At the pricier end of the spectrum at £1907, Computer Planet’s i7 Extrme Gaming PC looks like a machine that means business – and by “business” we mean playing games rather than fiddling with spreadsheets. See Group test: What's the best gaming PC?
The huge Cooler Master HAF-X case makes for an imposing system, covered in rugged-looking protrusions, fan mounting points and multiple external hot-swap drive bays. It also features a transparent side panel, fitted with a large cooling fan. See also Arbico 5300-HD Media Centre.
Through this panel you can see some fancy illumination which also shines through the mesh in the top of the case. You’ll also notice the Corsair H80 sealed liquid-cooled heatsink. This comes with a radiator fitted with a pair of fans attached to the rear of the case. A 240GB Corsair Force GS SSD and 1TB Seagate hard disk are both housed in transversely mounted caddies, of which there five in total. See all PC reviews.
This SSD is double the size of most of the competition and large enough to allow you to actually store some games on it, accelerating loading times considerably. Take a look at Yoyotech Warbird 3570XTA too.
Two sticks of Corsair Vengeance Red memory are installed for a total of 8GB and provide a nice visual contrast to the blue finish of the Gigabyte GA-Z77-DH3 motherboard which also houses an overclocked nVidia GeForce GTX 680 graphics card and a hardware-accelerated Creative Sound Blaster Recon 3D sound card
HAF stands for High Air Flow – a must for effecting overclocking with fan-based cooling. Inside there are seemingly acres of space and Computer Planet has kept the cabling supremely tidy, making full use of the built-in cable management and aiding air flow still further. There would be plenty of room for a second graphics card, although sadly the motherboard doesn’t support this function with nVidia cards.
On the outside and at the top of the system, power, reset and fan LED switches can be hidden behind a sliding panel to prevent accidentally shutting down the system at a crucial moment – perhaps while fumbling for one of the many front-facing USB ports while keeping your eyes on the screen.
Fitted with a high-end Intel Core i7-3770K processor overclocked to 4.3GHz, this PC delivers by far the best overall PCMark 7 score of any in the group, with a score of 6875 points. Gaming performance is also superb, jostling for first place in our tests with Chillblast’s Fusion Firebird and Scan’s 3XS Performance GTX.
In addition to a 24in HDMI-equipped Iiyama PLE2409HDS monitor, quality gaming peripherals are included in the form of a 5700dpi Corsair Vengeance M60 Laser Gaming Mouse and a Logitech MW3 Edition wired gaming keyboard.