OcUK Titan Pandora Gaming System Review

Introduction


It’s system review time at eTeknix HQ and today Overclockers.co.uk step into the arena with their Titan Pandora Gaming PC. Housed in a Bitfenix Pandora case we have a high-end i5 4690k overclocked to 4.2GHz, Nvidia GTX 970,  16GB of DDR3 with a clock speed of 2133MHz.  There is a double 240mm AIO CPU liquid cooler and a Galax GeForce GTX 970 EXOC Black Edition featuring an impressive 11% overclock. On the storage front, we have Samsung’s latest SSD offering in terms of the 250GB 850 EVO, with a larger amount of storage supplied in the form of a Seagate Barracuda 2TB mechanical hard drive.

Gaming systems at this price point have become very competitive recently, so let’s get stuck in and see what else the Titan Pandora has to offer!

Specifications

  • Name: Overclockers UK Titan Pandora
  • Case: Bitfenix Pandora Micro ATX Gaming Case – Black
  • Motherboard: MSI Z97M Gaming (Socket 1150) DDR3 Micro ATX Motherboard
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 4690K Quad Core Haswell Processor overclocked to 4.2GHz
  • Processor Cooler: 240mm CPU Water Cooler
  • System Memory: 16GB 2133MHz DDR3 Memory (2 x 8GB sticks)
  • Main Boot Drive: 250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): Seagate 2000GB 7200RPM Hard Disk – 6Gbps
  • Graphics card: Galax GeForce GTX 970 EXOC Black Edition
  • Power Supply: Super Flower 550W Gold PSU
  • Optical DriveNone
  • Wireless: Not included
  • Monitor: Not included
  • Peripherals: Not included
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
  • Warranty: 3 Year Warranty with 2 Years Collect and Return (UK only)
  • Price: £1300 as configured Delivered.

Opening the box reveals plenty of air pocket padding; just what we like to see.

Words from the wise greet you as you open the case box, take heed!

The system unboxed, now to remove the polystyrene, pop the side off (no screws required) and remove the supplementary packaging that has been supporting the cards in transit.

The unboxed system is looking good! The first thing I noticed is that it feels very well made with its mirror finish front, though it seems to attract dust and fingerprints almost instantly.

CPU-Z

GPU-Z

Chillblast Fusion Barbarian Gaming PC Review

Introduction


Today we are looking at the aggressively named “Chillblast Fusion Barbarian Devil’s Canyon Gaming PC”, featuring a Corsair SPEC-03 chassis on the outside, with a high-end i5 4690k, Nvidia GTX 970,  16GB of DDR3 on the inside and a few high performance coolers in between. Chillblast have even thrown in a tasty CPU overclock to help us hit the high notes and have opted for the traditional OS SSD / Mechanical HDD storage configuration to give the user more options when it comes to storage.

At a time when certain delayed AAA titles are on the horizon, many will be looking to upgrade their rigs to play the latest and greatest games at maximum graphics settings. The question is, is the Barbarian worth considering for your next upgrade? Let’s find out!

Specifications

  • Name: Chillblast Fusion Barbarian Gaming PC
  • Case: Corsair SPEC-03 Case
  • Motherboard: Z97X-Gaming 5  Motherboard
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 4690K Devils Canyon overclocked to 4.3GHz
  • Processor Cooler: Corsair H75 all-in-one liquid cooler
  • System Memory: 16GB Corsair/Crucial/Samsung PC3-12800 1600MHz DDR3 Memory (2 x 8GB sticks)
  • Main Boot Drive: 120GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): Seagate 2000GB 7200RPM Hard Disk – 6Gbps
  • Graphics card: Gigabyte GTX 970 4GB Maxwell Windforce Edition
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified PSU
  • Optical Drive24x SATA DVD+/-RW Drive
  • Wireless: Not included
  • Monitor: Not included
  • Peripherals: Not included
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
  • Warranty: 5 Year Warranty with 2 Years Collect and Return (UK only)
  • Price: £1163.78 as configured Delivered.

