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Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC Review

Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC Review

Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC review RTX 2080 Ti review 02The Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX is the first gaming PC that we’ve seen with an Nvidia Turing graphics card. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the most powerful and most expensive GPU from the new range – and, in that spirit, Palicomp has packed this machine with loads of technology elsewhere. The Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX is hardly cheap, at £3,350, but it delivers an enormous amount of power. Can it do enough? Find out in our Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC Review.

Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC Review – The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

The RTX 2080 Ti is Nvidia’s latest flagship graphics card. It uses the new Turing architecture, which delivers real-time ray-tracing and AI-powered super-sampling alongside the usual performance improvements. The new card also has improved VR capabilities and GDDR6 memory.

On paper the card is a beast. However, in the real world, the new features aren’t quite ready yet. Ray-tracing needs Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update to work, and it’s been pulled because of issues elsewhere. Ray-tracing also needs to be implemented by developers first, and only eleven games currently have announced support.

AI-powered super-sampling is in a similar situation. It needs to be patched into games by Nvidia and by developers themselves. Currently, only around 25 games promise to support this feature.

Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC review RTX 2080 Ti review 05More will undoubtedly arrive, especially as Nvidia’s features begin to work properly – they’ll make games better while also, hopefully, improving performance across the whole card. Sadly, right now, buying a Turing graphics card is a bit of a gamble because these features aren’t quite ready for prime-time.

Aside from those features, the RTX 2080 Ti has a fearsome specification. The EVGA-made XC Ultra card in this machine takes the 1,350MHz stock speed and overclocks it by 105MHz to 1,455MHz. That delivers a boost pace of 1,650MHz.

Elsewhere, the RTX 2080 Ti has 4,352 stream processors and 11GB of GDDR6 memory. It’s a huge card, with a triple-slot design that takes up plenty of space in the Palicomp’s design.

The RTX 2080 Ti takes a big step forward when compared to the older GTX 1080 Ti – the previous card of choice in high-end gaming machines. That card, of course, used an older architecture – and it also only had 3,584 stream processors. The GTX 1080 Ti has slightly better clock speeds than the RTX 2080 Ti, but that’s almost moot when the new card outstrips the older hardware in every other department.

Check out our pics of the best PCs for gaming, work and the home

Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC review RTX 2080 Ti review 03Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC Review – Components

The factory-fresh graphics card in this gaming PC review is paired with an overclocked slab of Intel silicon. The Core i7-8700K is one of the most popular chips for gaming PCs. Its six Hyper-Threaded cores provide enough ability to handle games and run work tools without going overboard. The chip runs at 3.7GHz by default with a 4.7GHz peak boost, but Palicomp has overclocked all of the cores to run at a mighty 5GHz.

Palicomp’s machine has two keen rivals. The Fierce PC Imperial Lightstorm arrived with a price of £3,200 and the same overclock on its Core i7-8700K – but with one GTX 1080 Ti. Interestingly, the Stormforce Prism i7 8700K GTX 1080 Ti SLI is pricier than the Palicomp, at £3,500 – but its overclocked i7-8700K was paired with two GTX 1080 Ti cards.

The rest of the Palicomp’s specification is extremely potent. There’s 32GB of memory – arguably overkill in a gaming system. Windows 10 is installed on two 500GB Samsung 970 EVO SSDs in RAID 0. That’ll help speeds and provide lashings of super-fast gaming storage – once formatted, the two drives provide 930GB of space. However, remember that RAID 0 is striped rather than mirrored – so your data will be lost if only one SSD fails. For more conventional storage, there’s a whopping 4TB hard disk.

The Fierce PC machine had 32GB of memory, two SSDs and a 2TB hard disk – so comparable quality to the Palicomp in those areas. The Stormforce also had 32GB of memory, but only one slower SSD.

The Asus Prime Z370-A motherboard is a solid PCB. The design is dominated by white, which matches up with the aesthetic elsewhere on this machine – with huge metallic heatsinks, a white IO shroud and light highlights across the board itself.

The board has beefed-up audio, spare memory slots and loads of empty SATA ports. There are plenty of PCI-E x1 slots, and a vacant PCI-E x16 socket with enough bandwidth for adding a second graphics card. At the back panel you’ve got four USB 3.1 ports, a Type-C connector and five audio jacks.

Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC review RTX 2080 Ti review 10It’s a good bill of health, especially for adding SATA-based storage. However, this is a mainstream product, so it is missing enthusiast features. There aren’t many RGB LEDs. You don’t get on-board buttons or a POST display. Both M.2 slots are also already occupied by the two Samsung SSDs.

