The Best Overlocked PCs On The Market (Part 2)

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Vibox Boss-X

For those with deep pockets, the Boss X is an uncompromising monster. It features a quad-core 7 CPU overclocked to 4.5GHz, a top-of-the-range Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UDH5 motherboard, a GTX 680 2GB video card and a 240GB solid-state drive. 16GB of Corsair memory keeps things ticking over, and you get a large 2TB hard disk for your games collection. Cooling has been spared no expense in the Boss-X, with an H80 water cooling system and the intimidating Cooler Master HAF X case. A 750W PSU provides plenty of upgrade potential, and you get a Blu-ray rewriter on which to enjoy HD movies. It may be an expensive box, but for those looking for the best, the Boss X is a delectable confection.

PC Specialist Vortex Destroyer

Price: $2,702

Another high-end desktop can be had from PC specialist. Unlike most other systems, this particular rig uses the flagship Intel Socket 2011 platform rather than the much more common mainstream Socket 1155. This gives it far more PCI Express lanes to play with, support for up to 64GB of RAM and also the potential to take Intel's fastest consumer processor, the i7 3970X. PC Specialist has opted for the more modest quad-core i7 3820 for the Vortex.

This is still a fast chip, however, and it's quicker than the 3770K in raw number crunching, thanks to a larger cache. A GTX 680 video card provides loads of gaming performance, while 16GB of memory is more than you're every likely to need. Intel's water cooler provides excellent cooling, yet the system barely makes a whisper thanks to a Fractal Design Define R3 case, complete with noise dampening. A Kingston 120GB SSD and a big 2TB hard drive provide lots of storage. Overclocking-wise, PC Specialist has shot for the stars, achieving a mammoth 4.6GHz. This makes it one of the most aggressively clocked PCs we have seen. $2,702 is an eye-watering price for a modern desktop, but when you factor in the high-quality 27" liyama monitor, fantastic Razer peripherals and 5.1 surround sound speakers, it's probably no more expensive than you'd spend building such a rig yourself.

Overclockers Titan Force Trinity

Price: $1,205

With a name like Overclockers UK, you'd be a bit disappointed if this firm only sold PCs running at stock speed. Fortunately OCUK doesn't disappoint, with a wide range of pre-built and preoverclocked systems. One that caught our eye was the Titan Force Trinity, mostly because it uses an overclocked AMD processor rather than the much more common Ivy Bridge-based Intel setup. Using an AMD solution has freed up funds to use elsewhere, so the system has a surprisingly crunchy spec for its modest price. First up is the chip: AMD's quad-core A10 5800K has been clocked up to an impressive 4.4GHz, courtesy of an ASRock FM2A75 Pro 4 motherboard. Keeping things cool are the BitFenix Shinobi case and a Corsair Hydro H60 water cooler. There's 8GB of Patriot Viper memory, and you get Nvidia's brand new GTX 650Ti Boost - a video card just two days old at time of writing. A 120GB SSD and 24x DVD-RW drive help round off this very balanced and handsome PC.

DinoPC Assassin

Price: $971

DinoPC's Assassin looks more like a stealth bomber than a PC, thanks to its multi-facetted Zalman case, but it clearly does a good job of cooling, since it has enabled the firm to take the i5 3570K processor up to a gutsy 4.3GHz. This is helped along by a Xigmatek Loki CPU cooler and an Asus P8Z77-V LX motherboard. 8GB of Corsair Vengeance memory should be enough for most, and gamers won't be disappointed by the GeForce GTX 650 Ti graphics card. 500GB is small by modern standards, but with space for up to five more hard disks, adding additional storage isn't a problem. Windows 8 64-bit and a 500W Xigmatek PSU complete this high-value bundle.

Chillblast Fusion Templar

Price: $1,080

The Templar offers massive performance for not very much money. A price of £699 provides you with a Core i5 3570K overclocked to 4.5GHz, an Asus P8Z77-V LX motherboard and a Radeon 7770 1GB video card. This is all housed within the Corsair Carbide 200R - one of our favorite budget chassis. The system features a 2TB hard drive, DVD-RW and 8GB of memory. Remarkably for such a cheap system, Chillblast has also shoehorned in a 24" liyama IPS monitor and a Logitech keyboard and mouse, making it one of the most affordable full system bundles on the market today, mm

The Small Print: Warranties And Upgrade Policies

The legal minimum warranty period on any PC system is just 12 months. You also need to remember that when buying online, the responsibility of postage back to the supplier falls on the shoulders of the customer. This basic kind of warranty is usually called a return-to-base (RTB) warranty. Where possible, look for more generous coverage than just the bear minimum - in particular one that won't leave you having to foot the courier fees in the event of a critical system failure. This kind of warranty is called a 'collect and return' and is well worth spending a decent chunk of extra money to secure. The final kind of warranty is of course on-site, which means that in the event of a problem that can't be fixed over the phone, an engineer is sent to your house to fix it.

If you're the kind of user to be tempted by an overclocked processor, we'd also wager that you're more than likely to be the kind of user that will want to want to upgrade your system over time. Unfortunately, some firms will void your warranty if you make any changes; some even fit chassis-intrusion sensors or stickers that won't allow you to take off the side panel without voiding! Before parting with your cash, you should therefore call the firm in question and ask what their policy is regarding, for example, adding a new hard drive or extra RAM. While we understand that companies need to be protected from user negligence, we don't think it's unreasonable to expect our warranty to remain intact after performing minor upgrades totally unrelated to a possible system fault.

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