The system was well packaged, with what can only be described as “cardboard ghillie” padding.

Chillblast has included the Motherboard and Graphics card boxes too, which contain all of the misc leftover bits.

The system unboxed.  The front of the case reminds me of the mask Bane from Batman, with its exaggerated front grille bars and bold styling.

Across the top of the case we have 2 x USB3, headphone and mic ports, with power and reset buttons.  Underneath is a bar which lights up red when the system is powered on, and the HDD activity LED sits in the middle of the I/O panel.

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GPU-Z

Media Outlet Slams Intel’s Devil’s Canyon, Did It Disappoint?

Intel’s Devil’s Canyon CPU is a product that we have already reviewed. In the run up to its release there was so much talk about bringing back the “good old days” of 5GHz overclocking on air, and all that shabang. However, as our review revealed that simply wasn’t the case. Now media outlet Digital Trends has come out and publicly attacked Intel’s newest offering stating it has let enthusiasts down once again. Digital Trends claim it is part of a longer term anti-overclocking mentality at Intel. They claim that Intel’s Lisa Graff hyped up the product and misled consumers because it doesn’t actually bring anything new. Indeed as most reviews of Devil’s Canyon now show we’ve got a CPU that overclocks more or less the same as the Core i7 4770K, runs marginally cooler but requires more volts: hardly progress, and I must say I agree.

However, the sad conclusion (as Digital Trends so rightfully note) is that there is no incentive for Intel to do better. AMD simply cannot compete and Intel has no reason to compete with itself. If enthusiasts want more then Intel wants you to spend more and choose X79 or X99 (when that arrives in September).

You can read the interesting opinion piece at the source link below.

Source: Digital Trends

Image courtesy of Intel

Intel Core i7 4790K “Devil’s Canyon” Processor Review

Introduction & What’s New?


Intel released its Devil’s Canyon CPUs at the start of this month in time for this year’s Computex event. Sadly we were delayed in getting our sample of the Core i7 4790K, which means our review has come out a little late, but nevertheless we have Intel’s new flagship on the test bench today for a good thorough review. For those of you who don’t know about Devil’s Canyon, it is Intel’s internal codename for its new Haswell Refresh K series CPUs. Devil’s Canyon includes the Core i7 4790K and Core i5 4690K, both quad core parts based on Haswell Microarchitecture but with speed bumps and a few modifications. There isn’t that much to say specifically about the Core i7 4790K that wasn’t already noted in our Core i7 4770K review, because the microarchitecture is still Haswell. However, there are a few new features that Intel is bringing to the table with Devil’s Canyon that have specifically been done to appease Intel enthusiasts and overclockers. The Core i7 4790K is unique in the regard that Intel have listened to the feedback and concerns of its user base and tried to make specific modifications to eliminate or reduce those concerns.

The first major change comes with regards to the physical characteristics of the CPU. Intel has swapped out the thermal paste under the IHS for a better quality thermal paste which should allow for lower temperatures and better overclocking as a result. Intel have also added additional capacitors to the back of the CPU which they claim smooths power delivery to the CPU die, which again should enhance overclocking potential. Another change that Intel aren’t really marketing is the addition of support for Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d) and Transactional Synchronization Extensions New Instructions (TSX-NI)

Intel hasn’t just tweaked the physical design of the CPU either – they’ve also pushed the CPU’s performance even further. For the first time Intel is shipping a consumer processor with a 4GHz clock speed, that’s a barrier AMD broke many years ago but Intel has always been fairly cautious with its clock speeds. The CPU goes even further than 4GHz with a 4.4GHz Turbo frequency, from my experiences on a number of Z97 motherboards this basically means your CPU will always be at 4.4GHz so that’s a significant jump up from anything Intel have ever offered before. Frequency bumps aside the core count, thread count, cache size, graphics and socket all remain the same. Devil’s Canyon CPUs will price match their predecessors on paper but at retailers you can expect to see the older Core i7 4770K and Core i5 4690K slightly cheaper to the tune of $10-50. I also just want to clear up a note about backwards compatibility. Intel’s Core i7 4790K, Core i5 4690K and other Haswell Refresh CPUs will theoretically work in all 8 and 9 series LGA 1150 motherboards. Some motherboard vendors will need to issue BIOS updates to enable this support but all motherboards should get this support because the sockets still have identical pin-outs and the CPU pin-out has not changed either.

