Returning to the CPU, Intel’s Core i7 920 normally runs at a relatively sedate 2.66GHz, but thanks to the talents of CoolIT’s Domino A.L.C. water-cooling system this is overclocked to 3.8GHz (20 x 190MHz). While this is no better than what we’ve managed with standard air cooling, instead of the 80 degrees plus that kind of overclock results in (which is getting dangerously close to the 90 degree safety limit at which you start reducing your CPU’s lifespan), the Domino A.L.C. ensures that temperatures never exceed 50 degrees.
An additional benefit is that the fan cooling the CoolIT’s radiator is quieter than most air cooling systems, and while we’re on the topic of fans it’s worth noting that all the Antec Three Hundred’s fans are controlled through the Domino too, so that pressing its single button affects the cooling capacity and noise levels of the entire PC (except for the fans on the power supply and graphics card).
As far as cable management goes, it must be said that Wired2Fire does an exemplary job: everything in our HellSpawn ALC was neatly and cleverly routed, bound up or tidied away, insuring a clean look and maximum airflow. Just make sure to check the box marked “Wired2Fire Cable Management” when ordering your Wired2Fire system. It’s a free option but is unselected by default.
Also worth mention is Wired2Fire’s ‘box of bits’. The box for its motherboard is included with the PC, containing a full colour Wired2Fire manual, other manuals, Vista disc, driver CDs and all the spare cables, adapters and other bits from the PC’s various components
When it comes to software, the 64-bit version of Windows Vista Premium can take full advantage of the 6GBs of RAM. With the launch of the far superior Windows 7 imminent though, we’d recommend the extra £12 Wired2Fire wants for the upgrade option.
On booting the machine you’re greeted by a very clean desktop with a nice custom W2F wallpaper. There are no extra apps, no bloatware, no widgets; essentially, nothing to detract from gaming performance, which is just the way we like it. Just make sure to have a few basics like a decent text editor/productivity suite and antivirus program to hand, since the only additional software options Wired2Fire provides for are games (Far Cry 2, Race Driver GRID, Assassin’s Creed and Company of Heroes Opposing Fronts for £10 each – not a bad deal).