YOYOTech Warbird SB4.6CS £1000
1st Mar 2011 | 11:00
Hitting the price/performance sweet spot in the face
We've made no secret of just how much we love the new Sandy Bridge setup from Intel and this rig from YOYOTech only goes to highlight why we're so smitten.
Last month we looked at a high-spec Sandy Bridge rig from Scan, the 3XS Vengeance. Housing the top-end Core i7 2600K and coupling it with Nvidia's outstanding GTX 580 meant that it was one hell of a rig. Granted it was close to two grand for the base unit alone, but mighty impressive it was too.
In general terms though when you're looking to pick up a high-end gaming rig the £1,000 mark is where most of the smart money goes. And we've not seen a grand rig that could come close to this YOYOTech beauty.
Packs a punch
The overclocked i5-2500K sitting at the heart of the Asus P67 board is an incredible processor. It may not have the HyperThreading chops of its big i7 brother, but it certainly packs a punch in the gaming market.
It's also been paired with the current darling of the £200 graphics market, the Radeon HD 6950. More often you'll find the card sitting around the £220 mark, but shop around and you can find bargains.
One of the reasons it's such a popular card is that like some of AMD's older CPUs you can unlock the dormant potential of the GPU which was locked at the factory stage. A quick BIOS flash and your HD 6950 is now a stable HD 6970. All it takes is a quick Google, a little download, and a run of a script file. Nice.
This CPU/GPU combo represents the price/performance sweet spot for a gaming system right now, and shows some intelligent component picking from YOYOTech. It hasn't flashed the HD 6950 BIOS itself, but what it has done is overclock the silicon bejesus out of the Core i5 2500K. Hitting 4.6GHz on air. Impressive sutff, doubly so when it's so darned quiet too still.
That helps make the lack of HyperThreading almost a distant memory when it comes to hard core processing tasks.
In order to hit the £1,000 pricepoint though you are sacrificing an SSD boot drive compared to rigs like the 3XS Vengeance. With a decent 1TB HDD spinning away though that's something we're more than happy to compromise on.
There's little compromise anywhere else though as this latest Warbird oozes quality. The use of Bitfenix's Survivor chassis gives the rig a cool matte finish, and although it's a bit awkward to access for the tinkerers out there it's still a great case. It offers space and excellent cooling options for your overclocked goodies inside.
The good news doesn't stop there either, that £1,000 also nets you a fairly decent 22-inch Iiyama monitor into the bargain, and with the keyboard/mouse bundle that's a full PC ready to roll as soon as it's dropped off.
The Warbird SB4.6CS is a fantastic bundle and just shows how good, and how affordable, the new Sandy Bridge platform can be. A grand is still a lot of cash, but this setup is well worth the outlay.
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