A good computer for those upgrading from an older model
The packaging for the Palicomp Core i3 Blast (model number 530OC44) was rather unorthodox. It came in an oversized box padded out with empty computer component boxes, the computer itself well protected under some bubble wrap.
It is a base unit, which means it doesn’t include a monitor, keyboard or mouse. That means it’s best suited to someone upgrading an older model, rather than someone buying their first computer, as upgraders will already have the accessories required to get going.
It is supplied with the Windows 7 Home Premium operating system, which is supplied loaded onto the hard disk and as a DVD in the box. It’s the 64-bit version of Windows, which means it may not work with some older peripherals and software. If you intend to use anything more than two or three years old, check with the manufacturer or use an internet search to find out if it will work with the 64-bit Windows 7.
This means it can make full use of the 4GB of memory included with the computer. Together with the overclocked Intel Core i3 530 processor, they form a good, fairly powerful base for the computer.
The hard disk is a 1TB (1,000GB) model which gives plenty of room to store documents, photos, music and video. It’s certainly powerful enough for all standard home uses such as video editing, photo editing, internet use and office tasks.
It has an ATI Radeon 5450 series graphics card with 512MB of its own memory, which provides enough processing power for reasonable games performance. It’s not a top-notch gaming PC by any means and you will have to turn down the detail settings on newer titles but it has enough muscle for games.
A Lightscribe-compatible DVD writer sits at the top of the front panel, and below that are three USB sockets, microphone and headphone connections and a memory card reader. At the back are seven more USB sockets, an eSATA port for attaching external hard disks, and a USB 3 socket. That allows for connection of faster external disks (see an example here) and is a welcome addition.
Inside the case there is plenty of room for expansion with lots of drive bays available, all the cables neatly tidied away and two of the four memory slots free for future expansion.
This impressive computer has loads of expansion potential and plenty of connection sockets, but may be overkill for those who want a basic home computer. If you’ll be editing video or doing anything more demanding, though, it’ll make a good upgrade model.
A great computer for those upgrading from an older model Good points Lots of power; lots of expansion potential; plenty of memory and hard disk space Bad points No monitor, keyboard or mouse; all that power may not be of use to many
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