The Enthusiast Overclocker is a PC designed for those looking to buy a PC that maximises performance, without splashing out on premium hardware. If you're not into hardcore video encoding and more extreme multi-tasking, but still love your high resolution gaming, we've worked with this PC to generate the best balance possible, providing that is, you spend time learning how to overclock it.
It’s fair to say LGA1156 has a stronger future going forward than Socket AM3, considering we expect the latest Phenom is pretty much as far as AMD can push its 45nm process without a complete core revamp. As such, LGA1156 is the superior platform going forward, with the i5-750 processor hitting the sweet spot when it comes to value, and offering future Core i7s as an upgrade path to more multi-threading support.
We've kept the same Core i5-750
and Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2
combination from last month again, however if you think the £700 mark is a little too expensive you can always downgrade this in favour of the Core i3-530
, although beware Gigabyte still needs to iron out some overclocking bugs with that combination. The i5-750 may lack the 8-threads of its i7 brothers, but it's still the best value quad-core for overclockers at just under £150.
You can still get budget GeForce GTX 260-216s around, but we prefer the Radeon HD 5770 1GB
route for investment in DirectX 11 and improved power consumption, plus, the performance is about the same. You should be able to pick up a branded Radeon HD 5770 1GB for £130, maybe sometimes less if you shop around for a deal, and they should certainly be available in greater supply than the now old, GeForce GTX 260s.
4GB of 1,600MHz CL9 DDR3
memory is still our favoured combination
with Lynnfield, and unfortunately prices across brands vary quite considerably depending where you shop in the UK - so as usual, shop around.
We've bundled it all in the same Cooler Master HAF 922
like last month that provides plenty of cooling in a chassis that's not too big, but if you want something more mobile remember the Cooler Master Scout. Other alternatives include the popular Antec Nine Hundred Two, and be aware of Lian Li Lancool cases, the new Antec 600, the Fractal Design R2 and relaunch of Cooler Master's 690 too.
Throwing in our favourite 500W OCZ ModXStream Pro
and Titan Fenrir
, and you've certainly got enough power and cooling for a high performance overclock. The Fenrir is more expensive than Novembers Cooler Master Hyper 212, but we consider it an investment to maximise your overclock and you can keep it should you want to upgrade the CPU at a later date.
SSDs are still too expensive for this budget so we've dropped another one of our favourites - the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
. Plenty of space and plenty of speed to be had from that. However, if you really don't like Samsung drives, check out the Seagate 7200.12s and Western Digital Blacks as well.