How to build a £600 Gaming PC
Intel® Core™ i3-540 Dual Core CPU - Overclocked @ 4.20GHz
4GB Mushkin Silverline 1333MHz 9-9-9-24
MSI H55M-ED55 Micro-ATX Motherboard
Coolermaster Hyper TX3 CPU Cooler
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
Corsair TX650 PSU
Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB
Of course we need a system to run it up against. We could dig around in the cupboard and build a similar spec system but that really wouldn't prove anything. So to really get a feel for how much juice we have available to us we're going to put it up against the standard OC3D test rig.
ASUS Rampage III Extreme
Intel i7 950 @ 4GHz
6GB Mushkin Redline RAM
Corsair AX1200 PSU
Kingston SSD Now V+ 256GB
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Now you don't need me to tell you that our test rig weighs in at a serious wedge. Especially when compared to our 'affordable' gaming rig. So obviously dual-core vs quad-core wont show up well in CPU based benchmarks but gaming will really show if you need a mental system to get playable frame-rates.
Naturally this is overclocking, hence the sub-title, but the cool thing is that Aria have done all the work for us. As you can see the i3 540 has got a pumping overclock all the way from 3.07GHz up to 4.2GHz.
Contrary to many pre-overclocked kits available, Aria haven't given everything for a big "number" that looks good on the adverts without considering its usability.
8 hours of Prime95 thrashing away gave us a maximum temperature 69°C. Considering the Coolermaster is a 92mm fan and very quiet we were impressed indeed.