Wired2Fire Hellspawn Xtreme review

£1486
Price when reviewed

Upgrade room is reasonable. Three DIMM sockets lie empty between the tall heatsinks affixed to the Corsair memory, and three 5.25in bays can all be used without tools. Four empty hard disk bays face the side of the chassis and, while the bays are fitted with caddies, they’re made of plastic and weak.

The graphics cards restrict room on the motherboard: the pair of PCI slots is totally obscured and, while there’s a single PCI-Express x1 socket free, the one empty PCI-Express x16 slot runs at just x1 speed. It’s unlikely you’ll want to add a third graphics card, but it’s worth knowing.

The lack of upgrade room is less critical when the rest of the specification is considered. Taking centre stage is Intel’s Core i7-930 processor, overclocked from its stock speed of 2.8GHz to 4GHz. It’s a boost that pays dividends: the Xtreme’s overall score of 2.79 in our benchmarks isn’t far behind the record-breaking 2.87 of the Yoyotech. It’s worth noting that the combined processor and graphics power on offer here contributes to a high power draw of 508W at peak performance.

Elsewhere, 6GB of 1,600MHz Corsair DDR3 RAM is more than enough, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit is loaded on a Corsair Nova 128GB SSD, and traditional storage comes in the form of a 1TB Samsung drive. There’s a Blu-ray drive, too.

Wired2Fire Hellspawn Xtreme

The processor is chilled by Corsair’s H70 water-cooling kit, a small unit made up of a reservoir sandwiched between a pair of 120mm fans. While it reined in the overclocked CPU to a palatable maximum temperature of 71°C, we were wary about noise; our previous experience of the H70 saw its loud whirr prove unpalatable.

Wired2Fire has assuaged our concerns by replacing the Corsair fans with Sharkoon Silent Eagle units, which are far quieter. It’s a shame the same can’t be said of the rest of the Hellspawn Xtreme; the GPU fans worked themselves up into a high-pitched frenzy during our more demanding graphics tests. The noise is dampened by the beefy chassis, but it’s still pretty loud.

It’s that pair of graphics cards, though, that provides the Xtreme’s main selling point: the strongest gaming performance we’ve seen in a PC. The Wired2Fire can’t quite compete with the Yoyotech in other areas, though, thanks to the XDNA’s faster application performance, quieter operation and more sophisticated build.

But it depends what you’re looking for in a high-end machine. For most of us, looking for a bit more all-round polish than this raw system can give, the Yoyotech is still the better PC. But if you’re a hardcore gamer on the hunt for the fastest system going, the Wired2Fire Hellspawn Xtreme won’t disappoint.

Warranty

Warranty 2 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,128GB
RAM capacity 6.00GB
Screen size N/A

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency 2.80GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 4.00GHz
Processor socket LGA 1366
HSF (heatsink-fan) Corsair H70 water-cooling

Motherboard

Motherboard Asus P6X58D-E
Motherboard chipset Intel X58
Conventional PCI slots free 0
Conventional PCI slots total 2
PCI-E x16 slots free 1
PCI-E x16 slots total 3
PCI-E x8 slots free 0
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots free 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots free 1
PCI-E x1 slots total 1
Internal SATA connectors 4
Internal SAS connectors 1
Internal PATA connectors 1
Internal floppy connectors 0
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 3
Memory sockets total 6

Graphics card

Graphics card AMD Radeon HD 6850
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? yes
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset AMD Radeon HD 6850
Graphics card RAM 1.00GB
DVI-I outputs 4
HDMI outputs 2
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0
Number of graphics cards 2

Hard disk

Hard disk Corsair Nova 128GB SSD
Capacity 128GB
Hard disk usable capacity N/A
Internal disk interface SATA/600
Spindle speed N/A
Hard disk 2 make and model Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity 1,000GB
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity 931
Hard disk 2 spindle speed 7,200RPM
Hard disk 2 cache size 32MB
Hard disk 3 make and model N/A
Hard disk 3 nominal capacity N/A
Hard disk 4 make and model N/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacity N/A

Drives

Optical drive Samsung SH-B083L
Optical disc technology Blu-ray reader
Optical disk 2 make and model N/A
Optical disk 3 make and model N/A

Monitor

Monitor make and model N/A
Resolution screen horizontal N/A
Resolution screen vertical N/A
Resolution N/A x N/A
Pixel response time N/A
Contrast ratio N/A
Screen brightness N/A
DVI inputs N/A
HDMI inputs N/A
VGA inputs N/A
DisplayPort inputs N/A

Additional Peripherals

Speakers N/A
Speaker type N/A
Sound card Realtek HD Audio
Peripherals NA

Case

Chassis Corsair Graphite Series 600T
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 265 x 592 x 507mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply rating 750W
Power supply efficiency N/A

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 3

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 8
FireWire ports 1
PS/2 mouse port yes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 8

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 5
Front panel memory card reader no

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard N/A

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7
Software supplied N/A

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 194W
Peak power consumption 508W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 2.79
Office application benchmark score 2.46
2D graphics application benchmark score 2.96
Encoding application benchmark score 2.29
Multitasking application benchmark score 3.44
3D performance (crysis) low settings 141fps
3D performance setting Low

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