- Intel Core i7 2600K (3.40 GHz)
- 8 GB DDR3 1 TB HDD
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
- AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB
Awfully Decent 03/27/2012
This build has the two things I wanted in a new mid-level machine:
- the i7-2600k Sandy Bridge CPU allows you (with adequate cooling upgrades) to overclock stably at least 1GHz past factory spec (3.4GHz), with "some users reporting stable operation past 5GHz"
- the AMD HD6800 series, while not the absolute top-of-the-line, represents a very solid GPU for everything that isn't Crysis 2 maxed-out. *Plus*, the Gigabyte motherboard offers an upgrade to CrossfireX, albeit one slightly hampered by the narrow second lane (4x instead of 16x).
The only point of frustration I've encountered with this machine is in upgrading to CrossfireX. I purchased and installed another HD6850; and after some misadventures with leftover driver (which AMD/ATI is notorious for), got the two working well -- but not completely.
The Catalyst Control Center doesn't let me enable CrossfireX, complaining that I need to "connect both bridge interconnects". This is somewhat disconcerting, as the HD6850 has only one bridge socket.
I suspect the reason behind the problem lies with the PSU; I'll be upgrading that soon.
All in all, a nice machine. Very airy (with the holey top), very cool, and very blue (what with the open panels and the LED-fan). The only thing I'd say against that lovely screen-door ceiling is that it has the potential to get pretty noisy; but that can be solved with some planning and creative fan control.
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