Overclockers UK Evolution Envy Mini Gaming PC Review

Introduction


Overclockers UK is an established player in the hardware retail sector and provides a stellar customer service through approachable team members and impeccable communication on the site’s official forum. The company’s highly adept team of engineers produces a wide array of custom PC builds to suit varying budgets and contrasting tastes. OCUK decided to send the Evolution Envy Mini Gaming PC for review purposes which features a substantial upgrade compared to the basic model.

This particular configuration includes an Intel Core i7-4970K, 8GB DDR3 2400 MHz RAM, NVIDIA GTX 970, MSI Z97I AC ITX motherboard, 120GB Samsung SSD boot drive, 1TB Samsung SSD data drive and ultra-reliable SuperFlower HX 550W 80+ gold power supply. The CPU has been manually overclocked to a frequency of 4.5 GHz and remains relatively cool due to an Asetek-designed-240mm closed-looped-liquid cooler. OCUK combined this wonderful array of components in a portable form-factor which makes it the perfect LAN event PC. Although, it will be fascinating to determine if the restricted space causes any issues during stressful benchmarks.

Specifications

  • Name: Overclockers UK Evolution Envy Mini Gaming PC
  • Case: Phanteks Evolv ITX Windowed Gaming Case – Black
  • Motherboard: MSI Z97I AC (Socket 1150) ITX Motherboard
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4790K Quad Core Processor Overclocked to 4.5 GHz
  • Processor Cooler: OCUK Techlabs 240mm AIO Liquid Cooler with Noiseblocker Fans
  • System Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2x4GB) PC3-19200C11 2400MHz Dual Channel Kit
  • Main Boot Drive: Samsung 120GB 850 EVO SSD
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): Samsung 1TB 850 EVO SSD
  • Graphics card: KFA2 GeForce GTX 970 OC Silent “Infin8 Black Edition” 4GB
  • Power Supply: SuperFlower HX 550W 80+ Gold Rated PSU
  • Peripherals: None
  • Monitor: None
  • Optical DriveNone
  • Wireless: Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7260
  • OS: Windows 10 64-Bit
  • Warranty: 3 Year (24 Month Collect and Return plus 12 Month labour) Mainland UK and Ireland Only
  • Price: £1321

Packing and Accessories

The Evolution Envy Mini comes in a surprisingly large box given the chassis size which contains two thick cardboard layers held together by banded wires. This ensures the package remains protected during transit as it’s virtually impossible for the box or its contents to become dislodged.

Once the cardboard layers have been removed, we can see the main chassis alongside strong, protective foam. OCUK also employed durable side supports to enhance the box’s net weight and increase the packaging’s stability. Please note, the retail version is complete with component boxes but this isn’t included on press samples as the packaging is easily lost among other samples.

On another note, the system is bundled with a comprehensive setup guide and tasty selection of Haribo sweets. The setup manual is excellent and explains in clear, concise English how to attach your peripherals. It also gives an indication about fault checking and advises when to contact customer support.

Here we can see the main chassis box which provides a good amount of padding to reduce impact during shipping. Thankfully, OCUK’s attentive approach with the outer packaging kept the chassis cosmetically and mechanically sound. In theory, they could have got away with just sending the item in a chassis box, but avoided this due to damage concerns.

The chassis box contains a precautionary message informing you to retain the packaging for RMA purposes. This is very clear, and in bold writing so it’s impossible to throw away the original packaging without prior notice of OCUK’s return procedure.

After the top seal has been broken, we can see the tightly packed case which features two supporting foam blocks and a large cover. I didn’t encounter any rips on the cover whatsoever which signifies the chassis was well protected and didn’t fall victim to any cosmetic marks.

The foam supports are surprisingly thick for an ITX-size case and constructed from remarkably strong material. As a result, I found it difficult to bend or snap the supports despite applying a significant amount of force. This means, the chassis withstands a lot of punishment and offers enough protection against even the most heavy-handed couriers.

CPU-Z


GPU-Z

Intel Skylake i7 6700K Performance Leaked Again Along with Discrete GPU 3DMark

Given the sheer amount of leaks coming out, Intel’s Skylake should be just around the corner. Today, we have more i7 6700K benchmarks to share, this time compared on an MSI board vs an i7 4790K. While the MSI board is not one those fancy schmancy ones leaked earlier, the MSI Z170A Gaming Pro does bundle a number of newer features like Turbo M.2, Lan Protect, Game Boost and of course LGA 1151 and DDR4.

Starting right off the bat, both chips are stock clocked so the i7 6700K 5.2Ghz and later 6.3Ghz overclocks don’t apply. Despite a small 200mhz speed advantage at full boost, the i7 6700K manages to pull ahead in most tasks, albeit slightly at about 3% faster overall. Taking the clock speed into account, that gives an IPC boost of about 8%, which is about par given the jump from Ivy Bridge to Haswell. When driving a dGPU. Skylake stretches its lead a bit more, posting a 6% improvement that means an IPC gain of 11% once you consider the clock speed deficit.

There were a few anomalies with WinRAR posting mixed results, with the 6700K pulling ahead in multi-thread but dropped behind in single-thread. This also holds true for 3DMark Firestrike Ultra, with mixed scores there as well. While these issues could be caused by unfinished drivers, the more likely cause is run to run variation. It’s also important to note that motherboards do play a role in performance, but that is something hard to quantify across generations. Overall, the tests do point out to yet another standard release for Intel with a decent but still minor boost in IPC, with real world overclocking remaining the big unknown. Stay tuned for more coverage as we near the August launch.

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information 

Images courtesy of WCCFTech

Skylake i7-6700K Reaches 5.2 GHz on Air

Intel’s latest range of enthusiast-grade processors are set to launch in a few weeks and Chinese site, HKEPC have published their preliminary testing results. Despite using an early BIOS version on the new Z170 chipset, their sample managed to reach a stable increase of 1200MHz over stock and performed at 5.2GHz. Even more impressive is this was achieved through a fairly modest air cooling setup with 1.35v applied to the vcore. This would be virtually impossible on the Z87 or Z97 chipset which requires an extremely beefy cooler given the huge temperature increases as you apply more volts. Ideally, to achieve over 4.8GHz, you need a 240mm watercooling unit as a starting point to tame the temperatures under extreme load. Even then, many CPUs hit a point of no return and voltage alternations have too much impact on the operating temperature.

As you can see from the screenshot above, the core reaches 5.2GHz with a multiplier of x52. However, we do not know the exact temperatures whilst using benchmarking software to stress the chip. It is said to be within operating parameters, but I would obviously like to see the exact figures. We also have to analyze these results with a logical perspective. It’s possible this could be a dream golden-chip and reflects 1% of the manufactured range. CPUs are bound by the silicon lottery meaning the most reliable results come from an average across user testing.

Nevertheless, the results from HKEPC are promising and suggests the new mainstream flagship should offer a significant boost in overclocking headroom. In the past, the differences have been very iterative and focused on power reduction. Perhaps Intel wants to aggressively sell their new chipset design through large clock boosts over the last generation. Personally, I remain cautiously optimistic.