Intel Reveals Unlocked Core i5 4690K and Core i7 4790K Devil’s Canyon CPUs

After a lot of speculation and rumours the Intel Devil’s Canyon processors have finally been launched. The flagship part is the new Core i7 4790K which is Intel’s first 4GHz base clock speed processor to ever be released. The Core i7 4790K will also turbo up to an impressive 4.4GHz and has an 88W TDP.

Frequency bumps aside there are also some physical changes to the Core i7 4790K compared to the Core i7 4770K. The Core i7 4790K gets additional capacitors on the underside to smooth power delivery to the die, furthermore Intel are using a next-generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material (NGPTIM) to improve cooling efficiency, which will definitely be needed if the temperature problems we saw on Haswell are anything to go by.

There is also a Devil’s Canyon Core i5, the 4690K, and this gets a modest 0.1GHz speed bump compared to the Core i5 4670K. The speed bump brought to this CPU is much less impressive than that offered by the Intel Core i7 4790K. As far as we can tell the Core i5 4690K also gets the improved thermal interface material and additional capacitors because Intel state that applies to “New Unlocked 4th Gen Intel Core Processors” of which the Core i5 4690K definitely fits that description. Pricing is identical to the current unlocked offerings, we presume these will get price cuts in response to the new launches or that they will be gradually phased out.

Source: Intel

Images courtesy of Intel

Asus Go Against Intel, Add Devil Canyon Support To Z87 Motherboard

Intel was working hard to encourage motherboard makers to push users into upgrading to Z97, which features the latest Intel Series 9 chipsets. This meant that to use the new Devil Canyon CPU’s from Intel, you had to upgrade your motherboard, until now.

Most of us thought that the new chips would require an upgrade, but ASUS have their own ideas. ASUS has taken Intel down a few pegs by adding support for Devil’s Canyon CPUs on its Z87 motherboards!

“Most, if not all of their Z87 boards have received a BIOS update allowing the use of Intel’s devil canyon processors. This is also backed up on their Cpu support lists”. said a post on the XtremeSystems forums.

This is obviously a very good thing for consumers, and it’s good to see ASUS giving us the option of an update, not a forced upgrade, especially when high-end motherboard that you own in Z87 format and a new Z97 board could end up costing you hundred of dollars.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Rumour: Intel Devil’s Canyon Will Be Z87 Compatible

Devil’s Canyon is the apparent codename for Intel’s newest unlocked K series CPUs that will probably be released on or around Computex 2014 in June according to widely circulated rumours. Devil’s Canyon is expected to include a Core i7 4790K and a Core i5 4690K both of which are supposedly based on Haswell architecture and part of “Haswell Refresh” series from which we’ve already seen a few locked CPUs released. We’ve heard from a lot of sources that there will not be backwards compatibility of Devil’s Canyon CPUs with 8 series motherboards (Z87, Z85, H87, H81, B85, Q87, Q85 etc) because of some hardware level changes in the CPU design such as the way power is delivered.However, one source reports that this is simply not the case and Devil’s Canyon will be compatible with 8 series motherboards.

The lack of compatibility is apparently just a formal thing because the specification of the TDPs do not match up between the revised LGA 1150 socket spec on 9 series and the LGA 1150 8 series socket spec. Therefore Intel is obliged to state incompatibility between 8 series and Devil’s Canyon. However, the difference is a mere 4 watts and apparently motherboard vendors are already validating Devil’s Canyon CPUs in existing 8 series motherboards to great success. Devil’s Canyon is still a fourth generation processor design so Broadwell might still be incompatible with 8 series motherboards even if Devil’s Canyon is compatible. However, this latest development does also call that rumour into question as well.

Source: Hardware.fr

Image courtesy of Hardware.fr