CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K
Intel's Haswell-based Core i5-4670K is the newest addition to a distinguished line of sub-$250 overclocking-friendly CPUs, replacing the Ivy Bridge-based Core i5-3570K that replaced the Core i5-2500K last generation. While the integrated graphics engine is the most-improved part of the processor, Intel also tunes each architecture for slightly better general-purpose performance, too. Thus, the Haswell design should confer some inherent benefits to this quarter's $1300 configuration.
This chip is the heart of our new build, and its my first chance to overclock a Haswell-based processor. At $240 on Newegg, I'm paying $10 more than I would have for Core i5-3570K, so hopefully the investment pays off.
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z87X-OC
Gigabyte's overclocker-designed board has intrigued us since we gave it the Tom's Hardware Best of Computex 2013 award a few months ago. It hosts a number of innovative options that I'm looking forward to trying out.
It's not a low-budget option, priced at $200. But we're hoping we can squeeze plenty of value from our Core i5-4670K using the platform's features, too.
CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H50 Liquid Cooling System
Corsair's H50 delivers a compelling combination of performance and quiet operation, while using less space than an air cooler with comparable cooling capacity. Closed-loop coolers like this are quickly becoming popular due to their convenience, price, and performance. Of course, it helps that they don't put a lot of stress on the processor interface, making them easier to ship than massive heat sinks. You'll find the H50 selling for $55 on Newegg.
- Full-Sized ATX For Enthusiasts: Bigger Can Be Better
- CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler
- Video Card, Power Supply, And Case
- Memory, Hard Drives, And Optical Drive
- System Assembly And Overclocking
- Test System And Benchmarks
- Results: Synthetics
- Results: Media Encoding
- Results: Rendering And Productivity
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Compression Tools
- Results: Battlefield 3 And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Results: F1 2012 And Far Cry 3
- Power And Temperature
- The Core i5-4670K And GeForce GTX 770 Make A Good Pair