Opening up the Twelve Hundred is a simple case of removing two thumb-screws. Inside, the Infinity i7 Phoenix is a tidy affair, with all cables neatly tied away. The interior is dominated by the CyberPower liquid cooling system, which combines the reservoir and pump at the front with a radiator cooled by no less than four 120mm fans in a push-pull configuration at the back, all hooked up to an XSPC Delta V3 waterblock. This results in the CPU remaining very cool (below 50 degrees under load) despite its heavy overclock, but it also means this is a noisy beast. Even with all the case fans turned to their slowest setting, the Phoenix is audible from quite a distance, and very distracting close to.
For some reason, turning the fans down to their minimum speeds for a slightly quieter experience resulted in the overclock regularly failing, requiring a cold boot. Since the CPU remained within operating temperatures, we can only assume some other component was getting overheated, and this may be an issue unique to our specific system. While on the topic of noise, it's also worth noting that the 850W CoolerMaster modular PSU used in this system developed an irritating whine after a while. However, given CoolerMaster's good reputation and usual quality, we hope it's a once-off fault.
The system is based on Asus' socket LGA1366 X58 P6T motherboard, which is apparently a popular choice among system assemblers as it's also used in the PC Specialist Vortex i950. That's hardly surprising though, as this is essentially the same board as the P6T-SE we reviewed and gave an eight out of 10 last year. While not quite as fancy as what we would expect given the Phoenix's price, it's reliable and provides all the basic features you need.
Asus' board plays host to the CPU, which thanks to its low-profile water block doesn't require an enormous obtrusive heatsink. As already mentioned, it's an Intel Core i7 920 overclocked to 4GHz, which can handle anything you'd care to throw at it with consummate ease. It's backed up by a ridiculously high-end 24GB of 1,333MHz DDR3 RAM, provided by six unadorned Kingston 4GB modules. This is pretty much the most memory you will find in any non-server or high-performance PC, and it's a large factor in the machine's price. To be honest, aside from the obvious bragging rights we think it's a waste of money and pure overkill, as there's almost nothing out there that a home user would run which will make full use of this. On the other hand, if you have the money then why not? At least you'll never need to upgrade your memory in the PC's lifetime.