Gaming System Review: Überclok's Ion

Test Configuration

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ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo E8400, 3.0GHz, FSB-1333, 6MB Cache
Custom Overclocked to 4.0 GHz, FSB-1780
MotherboardGigabyte EP35, BIOS F5 (07/16/2008)
RAMCorsair TWIN2X4096-6400C4DHX, 2x 2.0 GB CAS 4-4-4-12
Custom Overclocked to DDR2-1066 CAS 5-7-7-25 (2T)
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS
500 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 300
NetworkingIntegrated Realtek Gigabit Networking, PCIe
AudioIntegrated Realtek High-Definition Audio (7.1-channels)
Graphics CardsSAPPHIRE TOXIC HD 4850 512MB
675 MHz GPU, GDDR3-2200
Power SupplyCorsair CMPSU-550VX (550W, ATX12V V2.2)
System Software & Drivers
OSWindows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Build 6001 (SP1)
DirectX VersionDirectX 10.0
Graphics DriverATI Catalyst Version 8.7

Because every Überclok custom PC comes factory-overclocked, many of us would like to see what settings were used. That’s very easy to show, since the system uses a standard motherboard with retail BIOS.

Getting to 4.0 GHz with the Core 2 Duo E8400 was as simple as raising the bus speed to 445 MHz clock (FSB-1780), but keeping the system stable required increasing the CPU core voltage and FSB to 1.425V and 1.450 volts. Überclok also raises the memory to its recommended 2.10 volts, but left speed and timing adjustments up to Gigabyte’s EP35-DS3L BIOS to sort out.

We used our most recent System Builder Marathon PC for comparison, adding Überclok’s choice of Keyboard and Mouse for price comparison.

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CPUIntel Core 2 Quad Q6600
CPU CoolerSwiftech H20-120
MotherboardMSI P7N SLI Platinum
RAMA-Data PC2-6400 2x 2048MB
Graphics2x ECS GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB
Hard Drives2x Western Digital Caviar 500GB RAID 0
SoundIntegrated High-Definition Audio
CaseNZXT Tempest
PowerFSP Group FX600-GLN
DVD-RWSony Optiarc DVD-RW
Operating SystemVista Ultimate 32-bit

Our June “Mid-Range” System Builder Marathon configuration appears to have nothing in common with Überclok’s completely modern Ion, but both systems are overclocked by experienced technicians and priced towards similar budgets. The Ion actually costs a little more than our SBM system. But remember, it’s backed by Überclok’s 3-year warranty policy.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • kitsilencer
    Sensible, still-under-warranty overclocking. Those words don't belong together.

    Overclocking should be about using liquid nitrogen, pushing pash 5.5GHz, and shortening the lifespan of the chip to 3 hours. Not years.

    But still, I'd buy this PC.
  • ap90033
    Uh why worry about Three Year Warranty? WHat you do is build it then sell it after a year or two and put that $600 you would have had to use on the Above system and you have a brand new latest and greatest system.

    I do this every year or two and end up paying out of pocket $300 or so and for around 8 years now I always have a very current system in warranty...
  • ap90033
    Oh and kit, overclocking is so much more accepted and used. A lot of people overclock a little for say a 10% gain but keep it safe...

    Why would you only want your chip to last three hours anyway? Thats STUPID! Goof...
  • randomizer
    ap90033Why would you only want your chip to last three hours anyway?E-peen of course!
  • kitsilencer
    Of course E-peen. Plus I'd get featured as an article.
  • kittle
    kitsilencerOf course E-peen. Plus I'd get featured as an article.15min of fame for a chip with a 3hr lifespan?

    each to their own....
  • ThePatriot
    Entertaining a niche market...... clever move.
  • guyladouche
    kitsilencerSensible, still-under-warranty overclocking. Those words don't belong together.Overclocking should be about using liquid nitrogen, pushing pash 5.5GHz, and shortening the lifespan of the chip to 3 hours. Not years.But still, I'd buy this PC.
    It's warrantied by Uberclock, not by the component manufacturers--hence the addition of $600 to the price tag for the insurance (aka warranty). So if something like the CPU dies, getting it replaced (for free apparently) has nothing to do with the manufacturer.
  • guyladouche
    It's a nice idea, but I don't see this going anywhere because of the terrible problems they could likely encounter with need for support/returns. One simple BSOD loop would require the entire rig to be shipped back for analysis (if the user isn't computer-savvy, which is likely the demographic they're aiming at). I wonder if the $600 overhead (in addition to whatever profits they make on the system as a whole) will recoup it? I remember "back in the day" when monarch computers would custom-build systems (no overclocking) and they went belly-up with all the returns and warranty-service (granted, if things are built carefully, there are rarely any needs for services after sale).
  • skalagon
    $600 security for $1100 components is retarded. This is only usefull if the entire pc dies. However its likely that only maybe 2 parts will die completely within the 3 year warranty time and even that is a long shot. So lets say two parts die,the cpu and the hardrive and Uberclock replace them. That means youve paid $600 for two parts worth about $270 together.
    Granted the stock parts would not be overclocked but with the spare $600 you can buy a quadcore, a better gpu, a larger hardrive and better ram, so it will probly be faster. There is no point buying this pc except if you plan on spilling a pint of water onto it. (or i suppose just so you can say "it's overclocked man!")