Hello, I'm a PC enthusiast. It's about time I bought a new machine to play the latest games on, so I've bought the Scan Edge i7 barebones kit, including a motherboard, RAM and CPU/cooler bundle to form the foundation of my new gaming rig.
It's handy because I know all the components are compatible, and it comes brilliantly pre-overclocked and optimised so I... oh hold on, it didn't get past the POST screen.
This is a pre-overclocked bundle from Scan, pushing the excellent Core i7 920 out of its 2.67GHz comfort zone to an impressively rounded 4GHz. However, upon first boot, this baby failed to see the light of Windows.
The BIOS cheerily informed me that it had loaded its fail-safe defaults due to a 'problem in booting caused by overclocking'. And that was that. The only profile saved in the BIOS had overclocking settings for the RAM only. If I wanted the touted 4GHz, I was on my own.
Scan guarantee a 24-hour burn in to ensure stability, so quite why this particular bundle fell over is a mystery. To buy all these components individually would cost £522.62.
The price of the tried and tested overclock settings (or in this case, thin air) is therefore 41 quid.
Box or bundle?
It's a shame, because the selection box of components included in the bundle are very appealing and form an excellent basis for a high performance rig. It offers the customer flexibility in terms of where to spend the rest of any budget.
Those building video encoding or design workstations will be satisfied with the CPU's multithreading and turbo mode and might want to stick a budget GPU in. Gamers will of course be tricking their rig out with as powerful a graphics stick as they can afford.
The CPU tears through benchmark runs, games and design software and the Prolimatech cooler keeps temperatures sub-50 degrees.
The mobo is fairly future-proof too and will take care of all your USB 3.0 and DDR3 needs. Indeed there are three generous slices of DDR3 memory with sprightly timings already installed.
But here's the rub. If you're the type who buys an overclocked i7 bundle, you're most likely the type who'll want to put an HD 5870 or GTX 470 in there. Which adds up to £850-900 territory. And unless you're happy for your machine to be dressed in last season's styles, you'll have to shell out for a case, PSU, HD…
There are fully built PCs on the market featuring these exact components for just shy of £900. Sure, they're not pre-overclocked, but neither was this one.
It may seem a cost-effective, all in one, upgrade but you're not likely to see a particularly satisfying increase in performance unless you've got an ancient PC with a relatively new GPU.
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