Palicomp Touch Diamond review

28 Oct 2011

A fast performer, but we’re not convinced by the appeal of a touchscreen with a hot, noisy gaming PC

Price when reviewed: 
1,300(£1,299 inc VAT)
4

The unstoppable smartphone market has seen touchscreens go mainstream, but when it comes to PCs they generally only come on all-in-one devices. We were therefore surprised to see a touchscreen monitor arrive with Palicomp’s latest PC, the Touch Diamond.

The monitor is AOC’s E2239FWT, and it comes with a 22in diagonal and a 1,920 x 1,080 native resolution. The extra interactivity is somewhat wasted on Windows 7, with Microsoft’s Touch Pack the only prod-specific software included, but you could argue it’s an early way to future-proof your new PC against Windows 8. And there’s no denying the AOC’s touch layer works well: it’s accurate and responsive.

That touch layer necessarily adds a little grain to the panel, and it’s glossy too, but underneath there’s a good quality TFT, every bit as good as the LG Flatron IPS screen we saw with the Chillblast Fusion Flash. Both monitors delivered mediocre brightness just below 200cd/m2, but the AOC’s impressive black level made for a measured contrast ratio of 989:1 – better than the Chillblast’s 731:1, and resulting in deep, punchy images. The average Delta E of 3.1 is good, too, a fact backed up the screen’s consistently accurate colours in our real-world tests.

Palicomp Touch Diamond

There’s clearly enough graphical power inside the Touch Diamond to handle the Touch Pack applications and plenty more besides. The overclocked AMD Radeon HD 6970 runs its core clock at 950MHz rather than the usual 880MHz, and it delivered a comprehensive battering to our benchmarks.

Its average of 57fps in our Very High quality 1,920 x 1,080 Crysis benchmark is 4fps higher than the Chillblast, for instance, which included a stock-speed version of the same card. It proved capable at higher resolutions, too, with a playable average of 33fps at 2,560 x 1,600.

Processing power comes from an overclocked Core i5-2500K, which here runs at 4.8GHz. It’s enough to see the Palicomp return an overall benchmark score of 1.18 – one of the best scores we’ve seen from this mid-range processor.

The rest of the specification comprises 8GB of RAM and a Blu-ray drive. Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit is loaded onto one the best SSDs around – OCZ’s 120GB Vertex 3 – with 93GB given over to OS storage and 19GB used as an ISRT cache to boost performance with the additional 2TB Seagate hard disk. Large file SSD write and read speeds of 399.9MB/sec and 298.8MB/sec are solid, although not as fast as the SSD in the Chillblast.

Details

Price ex VAT £1,083
Price inc VAT £1,300
Overall rating 4
Performance 6
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 4

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 2,120GB
RAM capacity 8.00GB
Screen size 22.0in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 3.30GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 4.80GHz
Processor socket LGA 1155
HSF (heatsink-fan) Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Pro

Motherboard

Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V
Motherboard chipset Intel Z68
Conventional PCI slots free 2
Conventional PCI slots total 2
PCI-E x16 slots free 2
PCI-E x16 slots total 3
PCI-E x8 slots free 0
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots free 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots free 1
PCI-E x1 slots total 1
Internal SATA connectors 4
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 0
Memory sockets total 4

Graphics card

Graphics card AMD Radeon HD 6970
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Medium
Graphics chipset AMD Radeon HD 6970
Graphics card RAM 2.00GB
DVI-I outputs 2
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 1
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk OCZ Vertex 3
Capacity 120GB
Hard disk usable capacity 93GB
Internal disk interface SATA/600
Hard disk 2 make and model Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity 2,000GB
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity 1,862
Hard disk 2 spindle speed 7,200RPM
Hard disk 2 cache size 32MB

Drives

Optical disc technology Blu-ray reader/DVD writer combo

Monitor

Monitor make and model AOC E2239FWT
Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Pixel response time 5ms
Contrast ratio 1,000:1
Screen brightness 250cd/m2
DVI inputs 0
HDMI inputs 1
VGA inputs 1
DisplayPort inputs 0

Additional Peripherals

Speakers Logitech S220
Speaker type 2.1
Sound card Realtek HD Audio

Case

Chassis CM Storm Enforcer
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 229 x 523 x 485mm (WDH)

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 3

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 8
eSATA ports 1
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 1
3.5mm audio jacks 6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 4
Front panel memory card reader no

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 132W
Peak power consumption 498W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 136fps
3D performance setting Medium
Overall Real World Benchmark score 1.18
Responsiveness score 1.14
Media score 1.21
Multitasking score 1.18