The other major difference between the CyberPower Charybdis and the Scan 3XS Vengeance is the noise. The Charybdis had to water-cool the CPU to keep it happy, but still relied on two large fans, and the twin GPUs also made a bit of racket happily heating up the innards.

Scan's 3XS Vengeance, on the other hand, is whisper quiet.

Despite the fact that the Core i7-2600K is running at a lightning 4.5GHz, it's kept cool by the Alpenfohn Matterhorn active-cooler, which is itself a rather softly spoken chiller. The GTX 580, too, still surprises us with just how quiet it manages to be. Compared with its GTX 480-shaped forebear, that's doubly impressive.

At £1,740, it's by no means a particularly wallet-friendly machine, but considering the combination of top-end tech and spectacular benchmarks it comes out looking rather good value.

There's absolutely no compromise in this system – at no point have cuts been made to make sure this machine hits a certain price point. Indeed, if the rather scarce GTX 580 becomes more widely available, the pricing may actually come down.

You've got the top Sandy Bridge CPU, seriously overclocked, the best graphics card on the planet, a full 1TB storage drive and a SandForce-powered SSD from OCZ, a bloated 8GB of speedy DDR3, and even a particularly tasty discrete soundcard as an extra cherry on top.

Faster components and chipsets will arrive, but a 3XS Vengeance purchase is going to remain relevant for a while yet. Essentially, this is a machine that will happily be playing at the top of its game for the next two years at least.

As the first machine of what is effectively a new generation, it was always going to blow the previous rigs we've seen out of the water, but we can't help but be impressed by the 3XS Vengeance.

We liked

The performance of this rig is nothing short of phenomenal. The pairing of a Sandy Bridge CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 makes it something to reckon with.

It's also incredibly quiet for something packing this much high-end kit.

We disliked

To be honest, there's very little not to like about this machine. There's been no compromise with any of the components, making it about as feature-rich a machine as currently possible.

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