For users in the UK, OverclockersUK is one of the major e-tailers for computer components.  In a country where off-the-shelf components are almost non-existent except from a few independent stores, we have to go online to get our fill.  Today, OverclockersUK invited media the the launch of their new pre-built enthusiast systems.  These systems are built to be some of the the world’s fastest systems, and are co-authored with their in-house overclocker and UK #1, 8Pack.

The flagship of the new systems will be called the SuperNova: an i7-3930K clocked at 4.9 GHz, water cooled, featuring three GTX Titans overclocked to 1200/1700 and water cooled all in a dual loop:

8Pack SuperNova

CPU Intel Core i7-3930K at 4.9 GHz+
6 Cores / 12 Threads
Motherboard ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
GPU 3x ASUS GTX Titan 6 GB
Overclocked to 1200/1700
Memory TeamGroup DDR3-2400 4x4 GB
Improved Sub-Timings
PSU Corsair AX1200i
SSD 2x Plextor M5 Pro 512GB in RAID-0
Storage 3TB
Case Modified CaseLabs
Radiators 8x120 total for CPU+Motherboard Loop
6x120 total for GPUs
Price £9500 inc. VAT
$12500 w/o tax

Obviously such a system comes with a price tag to match - £9500 after VAT (ca. $12500).  OCUK will offer some customization options, and the system will be rated for a Fire Strike Extreme score of 13500 with every component still stable.

The purpose of these systems is all in the pre-testing.  8Pack personally tests dozens of CPUs for each system, to find the ones with good speed-voltage characteristics.

For example, the high end Haswell system being launched today is the Hypercube, and takes the highest bin processor, the i7-4770K with a base speed of 3.5 GHz, all the way up to at least 4.9 GHz at a lowly 1.3 volts.  As an overclocker, this is an insane target.  8Pack has mentioned how in the first batch of 150 CPUs he tested, only six to eight hit 4.9 GHz at that voltage target, and two of those go to 5.0 GHz at the same voltage.  The Hypercube will also hold three overclocked GTX 780s in a Gigabyte Z87X-OC Force motherboard.

8Pack Hypercube

CPU Intel Core i7-4770K at 4.9 GHz+
4 Cores / 8 Threads
Motherboard Gigabyte Z87X-OC Force
GPU 3x Gigabyte GTX780 Windforce
Overclocked to 1100/1700
Memory Avexir Orange DDR3-3000
Running at 2933 with better timings
PSU Corsair AX1200i
SSD Plextor M5 Pro 512GB
Storage 3TB
Case Modified CaseLabs
Radiators 6x120 total for CPU+Motherboard Loop
6x120 total for GPUs
Price £6600 inc. VAT
$8600 w/o tax

As an overclocker, I appreciate the fact that testing lots of CPUs (a process we call binning) to find ones that hit a target is a time-consuming endeavor, as well as immensely expensive if you end up having to perform it personally without any form of corporate sponsorship.  In order to claim to sell the ‘World’s Fastest Systems’, a lot of that binning has to take place to get the right hardware and still provide it, as a System Integrator, with a guarantee.  This is why the systems come at such a price.

Part of the platinum treatment these systems get, OCUK will professionally photograph the system ordered and place it as the high resolution background for the system installed.  Each system will be shipped by a specialist two man courier team who will unpack the system from its flight case (!) and set it up.  If for any reason the system needs to be returned, the same courier will package the system up to take it back to OCUK.  Included in the price is a two year warranty and a special customized certificate showing 8Pack’s testing and benchmark scores achieved with that exact system.  The pack will also contain 8Pack’s business card for direct contact to the man himself, and OCUK will offer an upgrade service such that users can update to the latest GPU/CPU with no labor charges.

So, for the 98% of CPUs which do not hit the grade, what happens then?  These are funneled through to OCUKs other pre-built systems which do not require such demanding speed, or sold on as pre-opened stock.

