Looking to put together the ultimate Ivy Bridge system? Bennett Ring reveals the kit you need to build a powerful high-end overclocked beast of a PC.
Intel’s new Ivy Bridge chips and 7-series motherboards may not be quite earth shattering -- especially if you already own a second-gen Core i system -- but that doesn’t mean they don’t make for great parts. If you’ve been holding out on building a new system, there’s never been a better time. Here, we’ve put together our list of recommended components for assembling a high-end overclocking beast.
CPU: Core i5-3570K with Corsair H100, approx. $270 + $150
The important thing to look for when buying an Ivy Bridge chip for overclocking is the K on the end of the model name. This signifies that the chip is multiplier unlocked, allowing you to actually overclock; without this you’re going to be very limited in your options. The 3570K is the cheaper of the two K models, and should hit the same frequencies as its bigger brother. Given Ivy Bridge’s tendency to get hot, it’s worth spending a little extra on the Corsair H100 water cooling kit.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H-WB Wi-Fi, $215
Recommended by our very own James Trevaskis, this motherboard is an overclocking beast. The Z77 chipset combined with Gigabyte’s BIOS delivers extremely deep and granular overclocking options, while the Gigabyte 3D Power ensures rock-solid power -- a must for extreme overclockers.
Graphics card: ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP, $800
Yes, this is an insanely expensive graphics card. However, not only do you get the fastest GPU on the planet, you get one that comes with an amazing cooler. With this in place and a little voltage tweaking, expect to increase performance by at least 20% over the standard speed, giving you unrivalled single-GPU performance.
Memory: 8GB G. Skill Trident X PC3-22400, $200
We’re still waiting for this memory to land down under, but when it does it should be one of the first memory kits to deliver DDR3 2,800MHz performance. This makes it a perfect match for the Z77 chipset and Ivy Bridge processor. Of course, you’re going to pay for the privilege.
Sound Card: ASUS Xonar DG, $38
We’re once again going for ASUS’s cheapest sound card, as it really does offer unrivalled bang for your buck. Don’t get stuck with terrible integrated sound ever again.
Hard Drive: OCZ Vertex 3 240GB, $350
There’s no point in slowing down such a cutting-edge PC with a slow mechanical drive, so we’ve gone all out with this amazingly fast SSD. Packing a SATA 6Gbps connection and super-fast SF-2281 controller, it’s one of the only drives around that will keep up with the rest of your PC.
PSU: Corsair TX850 V2 850W, $169
When you’re running every component at the absolute limit, it’s best to have a high-quality power supply to help stability. This premium Corsair model is aimed specifically at tweakers, delivering plenty of watts with minimal fluctuation.
Case: Cooler Master HAF X, $219
Packing more spinning blades than a ninja school, this behemoth has airflow to die for. It’s also got plenty of room inside for even the biggest of cooling solutions, making it a perfect match for this steamy system.
Total price: $2,411