Aria Gladiator Sparta Haswell i5 4670K Nano Overclocked Bundle Review
So is the i5-4670K based Aria Gladiator Sparta i5 Nano Overclocked Bundle a match for their excellent previous bundles, and is the Intel Core i5-4670K itself a worthy successor to the brilliant i5-2500K?
Yes on both counts.
Although it's nice to see the kind of results that can be obtained in the 3D benchmarks, that's not really why we're here today. The primary reason to do some basic 3D tests with an average card is to see how much performance is lost between the all-singing hyper-threaded daddy that is the Core i7-4770K and the quad-core but no HT Core i5-4670K.
At the very extreme end there is obviously a performance drop off. Firstly because we overclock to around 4.7GHz whereas the i5 in the Sparta Nano is at 4.4GHz, and secondly the hyper-threading which really improves the CPU performance. However, as the image quality increases and the graphics card makes a bigger difference, the i5-4670K at the heart of the Sparta Nano keeps pace, helped by the excellent Gigabyte Sniper M5 motherboard and speedy Crucial Ballistix RAM. If you merely glanced at the calculation heavy results, SiSoft Sandra and Cinebench in particular, you could come away thinking the i5-4670K hasn't got the guts to keep up with the premium models in the Haswell range. You're wrong though.
One of the things we find hardest to get across is the real-world performance of something. Benchmarks are excellent for comparisons and getting a general idea of how good something is. Hardware lives and dies by them after all. But they're all tailored to push your system far further and harder than almost anything you'll ever actually do. You only have to look at the excellent PC Mark results to understand this.
In PC Mark Vantage the Aria Gladiator Sparta i5 Nano was easily a match for a stock i7-4770K despite the handicap of a lesser GPU. Once you move to PC Mark 7 it wasn't disgraced by any other result in our graph, even the overclocked i7-4770K, and by the time we reached the newer PC Mark 8 it was only let down by the (enormous) difference between a HD7950 and a GTX780. Our bench rig with its high-end HD7970, 2400MHz RAM and Neutron GTX SSD is a lot more expensive than the Aria Sparta Nano and our additional HD7950 and little Corsair F80 SSD, but performance wise you'd struggle to tell them apart.
We spoke back on page 2 about the quality of the Aria build process. We know well from their full systems how much attention to detail there is in their work. With an overclocked bundle such as the Sparta there is less to notice externally, but the quality of the component choices and overclock itself speak volumes. We know that many users are finding the current CPUs to be extremely variable, even taking into account the silicon lottery. Aria are carefully selecting their CPUs and only giving you ones that definitely achieve the required overclock and at a sensible voltage too. We've almost returned to the days in which it's worth paying the little bit extra for a particular CPU from a known good batch because you know it will overclock as it should. This cherry picking of CPUs allows for low-voltage which equals low temperatures. This is good not only for longevity and the general temperature inside your case, but because the Scythe isn't being worked within an inch of its life it remains extremely quiet.
In fact the only thing we'd change is the name, which is getting rather lengthy. This will hardly spread via word of mouth because people will have fallen asleep by the time you get to the end of its multi-syllabic name.
In total we can highly recommend the Aria.co.uk Gladiator Sparta i5 Nano Overclocked Bundle. It's got far more performance than you expect it to have, is built well, comes with all the relevant bits and bobs as well as the excellent service and warranty from Aria. At a smidge over £500 it's good value for money too. A fire and forget solution to the minefield of finding the right CPU. We're happy to award it our OC3D Gold Award.