At the rear the board serves up three full-size USB 3.1 sockets and a Type-C connector, but that’s it – other USB ports use the slower USB 2.0 protocol. Unsurprisingly, you don’t get any extra buttons here, and the board has no wireless.

The Fierce PC system had a better motherboard for enthusiasts. Its Asus ROG Maximus X Hero board is a beast, with loads of buttons, a POST display and plenty of room for expansion. The Stormforce machine had a middling mainstream board with similar features to the Palicomp’s Asus hardware.

Power comes from a Corsair CS750M supply. On the one hand, its 80Plus Gold rating is excellent and its 750W output is high enough for this specification. On the other, though, that 750W isn’t really enough for adding a second RTX 2080 Ti – and the PSU is only semi-modular, so you have to deal with excess cabling at the rear of the machine.

The Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX is billed as a high-end gaming PC, but putting this machine in that box undersells an excellent specification.

The RTX 2080 Ti has already proved itself an excellent gaming card, of course, but the GPU will scythe through graphically-intensive work applications too. The overclocked CPU has the power for virtually all work tasks, and there’s loads of memory, high-end storage and a solid motherboard.

Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC review RTX 2080 Ti review 12Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC Review – Design

The Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX is a stunning-looking gaming PC. The Corsair Crystal 570X White is a familiar case, but no less attractive and eye-catching: its white steel frame is bolstered by tempered glass side panels.

The front shows off an attractive honeycomb pattern and a dust filter, and the three front intake fans are all illuminated with white lights. The top of the machine has good connectivity: you get pairs of USB and audio connectors and three buttons to alter the lighting.

There’s white metal on the inside to match up with the outside, and a white PSU shroud that hides the Corsair CS750m unit in the corner of the rig. The main power cables are individually braided with black and white coverings, and the rest of the power cables are extremely neat.

Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC review RTX 2080 Ti review 07The Palicomp’s processor is chilled using an all-in-one kit from Liquid.cool. A 120mm reservoir and pump sit towards the front and top of the case. A 240mm radiator is hidden in the roof along with a pair of 120mm fans. The acrylic, see-through waterblock on the CPU – and the rigid pipes – course with white coolant.

The entire machine looks fantastic, and the Crystal chassis offers solid features. A control box at the rear can be used to alter the lights and attach three more RGB LED fans. There are two 2.5in drive cages at the rear, and a spare 3.5in bay. They’re all tool-free.

The only minor issue around the back is the lack of cable-tidying. There’s a channel used to hide a lot of the wiring, but it’s still a little messy. The semi-modular PSU doesn’t help in this regard.

Nevertheless, Palicomp has done a great job here. The Fierce PC had a lot of lighting and a large case, but its water-cooling system wasn’t quite as elegant as the kit inside the Palicomp. The Stormforce machine was serviceable, but with none of the glitz and good looks of the Palicomp. Instead, that rig was all about the performance.

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Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC Review – Gaming Performance

Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC review RTX 2080 Ti review 07The RTX 2080 Ti is a formidable performer. Its 67fps minimum in Witcher 3 is more than twenty frames quicker than the Fierce PC, with its single GTX 1080 Ti. Its average framerate of 85fps is more than thirty frames better than the Fierce PC’s card. Impressively, the RTX 2080 Ti’s minimum framerate was actually better than the Stormforce – even though that machine had two GTX 1080 Ti cards.

The Palicomp’s RTX 2080 Ti followed that with a minimum of 86fps in Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. That’s fifteen frames clear of the GTX 1080 Ti, and only two frames short of the dual-GPU machine. The gap was wider in the average framerate test, but it’s still encouraging.

Palicomp’s machine could only open a smaller gap over the GTX 1080 Ti in Fallout 4 and Crysis 3, but it still had a solid lead. In Battlefield 1 the RTX 2080 Ti’s minimum of 100fps matched the dual-GPU system and was 23fps beyond the GTX 1080 Ti, and its average wasn’t far behind the dual-GPU system from Stormforce.

The RTX 2080 Ti impresses in games that aren’t usually in our benchmarks, too. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is graphically intensive, but the EVGA-made card inside the Palicomp hit a 50fps average at 4K – more than ten frames better than the GTX 1080 Ti.

The new Nvidia card averaged 74fps in Middle Earth: Shadow of War. That’s twenty frames behind the older card. In Ghost Recon: Wildlands, its 48fps average is nine frames better than Nvidia’s last-generation flagship. It even hit 60fps in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

The RTX 2080 Ti’s graphical grunt was illustrated further in 3D Mark tests. In the standard Fire Strike benchmark, the Palicomp scored 27,068 points. That’s more than 4,000 ahead of the single GTX 1080 Ti. It held a similar lead in the Extreme version of that benchmark.

