As a newcomer to our charts, Palicomp has provided a compelling first entry. The Palicomp Phoenix E86-22's E8600 CPU is a great choice, due to its high clock speeds and excellent performance with single-threaded applications. It scored 119 points in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed test.

A full terabyte of storage is supplied, while the Palicomp Phoenix E86-22's motherboard is one of the best available. It offers excellent overclocking potential and support for multiple graphics cards setups with scalable link interface (SLI) technology.

The Palicomp Phoenix E86-22's 22in Digimate monitor offers VGA and DVI connections. Its design is an improvement on previous models, but it can't match the image quality of the LG and Iiyama monitors found elsewhere in the chart.

In common with the Arbico, the Palicomp Phoenix E86-22 has a Blu-ray drive that can burn DVDs and is also compatible with HD DVD.

The Trendsonic system case uses a mesh front panel to allow maximum airflow. Illuminated with striking blue LEDs, a trio of fans keep the system cool. The typical front and rear configuration is augmented by a huge 220mm fan fitted into the side panel, helping to keep the Palicomp Phoenix E86-22's internals cool.

The inside of the Palicomp Phoenix E86-22's case is cramped. Much of the space is occupied by the nVidia GTX 260 graphics card. This is an excellent performer, but a large amount of internal cabling blocks access to spare slots, leaving little room for expansion.

Chart ranking: Power desktop PCs (March 09 issue)

  1. Eclipse Storm i7920n98GTX
  2. Arbico Elite 8260 XL
  3. Palicomp Phoenix E86-22
  4. Mesh Elite GTX260 Power
  5. RL Supplies Modula i8470