Cryo launches fastest UK retail PC

Written by Ben Hardwidge

March 26, 2009 | 16:58

Tags: #965 #benchmarks #benchtec #change #core #custom #i7 #phase

Companies: #cryo

Benchmark crushing is a hobby that’s usually left up to extreme overclocking communities and the more eccentric R&D guys at motherboard manufacturers, with retailers standing a comfortable distance from the dry ice. However, UK PC builder Cryo has just bucked that trend by announcing that its new Velox PC will feature a Core i7 965 Extreme CPU that it’s managed to overclock to 4.8GHz with a custom phase change cooler.

The result is an incredibly fast PC that’s made a mockery of the benchmarks from our sister title, Custom PC. The Cryo PC is already at the top of the leaderboard with an amazing score of 2,813. This is 223 points ahead of the nearest competitor; a Core i7 965 Extreme overclocked to 4.65GHz by Barron_Greenback from the UK benchmarking community Benchtec.

The machine is an update to the previous record-breaking Cryo Velox, which was overclocked to 4.65GHz using water-cooling. The revised Velox simply adds a custom-designed phase change cooler to the system to cool the CPU, while the water-cooling loop still handles the rest of the cooling duties, including the chipset and a GeForce GTX 295 graphics card.

Explaining the difference between the Cryo cooler and an off-the-shelf cooler such as a VapoChill unit, Cryo’s Alan Johnson said that "we use different gases and a more powerful compressor. It’s something that we’ve had to work rather hard on in the last three months, as the new Core i7 puts out quite a lot of heat." Johnson says that the Cryo cooler manages to keep the CPU temperature down to -40°C, and says that it doesn’t make too much noise either.

The 4.8GHz overclock was achieved by adjusting both the Quick Path Interconnect frequency and the multiplier, and the prototype machine used for testing also featured 3GB of Corsair PC3-16000 overclocked to 2.133GHz. So could customers buy a Cryo Velox PC readily overclocked to 4.8GHz. "They could," says Johnson, adding that "we will provide profiles at those kinds of speeds."

However, he notes that the speeds used to get high benchmark speeds will result in a machine that’s "right on the edge of stability; you can’t guarantee that it will be stable for everything you might want to do with it." Johnson says that commercial machines are more likely to be clocked at a still impressive frequency of 4.5GHz.

Meanwhile, a 120GB OCZ Core V2 SSD handles storage duties, and this is bolstered by a RAID 0 array of two 1TB Seagate 7200.12 drives. The Velox will also come with Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit, although the benchmarks were run using the 32-bit version of Windows XP.

The Velox is housed inside a modded Lian Li A70 case, which has been adjusted to accommodate the phase change cooler underneath, while a triple-radiator sits on the top.

The Cryo Velox costs £3,995 for the default spec and can be ordered from here. Is this a fair price for an incredibly fast PC? Would you rather buy a pre-overclocked machine or overclock it yourself? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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