OcUK Intel Core i5 750 Overclocked Bundle Page: 1
Introduction
 
There are 10 types of people. Those who overclock and those who don’t overclock. See what I did there? It’s funny because 10 in binary is 2…*tumbleweed*…I’ll get my coat and see myself out…
 
Amongst those who build their own desktop computers, CPU Overclocking has become common practice and thanks to fool proof hardware and an abundance of tutorials on the internet, it is even possible or novices to do it without causing great harm. The procedure is also very rewarding due to processors typically having a considerable frequency headroom. All in all, it is free performance at it’s finest.
 
I will however admit that overclocking is not for everyone. First of all, it will require patience as it is essential that you understand the parameters involved in the process and how to verify stability. It may take about an hour to obtain your processor’s maximum bootable frequency. From here, you’ll need to try and dabble with voltages and frequencies to obtain the maximum stable frequency. This is the time consuming part and requires a lot of trial and error to find the highest stable overclock. The final stage of CPU Overclocking involves verifying long term stability, which is carried out by running CPU intensive applications for upwards of 8 hours. If it fails these tests, then it’s back to the drawing board…
 
I’m sure that many of you readers don’t have the time or the patience for CPU Overclocking. There’s no denying that the procedure can be stressful and that comparatively normal people will find it a rather boring exercise. From my point of view, it’s well worth the time spent but what if there’s someone out there that’ll do the hard work for you? Today we have been given the opportunity to try out a factory overclocked solution from Overclockers UK, who offer bundles consisting of a CPU, Motherboard, RAM and CPU Cooler.
 
Overclockers UK is a hardware retailer that has seen a large increase in popularity over the years, leading to a recent move to larger premises in Newcastle Under Lyme. During their growth, the retailer expanded further into the realms of specialist items such as Overclocked CPU/Motherboard/RAM bundles as well as Factory Overclocked Desktop Comptuers. As the name suggests, they specialize in the sale of performance oriented hardware. Given our experience with the company’s Titan Goliath Gaming Desktop, we have high expectations for this particular bundle.
 
Specifications
 
Intel Core i5 750 2.66GHz Processor @ 3.60GHz
Asus P7P55D Motherboard
4GB Corsair PC3-12800C9 DDR3-1600 Memory
Zalman CNPS 10X QUIET Heatpipe CPU Cooler
 
At the heart of this bundle lies the bang per buck Intel Core i5 750 processor. Based on top of the line Core i7 architecture (sans Hyperthreading Technology) the processor offers fabulous performance per pound even at it’s default frequencies of 2.66GHz. This particular bundle however sees a 933MHz frequency adjustment, which will no doubt have a considerable effect on performance across the board. The bundle also uses the proven Asus P7P55D Motherboard, 4GB of DDR3-1600 RAM and a hefty CPU Cooler to pacify that heavily overclocked processor. All of the components are tested together to ensure stability and compatibility.
 
This particular review begs the following questions. How good can you expect an off the shelf factory overclocked bundle to be? Is it worth the inevitable price mark up over a DIY overclock? Let's find out.


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Packaging & Initial Impressions
 
Upon opening the main cardboard box, we were presented with a set of components, packaged securely behind a layer of airbag packaging.
 
 
 
 
The motherboard box contains most of the components, with the Corsair Memory and Core i5 750 Processor preinstalled. The Zalman CNPS10X CPU Cooler was boxed separately. Also enclosed was a quality control report verifying stability at 3.60GHz. The motherboard comes with two SATA connectors, an I/O shield, Manual and IDE Cable.
 
 
The setup process was a piece of cake. With our optical and hard disk drives, power supply unit and graphics card connected, the system powered on and booted successfully. A quick visit into the BIOS confirmed that the processor was operating at it’s target clockspeed of 3.60GHz. With Windows Vista Home Premium installed, we were ready to get testing.
 
 
 
 
It was also noted that Overclockers UK had saved Overclock Profiles in the Asus BIOS, so that the overclock can be reloaded if settings are lost.
 
Let's move on to the testing phase of the Core i5 750 Overclocked Bundle.


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Testbed
 
Our testing was carried out with the following equipment
 
Intel Core i5 750 Processor @ 3.60GHz 1.3425V
Asus P7P55D P55 ATX Motherboard @ 172BCLK
4GB Corsair XMS3 PC3-12800 @ 1720MHz
Zalman CNPS10X QUIET CPU Cooler
Samsung Spinpoint F1 320GB SATA II Hard Disk Drive
LG 22x DVD+/-RW SATA Optical Drive
nVidia GeForce 8800GT 512mb GDDR3
OCZ stealthXstream 500W ATX 2.0 Power Supply Unit
Windows Vista Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 
Temperatures & Stability
 
As a factory overclocked bundle, it must be stable straight out of the box and be able to stand the test of time throughout it’s lifespan. Our testing was carried out with an ambient temperature of 22*c. Using OCCT’s LinPack Test, we left our overclocked processor to run for no less than 16 hours. As expected, the bundle passed with flying colours.
 
 
The Zalman CNPS10X cooler appears to be more than adequate at cooling the Core i5 750 processor with peak temperatures of 66*c. When you consider that the cooler uses a fan that operates at speeds of 1500RPM and lower, the result is quite impressive. It should be mentioned however that further overclocking could well be restricted as additional voltage increases will take processor temperatures into somewhat uncomfortable realms.


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Synthetic Benchmarks
 
SiSoft Sandra
 
SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility capable of benchmarking the performance of individual components inside a PC.
 
CPU Arithmetic Test
 
 
Intel's Core architecture truly shines with this particular test, offering particularly strong Dhrystone scores. The superiority of the overclocked Core i5 750 has become rather clear.
 
