Aria Gladiator HD2-K Review
So if you are in the market for an entirely pre-built, pre-overclocked system, is the Aria.co.uk 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.