PC Specialist Vortex 600T review

The Vortex also lagged behind the Wired2Fire in our application benchmarks. Intel’s Core i7-950 isn’t a chip to sniff at, especially since PC Specialist has overclocked it from its stock speed of 3.07GHz to 3.8GHz. But the system’s overall benchmark score of 2.65 can’t quite compete with the 2.79 extracted from the Wired2Fire by its Core i7-930 overclocked to 4GHz, or the 2.87 scored by the Yoyotech XDNA 760.

Still, that’s plenty of raw power, and coupled with the massive RAM allocation, the Vortex could well suit keen photographers or home video fans who regularly process large files. The 60GB OCZ Vortex II SSD keeps Windows Home Premium snappy, while a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black hard disk provides mass storage. There’s a Blu-ray reader combo drive, too.

If you push the Vortex 600T hard, noise becomes an issue. We’re used to hearing a certain level of noise from enthusiast-level machines during our more strenuous benchmarks – the Wired2Fire’s pair of graphics cards served up a high-pitched whine, for example – but the Vortex suffers from a double-whammy. The upper graphics card hit a maximum temperature of 88˚C (14˚C higher than the other card), causing its fan to go into overdrive. At the same time, the Titan Fenrir CPU Cooler spun furiously to keep the overclocked CPU to a top temperature of 86˚C. The combined result was a noise that, while dampened by the thick chassis, was still appreciably louder than that from the Wired2Fire.

It’s not just the noise that scuppers the Vortex, though. Fix that and the Wired2Fire and Yoyotech machines would still be faster. The Vortex is slightly cheaper and is still a fast and solid machine, but it’s marginally outgunned by stronger competition.

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