It’s a good bill of health for the RTX 2080 Ti when it comes to pure performance. It’s easily able to outpace the GTX 1080 Ti in almost all scenarios, and in many occasions it’s not far behind the dual-GPU machine.

Those results bode well for gaming today. Palicomp’s machine will play most of today’s top games at 4K at 60fps, which the older cards can’t hope to do without making big quality compromises. The Palicomp will also easily handle VR headsets, widescreen panels and graphically-intensive productivity applications.

While Turing remains a bit of a gamble right now because of its inconsistent feature support, Nvidia’s new cards also do represent a solid chunk of opportunity too. Games will look better once ray-tracing has been implemented. Once super-sampling arrives games should look sharper while also being easier to run on one of these high-end GPUs.

Crucially, these are improvements that the GTX 1080 Ti won’t be able to make use of. Similarly, the RTX 2080 Ti will get boosts through driver updates that the older card won’t get either.

Click here for all of our in-depth graphics card reviews – including the RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080!

Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC Review – Application & Thermal Performance

Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC review RTX 2080 Ti review 07The overclocked processor, new RTX 2080 Ti graphics card and 32GB of DDR4 memory make for a potent mix when it comes to application benchmarks.

The Palicomp’s PC Mark 8 score of 5,273 is marginally quicker than its rivals. Its Geekbench results of 5,624 and 23,673 are a little slower, but the gap isn’t wide enough to be noticeable.

The Palicomp is a tremendously powerful PC. It won’t just avoid games bottlenecks because of its processing grunt. It’ll handle virtually any work task, too, from photo editing and video work to database tools and CAD applications. You’ll only hit issues if you’re trying to run the kinds of applications that would usually benefit from workstation CPUs with many more cores.

The SSDs help, too. The RAID 0 array zipped through read and write tests at 3,588MB/s and 3,437MB/s. That write pace, in particular, is worth mentioning. It’s far better than anything you’d get from a single NVMe SSD.

We had no issues with noise or temperature with the Palicomp in this gaming PC review. The CPU topped out at a solid 86°C – a fine temperature considering the overclock. The graphics card peak 72°C, which is a good figure. The Palicomp isn’t too noisy, either – you get a low, noticeable rumble, but that’s it. The noise is easy to mask with speakers or a headset.

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Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC Review – Conclusion

Our Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX gaming PC review illustrates that this machine is fast, capable and well-balanced – even if Nvidia Turing graphics cards are still a bit of an unknown quantity.

The overclocked RTX 2080 Ti delivers gaming performance that easily outpaces the GTX 1080 Ti. The key features aren’t working yet, which makes this GPU a gamble right now – but, when they do start to arrive, they should make games look better and run more smoothly. Crucially, the RTX 2080 Ti should get better and better – while the GTX 1080 Ti just won’t.

Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX Gaming PC review RTX 2080 Ti review 06Elsewhere, the overclocked CPU delivers huge power, the storage and memory configurations are both great, and the motherboard is serviceable. It looks the part, too, thanks to its impressive case, smart lighting and solid water-cooling.

The £3,350 price makes this system a better option than the Fierce PC, which only had a GTX 1080 Ti for virtually the same cost. It’s better value than the Stormforce, too. That system looked dull and relied on two GTX 1080 Ti cards in a potentially unpredictable SLI configuration.

The machine in this Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX gaming PC review will be overkill for many users, but there’s still not denying the charms of this system. It’s fast in every department, it looks excellent, and it’s not bad value considering the components inside. It’s a great high-end option if you want a machine that’ll handle all sorts of games and productivity tools for several years to come.

The machine in our Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX gaming PC review costs £3,250. Discuss our Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX gaming PC review on our Facebook and Twitter pages. And, if you need some more inspiration after reading out Fierce PC Imperial Lightstorm gaming PC review, check out our guide to our favourite laptops or go deep with our ultimate guide to 4K monitors – covering the technology, the terms and our top recommendations!  

The GoodRecommended Award

  • RTX 2080 Ti offers a formidable amount of gaming power
  • Components elsewhere are fast and high-quality
  • Case is smart, slick and well-built

The Bad

  • RTX 2080 Ti isn’t yet performing at its full potential – so any purchase is a risk
  • Motherboard is missing enthusiast features

The Specs

CPU: 3.7GHz Intel Core i7-8700K overclocked to 5GHz
Memory: 32GB Corsair Vengeance LED 3,200MHz DDR4
Graphics: EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
Motherboard: Asus Prime Z370-A
Storage: 2 x 500GB Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 4TB Seagate Barracuda hard disk
Warranty: 3yr RTB & labour with 1yr parts




Review Date
Reviewed Item
Palicomp i7 Arctic Glacier RTX

About Author

Mark Reed

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