blue screen' ,which might have been caused by me anyway. I phoned Palicomp,spoke to someone straight away,and my pc was collected by Fedex the next day.
I've just recieved my pc back and the problem is resolved.
I found them to be quite helpful and the turnaround was pretty fast..

By Gaz69 on 3 Feb 2011

Poor Show

Hmmm. Their website has this for 450 now but with a stock cooler. As the rview says it'll need more and Palicomp pre-sales recommend a £30 cooler plus and extra £10 fan.

Seems a bit like sharp practice to reduce the price/spec then need to spend on additional items.

By cdrider1 on 7 Apr 2011

Palicomp/Megapc a nightmare

I'll add my tuppence worth. Won a PC last year before Palicomp changed their name to Megapc as their name was worse than hitler to those in the know.

Couldnt pay until I received their email (ludicrous) which bombarded me with EXTRAS to buy. All offers intent on bleeding more money out of you. Charging 4% on top for card payments, no mention of this in the listings. After threatening them with trading standards, Ebay and Paypal, they gave me allthe "extras" for free. Q-Jump, ram upgrade (DDR3 in listing upgraded to DDR3 800 mhz !!!!! ha ha ha) next day delivery and case fans. Who sells pcs without a single fan !!! just an excuse to rip you off.

The premium rate number is still fully in use and plastered all over their listing in Ebay, no mention of the cheaper rate number anywhere.

These people are parasites and shouldn't be allowed to trade.

Ebay and Paypal are blind to them and don't do anything because they are all just as greedy and and making money from Palicomp/Megapc

By glnta on 7 Aug 2011

Mixed bag

I ordered a PC with palicomp. I got the usual aftersales but the PC was an absolute steal - the spec was probably half what you would pay were you to go through someone like dell. The service was very polite and friendly.

The PC arrived recently. Everything was fine and in fairness the performance (particularly on some of the more taxing games out there) was blistering.

However, within about an hour I started to get random reboots with error code 41 in the event viewer. This happened sporadically sometimes not for maybe 3 hours, other times several times in less than 10 minutes. Considering the power of the PC it was very disappointing. Most damning was the fact that the event viewer listed Error code 41 messages dating to the day before I received the machine so there must have been issues while it was still with Palicomp.

I phoned them up and emailed and they kindly offered to either help me over the phone or collect the faulty unit (I had 3 years return to base warranty) and build and deliver a new one.

Unfortunately, despite these kind offers I need rock solid stability, not only for gaming but for my studies. I had read the bad press surrounding palicomp but like many decided to give them a shot (I believe in general the only reviews you'll find of any company on the net are VERY negative). However, following these errors I really can't afford to take any chances. Consequently, I asked that I be allowed to return the PC for a full refund considering I was in the 7 day "cooling off" period and that the system is undeniably faulty. Palicomp kindly agreed and arranged a collection. They did offer to add upgrades to a new system if I wanted - to the value of £100 but I refused.

I am awaiting collection next week and hope the matter will be resolved. They have in fairness been very helpful and the system was as fast as advertised. However, the serious rebooting issue that occurred on day 1 meant that for me the only option was a full refund.

I will post back an update when I hear back from Palicomp.

By dan1986 on 19 Aug 2011

Update

Thought I would just post an update. The PC was collected as Palicomp said. However, I didn't hear anything regarding my refund for a few days. After chasing them I discovered that the reason for this was that they were "unable to replicate the fault". After trying to help them replicate it they eventually agreed to a refund minus a "15% surcharge". I rang to enquire about this and had a rude response from the individual I spoke to. I phoned consumer direct who confirmed they could not do this (because of the distance selling regulations). They also said under Sales of Goods Act they should refund me everything including delivery due to a fault being reported by me. After writing an email quoting the consumer direct reference number I was told management were once again reviewing my situation. I was finally told I would be refunded the full amount less the delivery charge of around £25 which I accepted. The refunded amount arrived in my account today.

I would say if you are going to deal with Palicomp, be wary of their build quality. The PCs they offer are cheap but I think if you look at some of their competitors they are more realistically priced and you are likely get superior build quality and components. If you do have to return anything I would suggest that if they start to be awkward get in touch with Consumer Direct as this seems to get their attention very quickly!

By dan1986 on 9 Sep 2011

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