The big problem for any new PC build tipping up over the £1,000 mark is the presence of last month's superlative Titan Viper from Overclockers UK.
It's a machine that's been put together on a smart budget, with a fantastic array of componentry. It ticks pretty much every box in almost anyone's PC wishlist.
Ultra-fast graphics, check; multi-core, many-threaded CPU, check; speedy SSD boot drive, check; capacious storage drive, check.
So how can AdvanceTec's ATFX Khaos stand up to that? The standout feature of the Titan Viper, and the key component to its gaming credentials, is undoubtedly the HD 5970, twin-GPU behemoth generating heat and millions of polygons inside that angular black chassis.
By shaving the price off a few parts, notably a fairly bargainous Gigabyte mobo, Overclockers has been able to drop in the pricey ol' card without having to charge an absolute fortune in the process.
AdvanceTec, though, has gone down the Nvidia route, securing a GTX 470 to do the graphical grunt work. We checked out the card last issue and an impressive beast it turned out to be, easily keeping the equivalently-priced HD 5870 in its dust. Until a Catalyst update scuppered that, boosting the AMD cards across the board.
Still, the GTX 470 is a quality bit of silicon and twinned up with the Core i7 930, clocked up to the 4GHz it is here in the Khaos, makes for a rather impressive gaming rig. It's also hitting all the same checkbox features that the Titan Viper ticked off.
In fact, that twin-GPU card is essentially the only differentiating factor between the two.
Firstly, they both carry the same budget Intel SSD, backed up by a 1TB hard drive for storage. Secondly, they both boast the same Core i7 running overclocked out of the box at 4GHz.
As good as the GTX 470 is though, there's no way it can hold a tessellated candle to the multi-GPU goodness that is the HD 5970. Despite its relative age, the AMD part is still the fastest card available.
That's what the extra £100 you're spending on the Overclockers rig gets you, and that's quite a sales pitch. True, the benefits of the twin-GPU card are fairly intangible until you're rocking a 30-inch panel, but having that much power under the bonnet for a minimal extra outlay can only be a good thing. It helps prolong your investment as well.
The benchmark figures speak for themselves; the Khaos does get a win in the Cinebench time by a single second, and despite decent scores of 51fps and 44fps in Far Cry 2 and DiRT2 respectively, the Titan Viper's 73fps and 66fps illustrate the extra power it commands.
So, while the Khaos is a little cheaper than the Titan Viper, when you're already spending £1,500 on a rig, spending that little bit more to have the fastest graphics card the planet is almost a no-brainer.
The Khaos is nearly there, with a strong array of componentry, but it just falls short in the visual department.
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