Yoyotech Water Dragon 3.6 review
We haven’t reviewed a Yoyotech system before, but its first foray into our testing arena has made a big splash. The Water Dragon is a water-cooled base unit that comes with a processor and graphics card that also make their debuts.
The parts in question are the AMD Phenom II X4 925 processor, which ordinarily runs at 2.8GHz but has been overclocked to 3.6GHz here, and the ATI Radeon HD 4890, a card that comes with 1GB of GDDR5 memory and a core clock speed of 850MHz.
The Phenom II X4 925 has a generous 6MB L3 cache and 2MB of L2, which is standard in all of AMD’s quad cores. It uses Socket AM3 to take advantage of the slightly faster 2GHz HyperTransport, while AM2+ models remain at 1.8GHz.
Performance, as a result, was excellent. In our 2D benchmarks the Water Dragon returned a score of 2.08, which means tasks such as video editing should be dealt with quickly. It’s also one of the cheapest machines to double the performance of our reference PC, and it’s an enticing way to get Core i7 performance without paying the prices Intel’s latest hardware demands.
Powerful processors need sufficient cooling for peak efficiency, especially when overclocked, so Yoyotech has installed a CoolIT Domino ALC water-cooling system. This comes with three “intensity settings”: all had the CPU running at a 30 degrees when idle, and even the lowest intensity mode kept the processor’s temperature down to 35 degrees during the intensive sections of our benchmarks. This is just as well, as the highest intensity mode ups volume levels considerably; fortunately, the low and medium intensity modes just result in an unannoying hum.
Performance in our 3D benchmarks was equally impressive. The new ATI Radeon HD 4890 breezed through our high-quality Crysis test at 47fps, and 29fps in the very high-quality test. It’s clear that this card is able to withstand the rigours of any modern game.
These components, as well as 4GB of RAM, a Blu-ray reader and a 750GB hard disk, reside in a Cooler Master 690 chassis, which is popular among system builders for its stylish looks and upgrade potential. The chassis has eight expansions bays up front – four 5.25in, four 3.25in – and on the motherboard there’s a pair of DIMM sockets for future additions. A spare PCI Express x16 socket could be used for a CrossFireX setup, and standard PCI and PCI Express x1 slots are also ripe for exploitation.
You’ll find plenty of ports and sockets too. There are two USB ports, a pair of audio jacks, FireWire and eSATA on the top; eight USB ports, PS/2, Gigabit Ethernet and more audio connections on the rear.
The Water Dragon looks good too, with a red strip-light in the bottom of the chassis that lights up the graphics card and water-cooling system, and a blue LED fan in the front for contrast.
The final feather in this PC’s cap is the price. At £756, the Water Dragon is in direct competition with the Chillblast Fusion Stinger. While that machine was quicker in our 2D benchmarks, its Radeon HD 4850 is no match for the HD 4890, and we prefer the Yoyotech’s chassis.
It’s also £80 less than the excellent Chillblast Fusion Sidewinder, and although that’s a full package the Water Dragon’s modern components and quicker performance make up for the lack of peripherals. In short, it’s great value and its A List place is well-deserved.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Total hard disk capacity||750|
|CPU nominal frequency||2.80GHz|
|CPU overclocked frequency||3.60GHz|
|Processor socket||Socket AM2+|
|HSF (heatsink-fan)||CoolIT Domino ALC water-cooling|
|Conventional PCI slots free||2|
|Conventional PCI slots total||2|
|PCI-E x16 slots free||1|
|PCI-E x16 slots total||2|
|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||2|
|PCI-E x1 slots total||2|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|Memory sockets total||4|
|Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?||no|
|3D performance setting||Low|
|Graphics chipset||ATI Radeon HD 4890|
|Number of graphics cards||N/A|
|Optical disc technology||Blu-ray reader|
|Monitor make and model||N/A|
|Resolution screen horizontal||N/A|
|Resolution screen vertical||N/A|
|Resolution||N/A x N/A|
|Chassis||Cooler Master 960|
|Case format||Full tower|
|Dimensions||213 x 525 x 482mm (WDH)|
|USB ports (downstream)||10|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||1|
|Front panel memory card reader||no|
Mouse & Keyboard
|Mouse and keyboard||N/A|
Operating system and software
|OS family||Windows Vista|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||164W|
|Peak power consumption||358W|
|Overall application benchmark score||2.08|
|Office application benchmark score||1.62|
|2D graphics application benchmark score||2.39|
|Encoding application benchmark score||1.75|
|Multitasking application benchmark score||2.58|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||113fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|