CPU Multimedia Test
 
 
Once again, considerable performance gains are noted although it is interesting to see that the AMD Phenom II X4 965 CPU outperforms both.
 
Memory Bandwith
 
 
 
Thanks to the Intel Core i5's internal memory controller combined with frequencies of 1720MHz, our test setup pulled in an excellent result.
 
Hard Disk Performance
 
 
The Intel P55's internal SATA controller appears to have no trouble with today's hard disk drives.
 
CinebenchR10
 
CinebenchR10 analyses the speed at which a processor renders a high resolution image and outputs a score accordingly. The test was carried out in singlethreaded and multithreaded mode.
 
 
 
The Intel Core i5 750 has a clear lead over AMD's competing processor, with the overclocked bundle seeing a further 29% performance boost. A very impressive set of scores indeed.
 


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Everest Ultimate Edition
 
CPU Queen
 
CPU Queen is based on branch prediction and the misprediction penalties that are involved.
 
 
Storming ahead once again, the overclocked Core i5 750 regains it's performance title over the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition.
 
CPU Photoworxx
 
PhotoWorxx as the name may suggest tests processors by means of invoking functions that are common to Photo Manipulation including Fill, Flip, Crop, Rotate, Difference and Colour to B&W conversion.
 
 
Once again, the reference frequency Core i5 750 appears to lose out against the higher frequency Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition. Once overclocked however, it well and truly comes into it's own.
 
CPU Zlib
 
This is an integer based benchmark that will test the CPU and Memory by means of the CPU ZLib compression library.
 
WinRAR Benchmark
 
WinRAR's embedded Benchmark focuses on the processor's File Compression capability.
 
 
File compression quite clearly seems to be an Intel Core i5/i7 strength, pulling way ahead of it's competition.

PCMark Vantage
 
Futuremark's PCMark Vantage is an all round benchmark that focuses on CPU, Memory and Video performance.
 
 
 
 


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Call of Duty 4
 
Call of Duty 4 is another popular hit however even with all of the eye candy set to full and the image quality raised up high, it doesn't particularly hurt today's latest and greatest. Regardless, let's see how it fares.
 
 
Microsoft Flight Simulator X
 
Microsoft Flight Simulator X is part of a handful of games that are heavily CPU reliant, even at resolutions such as 1920x1080.
 
 
The Core i5 750 takes a significant lead over the competition at both stock and overclocked frequencies. The latter offers the perfect Flight Simulation experience.
 
Crysis Warhead
 
Crysis Warhead is without a doubt one hard nut to crack, especially at higher resolutions and a dash of Anti Aliasing and Anisotrophic Filtering. Due to it's level of GPU intensitivity, we lowered operational resolutions to 1280x1024 so to try and place the processors back in the spot light.
 
 
 
 With the testing wrapped up, let's conclude...
 
 


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Conclusion
 
Upon looking at the results, you'd be hard done by to pick out any flaws in the bundle itself. It functioned straight out of the box without any fuss, passed 16 hours of stability testing and performed considerably faster than the same at default clock frequencies. Buying an Overclockers UK Overclocked Bundle guarantees that none of the components are dead on arrival and that they are completely compatible with each other. Effectively, you'd be paying for a product and a service. This of course comes at a price...
 
 
 
As a matter of fact, all of this comes in at a rather hefty price. Overclockers UK have planted a premium of roughly £120 for their Overclocking services. While some might be able to justify the higher price tag for assurance, we cannot help but feel that it's a little too steep. The plot thickens when another one of their bundles featuring an Intel Core i5 750 processor overclocked to 4.00GHz and with the superior (and more expensive) Gigabyte P55 UD5 Motherboard costs exactly the same. Simply put, there is no reason to choose this bundle over it's 4.00GHz brother and so we believe that it's pricing should be reconsidered. I would also like to point out that any prospective customer of this item should consider how important the extra CPU clockspeed might be for their needs. Particularly from a gaming perspective, many of today's (and upcoming) hits are GPU intensive to the extent that even a 933MHz processor overclock may not have a significant impact on performance. At any rate, I don't believe that such a bundle is worthwhile if the buyer in question will be sacrificing part of their graphics card budget, where gaming is concerned.
 
It shall be interesting to see how well Overclockers UK's customer services handle any potential problems that may arise from an overclocked bundle. One would hope however that the extent of the processor's testing duration as well as a helpful and friendly group of technicians should mean that this should never be a problem. Much like our review of OcUK's Titan Goliath Gaming Desktop, the Core i5 750 Overclocked bundle offers a zero hassle solution for those that don't care for shedding blood, sweat and tears on CPU Overclocking. Without doubt, with the right graphics card, power supply unit and hard disk drives, this particular bundle would be the perfect base for a high performance, "bang per buck" machine.
 
We contacted OCUK about our pricing concerns and this is the reply we got from them:
 
Your observations on the 2 seperate systems retailing at the same price is very well founded. As we completely value reviewers opinions, the decision has been made to reduce the 3.6ghz i5 system price by £75.
 
We were very pleased to have received such a swift and effective response, which has resulted in a price drop to £424.99 from the previously marketed £499.99. The updated pricetag is much more palatable and with an overall premium of £43.04 for guaranteed compatability and a substantial overclock, we feel that this bundle will suit the needs of many prospective customers. Great work Overclockers UK!
 
The Good
 - Excellent Performance
- Stable Overclock From Box
- Quiet
The Mediocre
- None
The Bad
- None
 
 
 
We would like to thank Overclockers UK for supplying their Intel Core i5 750 Overclocked Bundle for review. You can discuss your thoughts about this system in our forums.