Is it time to max out the credit card on a new gaming machine? Of course it is! (And especially if your current rig isn't up to scratch for the Christmas holidays.)
Low frame rates, butchered textures and a wheezing graphics card all point to one thing - it’s time to upgrade your gaming setup. The question is, do you rebuild it yourself or let a professional do it?
For those who want to game from day one, Nirv PCs come custom built to your specification complete with a one-year warranty. The heart of the Nirv is an AMD Phenom II X6, cooled by a maintenance-free closed-loop liquid-cooling system. This mighty CPU is backed by 8GB of DDR3 and a Radeon 5870. A 1TB HDD handles storage, while a very quick 128GB SSD keeps your load times low. The GIGABYTE motherboard also provides SATA 6Gbit/s and USB 3.0 ports for the ultimate in super-fast connectivity. And last but not least, the whole kit and caboodle is powered by a Silverstone Strider 850W PSU.
All this tasty silicon goodness is secured inside a Fractal Design Define R2 chassis. Not only are all the cables neatly squared away, the R2 comes packed with sound-absorbing material. This means the Pro Phenom is remarkably quiet when idle, though some GPU noise is apparent when gaming.
The Nirv boffins also apply their special brand of overclocking. This ramps up performance by 25%. You can also get the system tweaked to give up to 45% extra performance. The rest of the hardware can be customised online, with a bunch of different options available.
So what’s not to love? We do recommend ditching the SSD upgrade, as the extra cash just doesn’t reflect the performance gains. It’s also worth noting this mighty machine draws 320W under load, or to put it into perspective, about 5 cents of electricity an hour.
The Pro Phenom is built for gaming and manages a very respectable P18021 3DMark Vantage score. It also makes absolute mincemeat out of older gaming titles and cranks out a whopping 87fps in Far Cry 2. And the icing on the cake? Free-delivery Australia-wide. Available from Nirv, retailing for $2,899.APC rating: 7/10