The final system being launched is the Polaris, using an Ivy Bridge i7-3770K CPU to 5.0 GHz and 16 GB of 2400 C9 Corsair Dominator Platinum memory.  This memory has specific Samsung ICs for high efficiencies, and OCUK are aiming the Polaris at high resolution setups for when a user must have a Multi-monitor / >4K arrangement.  As such, the system comes with two overclocked and water cooled GTX Titans, running at 1200/1700.

8Pack Polaris

CPU Intel Core i7-3770K at 5.0 GHz+
4 Cores / 8 Threads
Motherboard ASUS Maximus V Extreme
GPU 2x ASUS GTX Titan 6 GB
Overclocked to 1200/1700
Memory Corsair Dominator Platinum 4x4 GB DDR3-2400 C9
Samsung ICs for better sub-timings
PSU Corsair AX1200i
SSD 2x Plextor M5 Pro 512GB in RAID-0
Storage 3TB
Case Modified CaseLabs
Radiators 5x120 total for CPU+Motherboard Loop
4x120 total for GPUs
Price £7700 inc. VAT
$10000 w/o tax

Both the Polaris and the Supernova will feature a complete USB Fan controller package that allows users to control the fans either by the panel and the software.  Due to the amount of radiators and Scythe GT fans being used, 8Pack was adamant that in all situations only 50% fan speed should be needed to keep the systems cool.

So I enjoy a nicely modified system, and pricing the high performance end of these pre-built systems near the range of brand new cars is a bold move for OCUK – they know they are not going to sell many, but this helps in the custom nature of such a system.  I managed to get a quick word with the man himself for a few questions.

OverclockersUK Ian ‘8Pack’ Parry: An Interview
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  • brucek2 - Saturday, September 7, 2013 - link

    Totally unnecessary, totally ridiculous, and totally badass. If you're going to blow some money on a custom, branded, high end system, this is the way to do it.

    Now all it needs is games that can fully use all that power. They should hook up with someone like Boris of the ENB series mods to create custom modded versions of the top games that only systems like these could play.
    Reply
  • Primum - Saturday, September 7, 2013 - link

    Back of a napkin maths for the Hypercube suggests you could build it for ~£5.6k (inc VAT) from scratch. £1k on binning, labour and tuning is pretty steep. Does it come with a three year warranty as well? Reply
  • brucek2 - Saturday, September 7, 2013 - link

    If the binning is really getting you a chip in the top 2% (article mentions 1 out of 50 qualify), how do you put a price on that? Doing it yourself by purchasing 50 chips and attempting to resell 49 is going to cost more than the 1K pounds in time if not in actual money and I'm not aware of other sources?

    Of course getting back to practicality, I doubt there are many users who truly require a top 2% chip and of the ones who do there may be entirely other classes of machines that would serve their needs better.

    Still, I like the offerings. I know there are users out there paying top dollar for custom systems that too often aren't really any faster that what the average enthusiast puts together for himself at a fraction of the cost. If it were my buddy and they were really determined to blow their bonus on a needlessly badass system for bragging rights or whatever, I'd rather see them spend the extra thousand or two and actually get a system that really will be king of the heap.
    Reply
  • Primum - Sunday, September 8, 2013 - link

    Oh, the binning is insanely expensive and it's pretty much the only way any normal person will be picking up a chip that will do 4.9GHz stable on water, but a £1k premium on that means you *really* need to want that.

    I'm not really sure what else you could do better - SBE is basically a waste of money, the 780 is a better gaming card than the Titan, though I guess you could go quad-SLI.

    All said, my biggest gripe is the case. CaseLabs do great options for watercooling, but you'd sort have hoped that £6.6k would get you a better looking case.
    Reply
  • jabber - Sunday, September 8, 2013 - link

    If you are of the mentality to even consider spending more than £5000 on a PC then paying an extra £1000 for a custom/tested build isn't much of a stretch.

    Once you get to those levels and are a person of those means then it's not an issue.

    Lot of money to spend on being the top dog for all of 6 weeks though.
    Reply
  • Oscarcharliezulu - Monday, September 9, 2013 - link

    These looked fantastic, great builds, great to see someone take it all the way. Reply
  • lyssword - Friday, July 8, 2016 - link

    haha, how much is that worth now? like 1/10th of original price? Reply

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