While overclocking should never be lightly undertaken, PC Specialist has shown with the Aurea i5 760 OC desktop PC that it is possible to squeeze considerably more power from a processor if you choose your components carefully.
The Intel Core i5 760 is a slightly enhanced version of the i5 750 CPU, pushing the standard clock speed up from 2.66GHz to 2.8GHz. However, PC Specialist has bolted on to the Aurea i5 760 OC some rather heavy-duty extras, such as the meaty Titan Fenrir cooler, that allows it to overclock up to a rather eye-popping 3.8GHz.
Even running at this speed, the Aurea i5 760 OC seemed to have no problems operating for long periods, and we had the PC going through tests continuously for over 24 hours without suffering a single glitch. Perhaps more significantly, the PC Specialist hits some staggering scores in testing. The WorldBench score of 151 is absolutely massive, beating all of last month's new £1,001+ PCs. Even the Core i7 chips struggle to keep up with the turn of pace shown here by this machine.
Tests weren't consistently sparkling, and we did find a strange anomaly in the Aurea i5 760 OC's games tests, where the FEAR score came out at just 189fps - some distance away from 250+ framerate scores we might expect.
The graphics card in the Aurea i5 760 OC is a Inno3D nVidia GTX 460 with 768MB memory, which should be matching the scores of systems with ATI Radeon HD 5850 cards, so a score under 200 is something of a disappointment.
Then again, even the rather more expensive nVidia GTX 470 sometimes struggles in FEAR, thanks perhaps to a fill rate that disappoints in comparison with similarly priced ATI Radeons. Nonetheless, this is, for the most part, a freak result, since the Aurea i5 760 OC PC goes on to record very good scores in Crysis, often beating those scores of last month's £1,001+ PCs. That's despite many of these machines having graphics cards that, on paper, beat the GTX 460.
Stalker (SCoP) tests were very solid as well (at full-HD and highest detail reaping 69fp), although the nVidia cards do seem to fare less well in this title than the Radeons.
The 4GB of Corsair PC3-12800 (1600MHz) DDR3-RAM is a very solid addition, and the 1TB Samsung is a fast and capacious hard drive. Add to this the excellent 24-speed Sony Optiarc AD-7260S DVD writer, and the PC Specialist Aurea i5 760 OC's drive options are fairly impressive.
Compared with some of the gargantuan tower cases used by today's PCs, the Specialist Aurea i5 760 OC's Coolermaster Elite 310 is relatively compact. It lacks the flamboyance of some we've seen, and there isn't a great deal of space underneath the lid.
The latter problem is increased due to the inclusion of that Titan Fenrir cooler. While this does a good (and vital) job of keeping the Aurea i5 760 OC's system temperatures down, it doesn't leave much room for accessing the PC's innards. However, the internal arrangement is neat, and you can still access the free PCI slots and the two spare memory slots.
The Aurea i5 760 OC PC comes with ten USB ports (two of these USB 3.0). Three of the USB ports are situated on the front of the PC, along with an additional FireWire connection and a convenient flash memory drive. The PSU is a 650 watt Corsair TX650W. The 460 isn't a power hungry graphics card, and 650 watts is an adequate amount of power. Be warned though, should you want to later upgrade to a very high end graphics card, you may need to look for a PSU with a few extra watts
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