PC Specialist PowerGlide Extreme review
A rare all-in-one with the power to handle the latest games, and the touchscreen gives it longer-term appeal
Review Date: 27 Jul 2012
Reviewed By: Mike Jennings
Price when reviewed: £1,041 (£1,249 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The all-in-one PC market is dominated by Apple’s iMac and, to a lesser extent, Sony and HP’s machines, so we didn’t expect PC Specialist to offer serious competition. But the firm has done just that, albeit by rebranding an OEM system made by Gigabyte.
The PowerGlide Extreme has an Ivy Bridge Core i5-3570K whose four cores, 3.4GHz stock speed and 3.8GHz Turbo Boost delivered a healthy benchmark score of 0.93. That compares well with other all-in-ones: the expensive Intel Xeon-powered HP Z1 scored 1.02, and the 27in Apple iMac scored 0.83 with an older Sandy Bridge processor.
Graphics power comes from the Nvidia GeForce GTX 670, which is by far the most powerful GPU we’ve seen in an all-in-one. Its 64fps average in Crysis at Very High settings is stratospheric compared to rivals: the iMac only managed 26fps at High settings and the Sony VAIO L21 scored 33fps at Medium settings thanks to its mobile graphics chip. The PC Specialist is a gaming expert.
That performance comes with reasonable thermal figures, too. The processor’s idle and peak temperatures of 32°C and 73°C are fine, and the graphics card’s peak of 86°C is warm, but not dangerously high. There’s a high-pitched noise from the graphics card when stressed, but we’ve heard far worse from many desktops. The PowerGlide Extreme’s peak power draw of 264W is what we’d expect, although bear in mind the need for wall sockets: due to the lack of space, it requires three separate external power supplies.
It has 8GB of RAM, a 120GB Kingston HyperX 3K SSD hosting Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, and another 1TB of storage in the form of a 2.5in Western Digital Scorpio Blue hard disk in a hot-swappable dock at the top. There’s 802.11n wireless, a Blu-ray reader, and speakers that provide plenty of volume and a reasonable amount of bass, even if the audio kit is lacking when it comes to clear treble sounds.
The screen is a 24in, 1,920 x 1,080 panel and, although its touch function is responsive, it feels like a nod to the future rather than useful today. PC Specialist hasn’t added any touch-specific software, so you’ll have to wait for Windows 8 to make use of it.
and it still needs external power supplies? :-O
Power SUPPLIES? Not Supply?
Given its size, having an external power supply doesn't bode well, but that they didn't design it to use a single external power supply is shockingly bad.
By big_D on 27 Jul 2012
"it requires three separate external power supplies"
No thanks in that case!
By AlphaGeeK on 27 Jul 2012
Any figures on what the power draw is in sleep mode?
By Bassey1976 on 27 Jul 2012
more than 1 power units for any PC let alone an all-in-one machine would be shockingly bad design unless they provide some kind of redundancy which i seriously doubt in this instance.
it seems as if they decided on the components and at 5.29pm on Friday when the meeting was coming to an end suddenly thought power supply. Oh never mind let the cleaners sort it out for us.
So the most impractical solution possible was bodged together to get the product made and on sale.
By mr_chips on 28 Jul 2012
Wierd, horrible, pointless and just plain baaad
I was already incredulous before the issue of three PSUs came up.
They're going to sell, like, 5 of these?
By scoobie on 2 Aug 2012
If it has an external power brick you are stretching calling something an All-In-One, if it has 3 I don't think you can describe it as such at all. And I Am forgetting entirely about the keyboard and mouse.
Max power draw 264W and space for double slot graphics? Hmm... the HP Z1 has a 400 watt supply in the chassis.
Both parties fail, you can obviously get a decent PSU, top of the range regular graphics and touchscreen in an AIO. Hell, at these prices 3D.
I would buy a Z1 if it had a regular PCIEx16 slot. How difficult is turning the slot thru 90 degreees or hanging it off a short piece of ribbon cable? Is imagination too Apple-esque for these people?
By Deadtroopers on 6 Aug 2012
- Bloom.fm: 20 buyers show interest in London music startup
- Forget monitors: your next display may be mist or bubbles
- Heartbleed: the race to reissue security certificates
- Computing in schools "not only about code"
- School coding: why one teacher training programme failed
- Q&A: the importance of coding, from a non-coder
- Mark Shuttleworth interview: Taking Ubuntu beyond desktops
- Surveillance panic could lead to restrictive data laws
- Multipath routers: the easy way to faster broadband?
- DIY broadband: how one remote not-spot went wireless
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out