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Palicomp Intel Haswell Hydro-780 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1399.99
inc VAT

This fast gaming PC can handle whatever you ask of it


4.2GHz Intel Core i7-4770K, 16GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 8.1 64bit

The Palicomp Intel Haswell Hydro-780 is a gaming PC with an impressive specification. This PC’s Intel Core i7-4770K processor is liquid cooled by a Corsair H100, and it has a high-end Palit Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 graphics card, which has 3GB of GDDR5 memory. Even better, the Core i7-4770K is overclocked to 4.2GHz to squeeze even more performance out of it.

Palicomp Intel Haswell Hydro-780

All the components are housed in a Corsair C70 Vengeance chassis, and while it may not appeal to those with conservative tastes, the C70’s industrial looks suit a high-end gaming PC. The C70’s side panels clip into place like a flight case, and the power and reset buttons look as if they’ve been ripped straight from the control station of a chemical plant. The reset button even sits behind a plastic guard. Some may find the case a little silly, but at least the side panels can be unclipped easily for easy access to the components within.

The Hydro-780 has a 240GB SSD installed, on which Windows resides, as well as a Seagate 3TB HDD for storing media, documents and so on. The SSD is large enough to install games and applications, so you can benefit from fast application start times as well as quick boot-up times, which makes the system feel extra responsive.

The Hydro-780 scored a respectable 124 overall in our PC benchmarks. This makes the Hydro-780 more than capable of running CPU intensive applications, and Core i7-4770K is particularly adept at multitasking, but we’d expect a slightly higher score. No more than a few points, but certainly a little higher.

The motherboard installed is an Asus Z87-Pro, which is a favourite of ours and provides a generous amount of rear ports. These include six USB3 ports, a single PS/2 port, a Gigabit Ethernet Port and audio connections for up to 7.1 surround sound.

Palicomp Intel Haswell Hydro-780

There’s decent scope for expansion, too. One of the three PCI-E x16 slots is occupied by the graphics card which, because of its dual width, makes one of the PCI-E x1 slots below it unusable. You do still have access to another two additional PCI-E x1 slots, though. There are also another two PCI-E x16 slots, and both of these at x8. The board supports quad-GPU SLI and CrossFire.

There are four memory slots, two of which are taken up by 8GB modules for a capacity of 16GB. This gives you the option of installing another 16GB in the future, should you feel the need to upgrade.

The Hydro-780’s case has six 3 1/2in in bays, two of which are taken up by the SSD and hard disk. There are also three 5 1/4in bays with one by consumed by a 24X DVD writer. It’s a shame that there’s no Blu-Ray drive installed, or a card reader, but at least there are spare bays should you want to install one in future. On the front of the case you’ll find the usual selection of 3.5mm audio jacks, as well as a pair of USB3 ports.

Palicomp Intel Haswell Hydro-780

As for graphics, the Hydro-780’s graphics card, the GTX 780, has all the modern display outputs you’d expect of a high-end card, with a pair of DVI outputs, a HDMI output and a DisplayPort output. The GTX 780 made mincemeat of our Dirt Showdown benchmark producing an average frame rate of 113.7fps with graphics quality set to Ultra at a resolution of 1,920×1,080 resolution.

It also came as no surprise that it performed well in our Crysis 3 benchmark. With graphics quality set to High and the game running at a resolution of 1,920×1,080 with 4x anti-aliasing, the Hydro-780 produced an average frame rate of 59.7fps. As the GTX 780 is so powerful, we increased the graphics quality to Very High, with 8x anti-aliasing, and found Crysis 3 still ran at a playably smooth average frame rate of 35.4fps. These benchmark results show that you’ll have no problem playing games at the highest settings for a long time to come.

Ass you’d expect with a powerful system such as this, the Hydro-780 is well cooled, with a 120mm rear exhaust and two 120mm front fans. The Corsair H100 water cooler’s radiator and fans are neatly mounted in the roof of the case. By far the loudest part of the system is the graphics card but even this is a barely audible whirr, and you can certainly place the tower on your desk without it becoming a distraction.

The Palicomp Intel Haswell Hydro-780 is a very well built gaming PC that’ll play high-end 3D games at maximum settings. It’s expensive, but if you want a high-end gaming system but don’t want something as ostentatious as the Scan 3XS Z87 Vengeance SLI, the Palicomp Hydro-780 is a good choice.

Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7-4770K
Processor external bus100MHz
Processor multiplierx42
Processor clock speed4.2GHz
Processor socketLGA1150
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardAsus Z87-PRO
Motherboard chipsetIntel Z87


USB2 ports (front/rear)6/2
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11a/b/g/n

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)3 (2)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)3 (2)
Free Serial ATA ports5
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays4

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Corsair Force 3 240GB SSD + Seagate Barracuda 3TB HDD
InterfaceSATA3 + SATA3


Graphics card(s)3GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 780
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort


SoundRealtek ALC1150
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsN/A
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Screen modelN/A
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware



Operating systemWindows 8.1 64bit
Operating system restore optionN/A

Buying Information

Warrantythree years RTB

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