Page 1:Finally, A Forward-Looking Build
Page 2:Motherboard And CPU
Page 3:Graphics And RAM
Page 4:Cooling And Case
Page 5:Hard Drives And Accessories
Page 6:Optical Drive And Power Supply
Page 7:Hardware Installation
Page 9:Test Settings
Page 10:Benchmark Results: CoD:MW2 And Crysis
Page 11:Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 And Call Of Pripyat
Page 12:Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding
Page 13:Benchmark Results: Productivity
Page 14:Benchmark Results: Synthetics
Page 15:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Cooling And Case
Cooling: Swiftech H20-220 Ultima XT
Heat has always been the enemy of overclocking, but cooling an LGA 1366 processor at over 4.0 GHz and 100% load requires something with a little more capacity than traditional air cooling. Achieving even modest gains from a Radeon HD 5970 graphics card is an even bigger concern, as the manufacturer was already forced to underclock each of its two Radeon HD 5870 graphics processors to assure survival under a reasonably-sized heat sink. Yet, even with our $3,000 limit, building a high-capacity liquid-cooling system could have put a huge dent in the budget of other components.
Swiftech provides the solution with its H20-220 Ultima XT that offers all the parts we’d need at a savings of over $60 compared to separately-purchased components. Swiftech’s kit fits our expandability needs perfectly, as its MCP-655B pump and 0.5” fittings offer enough flow for a system at least twice as complex as ours. And while its high-capacity 2x120mm radiator might be barely big enough for our needs, there’s enough savings in the kit to allow a three-fan radiator upgrade to be purchased separately while still saving money compared to separate components.
The Apogee XT water block is the star of this kit, with a copper base and brass top providing enhanced durability and electrolytic corrosion resistance compared to earlier copper/plastic and copper/aluminum parts.
Case: Cooler Master Cosmos S
External cooling components don’t just look ugly, they also create huge risks when moving a system from place to place. We needed a case that would hold all of our parts internally, and the extended height of our graphics card cooler meant the model used last September simply wouldn’t work. Of the three cases that would hold all our parts appropriately, Cooler Master’s Cosmos S stood out as the best-looking and most flexible.
The Cosmos S follows our expandability theme by allowing a later upgrade from the current dual-fan to a triple-fan radiator and, as our installation pages will show, it has enough room for nearly any other hardware the end-user might wish to add.
- Finally, A Forward-Looking Build
- Motherboard And CPU
- Graphics And RAM
- Cooling And Case
- Hard Drives And Accessories
- Optical Drive And Power Supply
- Hardware Installation
- Test Settings
- Benchmark Results: CoD:MW2 And Crysis
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 And Call Of Pripyat
- Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency