A small form factor skeleton with one-touch overclocking
MSI seems to have its hands in quite a few different cookie jars, which now includes bare bone PCs for gamers. The new MSI Nightblade is a small form factor (SFF) setup with an MSI Gaming Z87I motherboard, 600W power supply, and Dragon case fan. Your job is to drop in a CPU, graphics card, storage, optical drive, and you're ready to game -- and you can overclock using MSI's OC Genie Button on the front of the chassis.
Smaller size systems don't signal the end of overclocking
We still find full tower system sexy as ever, but there's a definite trend right now toward small form factor (SFF) rigs. Valve is partially responsible for the movement as it finds ways to encourage PC gamers to play in the living room via Big Picture Mode and Steam Machines, both of which are proving popular. Wondering what impact this trend will have on overclocking? No doubt trying to overclock in tightly packed systems becomes a bigger challenge due to higher temps, but it's not impossible -- just ask the folks at G.Skill who overclocked a set of Ripjaws SO-DIMM memory to DDR3-2600 speeds.
An overclocker from China who goes by the handle "Wytiwx" just set a new record in HWBOT Prime, but what's really amazing is that he achieved the record score using an Intel Celeron 900 processor based on the Penryn microarchitecture. Record scores aren't all that easy to come by, which is why Wytiwx decided to give it a shot after noticing that overclocked Penryn chips seem to post the best scores in HWBOT Prime.
It's not as though Nvidia's reference design for its GeForce GTX 780 Ti graphics card is for weenies -- after benchmarking the card, we had no choice but to dub it the real Big Kepler -- but if you're big into overclocking, EVGA's decidedly non-reference version looks to be the go-to card. Hardcore overclockers Vince "K|NGP|N" Lucido and Tsemenko "TiN" Illya supposedly helped co-design the card, which EVGA is calling the GeForce GTX 780 Ti Classified K|NGP|N Edition. So, what makes this card so special?
You are what you are, and Digital Storm is a boutique system builder focused on power users and hardcore gaming rigs. That doesn't mean Digital Storm isn't capable of piecing together a system for work, just don't expect its penchant for liquid cooling and overclocking to suddenly disappear. Hence it should come as no surprise that both are touted features of Digital Storm's new Pro line of custom workstations.
G.Skill has quite the collection of world records to boast, the latest being the first quad-channel DDR3 memory kit to race past 4GHz. Intel's Ivy Bridge-E platform has only been on the market a week and G.Skill wasted no time testing the limits of the new silicon, along with its own brand memory kits. This time around it was again a G.Skill TridentX memory kit that achieved the record breaking frequency, which now sits at DDR3-4072MHz.
Team OCaholic set new PCMark 7 and PCMark Vantage world records during an overclocking event in Glattfelden, Switzerland, and the team did it with a bit of help from Samsung, which provided them with the coolest looking tree we've ever seen. Instead of branches and leaves, Samsung's tree consisted of a dozen SSD 840 Pro 256GB solid state drives (SSDs) and cable connectors tucked almost completely out of sight.
Intel recently posted a public agenda revealing that it plans to demonstrate SSD overclocking technology at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) next month, but a bunch of lucky PAX attendees got to see how it works ahead of schedule. They also got to leave their feedback at the conclusion of the demo in a survey that asked some interesting questions about what they'd be willing to sacrifice in exchange for an overclockable SSD.
Once considered a dark art that required messing with DIP switches and praying to the PC gods, overclocking in the past several years has become a mainstream and mostly safe activity. Overclocking allows you to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of your parts, whether you're talking about goosing the RAM, nudging your CPU, or coaxing your graphics card to run faster than stock. After the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), you may be able to add solid state drives (SSDs) to the list of components that can be overclocked.
The world's most popular benchmarking and overclocking website is no longer accepting scores from PCs running Windows 8. Furthermore, HWBOT made the decision to invalidate all previous scores from Windows 8 systems. The reason? HWBot cites a flaw in Windows 8's real-time clock (RTC). In addition to making sure your computer displays the correct time, benchmarking applications also use the RTC.