A system integrator will rarely go down the route of picking all its major components from the same manufacturer, but that's exactly what Chillblast has done with the PegASUS. Can you guess who? Clever name, huh?
Coming from a reputable source like Asus you know the components are going to be right up there. And so it proves.
The Asus components are ably backed-up by Corsair in the memory and PSU department. But there's a notable absence: an Asus CPU cooler. And an after-market cooler is a deﬁnite necessity, especially considering the massive, over-1GHz overclock that Chillblast has performed on the poor Core i7 920 in this rig.
The Asus Vento chassis may come with a couple of 120mm fans sitting above both the GPU and CPU, but they're not able to cope with the huge amount of heat that the processor generates at load. At idle it sits around the 70˚C mark and when we fully loaded it through an X.264 HD encoding test all but one of the cores reached the thermal junction maximum of 100˚C.
Inevitably at this point the cores throttled back to cope, dropping clocks below the 3GHz mark and occasionally below the stock 2.6GHz too.
The PegASUS remained stable though, not once batting an eyelid at our raft of benchmarks, but over time this amount of heat is going to seriously shorten the life of your processor. And no-one wants to have to replace a £220 chip on a new machine.
Gaming performance is still impressive. The mix of Core i7 and HD4890 proves a winning combo; only once dropping below the 50fps mark in WiC at 1,920 x 1,080 – only by 4fps. That's decent benching, though it falls well short of Advancetec's Skeleton which is only £100 dearer. But that rig is far less of an all rounder.
The PegASUS comes fully kitted out and ready to roll with base unit, screen, keyboard and mouse, as well as a 5.1 speaker set. The Asus panel is the stand-out item from the extras box, while the speaker set and keyboard/mouse combo are the weak spots. The screen is impressively specced and sports a full HD native res of 1,920 x 1,080 and HDMI, as well as DVI and analogue inputs.
The PegASUS machine itself may have generated impressive benchmarks and an excellent X.264 score, just a couple of frames per second off the new Core i7 950 chip, but if you expect it to run at this high a frequency for long you'll need to invest in a new cooler. Possibly an Asus one…
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