Überclok, Under the Skin
The top panel has a reset, headphone, a microphone and one IEEE-1394 FireWire and two USB 2.0 ports near the front, with a giant 200-mm cooling fan at its rear that pulls warm air away from the CPU cooler. The ports are angled slightly forward for easier access when the case is placed beside a desk, but reaching them with the unit on top of a desk is somewhat of a stretch, even for tall users.
The configuration Überclok has chosen for this review includes a 20x DVD burner and 16x DVD-ROM from Lite-On, plus a 9-in-1 flash card with a 1.44MB floppy combo drive. The LH-20A1L burner features 20x DVD+R and DVD-R writes, 16x DVD reads, 8x dual-layer writing for both formats, 32x CD writes, 48x CD reads and 12x DVD-RAM writes. The presence of both a writer and a reader allows “on-the-fly” copies at lower speeds and reduced wear to the writer when only the reader is needed, but writers have become so inexpensive that preserving their lifespan isn’t a major concern for most buyers.
Below the drives are two 120-mm blue LED intake fans and a 120-mm rear-panel fan works in tandem with the 200-mm top fan and 135-mm power supply fan to remove heat from every corner of the chassis.
EVGA’s latest 780i motherboard assures compatibility with a wide variety of Intel Core 2 processors, including the latest 45-nm quad cores. The sample system’s Core 2 Duo E8400 reduces costs substantially compared to the quad-core Core 2 Extreme QX9650 while providing the same rated clock speed and enhanced Penryn architecture. Few games are capable of fully utilizing even two cores, let alone four, making the dual-core a more efficient gaming choice from both economical and environmental perspectives. A further benefit of using a dual-core processor in an overclocked gaming system is that these devices are generally capable of reaching higher clock speeds than their four-core siblings.