Aria Gladiator HD2-K Review


Aria Gladiator HD2-K Review


So if you are in the market for an entirely pre-built, pre-overclocked system, is the Gladiator HD2-K the one for you?

We definitely think so.

There is plenty of extremely high-end hardware on show. Starting with the case, the excellent Corsair Obsidian 650D in a gorgeous matte black with black internals too. It unquestionably looks the part and has good thermal performance too. 

The basis for the whole system is the outstanding ASUS Sabertooth P67 motherboard. We believe this is the best P67 motherboard on the planet, so understandably we love it here too. Worth noting is how much of a difference the ASUS Thermal Armor makes to the overall looks of the HD2-K. By covering up those unsightly circuit boards and chips the whole design is much more aesthetically pleasing.

Processing is handled by the Core i5-2500K, one of the best value processors around. Easy to overclock and giving excellent performance the heart of the HD2-K certainly isn't found wanting.

It would be very easy to look at the specifications of the HD2-K and scoff because a couple of medium range cards haven't got the same Kudos as one ultra-high-end offering such as the HD6990 or GTX590. Then you see that it's as good as either of those two cards in our gaming tests and only the synthetic offerings of 3D Mark Vantage and Unigine find it wanting.

Overall performance of the HD2-K is truly exceptional. The use of the OCZ SSD, a SATA-III model too, really helps the whole machine fly in use. This combination has enabled us to see some of the highest PC Mark scores we've recorded. Even the big storage drive doesn't exactly slack.

The downside is, of course, price. At £1399 the Gladiator HD2-K is a fair chunk of change, but the exceptionally high quality of the parts contained within mean there really isn't an element of it we'd want to swap-out, or feel compromised by. So often when you are looking at the specifications for a pre-built system there is something about it that is either disappointing or pointless. Yet the HD2-K has everything you could want and the results of our testing back up that fact. No frippery, just performance. Of course you could do it yourself for a little bit less, but that's been true for years.

Everything about the Gladiator HD2-K exudes quality and is a combination of some of the finest hardware around. For that it wins our OC3D Gold Award.


Thanks to for providing the Gladiator HD2-K for review. Discuss in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

20-06-2011, 06:31:18

In the market for an all-in-one system stuffed with the latest hardware? might have just what you're after.

Continue ReadingQuote

20-06-2011, 07:32:11

Monster of a machine and not that different from my current setup

Is 1.4v a 24/7 safe voltage for an i5 2500k?Quote

20-06-2011, 07:51:38

nice rig for the bucks

would be even better underwater

well done ariaQuote

20-06-2011, 07:59:22

Nice Looks, great performance and competative price- Nice rig Aria! Quote

20-06-2011, 08:03:23

Originally Posted by BigIan88 View Post

Monster of a machine and not that different from my current setup

Is 1.4v a 24/7 safe voltage for an i5 2500k?
About as high as Id say to go for a retail system yes matey.Quote

20-06-2011, 08:11:07

Brains sure can build a nice looking system can't he Quote

20-06-2011, 11:56:24

Very nice, Aria does it again Quote

20-06-2011, 12:34:33

if i lived in the uk and didnt happen to build my own be there in a flash with a bundle a cashQuote

21-06-2011, 09:46:33

nice systemQuote

21-06-2011, 14:54:23

Originally Posted by marsey99 View Post

Brains sure can build a nice looking system can't he
I can't take credit for this system. It was a joint effort from MR. Rawz himself and our System Dept. leader (Paul C)

I'm looking forward to building these though Quote

23-06-2011, 15:05:49

Quote: "would be even better underwater"

Aria means air...Quote

17-07-2011, 18:42:05

Hi, bought one of these systems, clocked at 4.7 It came in at £1200. Iassume it was a return or something so I got a bit of a deal.

Anyway, it’s a good system. Though I’ve had my problems with it. Firstly the secondary HDD wasn’t connected or initialised for use. That's a bit shabby imho.

Also I’ve suffered frequent of crashes & BSOD's when using it. It’s completely frozen with monotonous regualarity whilst watching blu-ray discs & while gaming requiring a full power off at the plug. It suffers from the ‘sleep problem’ that afflicts these sort of systems & while pressing buttons trying to 'wake up' the system I've had bios reports of overclock fail. Oh and & well, it’s a bit noisy. Especially if you turn the fans up on the graphics cards but that might just be me, I guess it’s what you’re used to. I usually build my own.

On the plus side it does run at a very good lick & games look stunning on my TV when it's buzzing away happily.

But….the worst thing about this system isn’t the system itself but the….you guessed it….customer services. Or lack of it.

12 days after emailing 4 named members of Aria staff (from their website forum) & the generic customer services address I’m yet to get a reply....from anyone, apart from the automated ‘we’ll try & reply within a day’ drivel ofc.

So I’m just going to assume I built this thing myself & sort out it’s problems, I’m used to it but if you’re after a problem free expensive games station & you're thinking of buying just be aware that after you’re money has gone out of your account more than likely you’ll be on your own unless you know what you're doing. You could always ring the 60p per minute technical services number. I daresay thay have someone on hand to respond to you.

Having spent £1200 or even £1400 if you did at the full price you’d be entitled to expect to be treated a little better than that. I don’t recall customer services being all that unavailable when they were emailing me & calling me to arrange the purchase & delivery.

Just a word of truth from a(nother) slightly disgruntled customer, and it's not the first time for me either but I won't go into that.

Peace, and have fun.Quote

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