A Closer Look at The Commander
For a real close look on the Commander system in all its detail, you can head over to the Commander page within our SBG section. What I'll quickly do is just cover the main components we're using along with why we're recommending them to everyone.
The motherboard is one of the most important decisions when it comes to building a PC. It decides what CPU you're going to be using, how much memory you'll need and more.
Currently the weapon of choice is the ASRock P55 Deluxe. To be honest, for a long time I associated the ASRock name with dodgey boards and riser cards. I'm not sure if you remember the add-on board gem that was the K8 Upgrade Module seen here.
To be honest, though, I moved my memory testbed to the P55 Deluxe we're recommending today because the P55 board I was previously using had trouble coping with high speed dual channel memory kits. Having seen the P55 Deluxe from ASRock achieve memory speeds in excess of 2400MHz DDR, I know it's a keeper. I was so happy with the ASRock P55 Deluxe that I ended up moving my X58 VGA testbed to another ASRock board and to be honest, I couldn't be happier with both machines.
Supreme stability and great overclocking is the reason we use the ASRock P55 Deluxe. Throw in the great price tag and it's the reason we recommend it to you as the board of choice in our Commander PC.
Unfortunately the tales for the rest of the items aren't full of such memories. The i7 860 is simply the best 1156 socket CPU when it comes to performance and value for the P55 chipset, which is the reason we recommend it. Big OC potential also means that if you like to dabble, you can really have some fun.
The video card came down to price and the HD 5850 fits the bill nicely. A much loved Sapphire option is used and we couldn't be happier with the model. It's that perfect valued card with great price and performance. It's also the perfect partner for the 1920 x 1080 screen we recommend.
The last two main items come in the form of memory and hard drives. To be honest, Kingston has been one of my favorite memory companies for a long time. They offer fantastic quality modules at a good price. The HyperX kit we suggest performs well and is a great companion for the high clocking P55 ASRock board and i7 860 CPU.
The other half that is the Kingston 1 - 2 Punch is a pair of 30 GB SSDs which are part of the V Series. They're not the largest capacity, but the aggressive pricing means we can run a pair in RAID 0 and honestly, the 60 GB does give us room for games. If you want a bit more space there's always the option to throw a 1TB or 2TB drive on the side for those downloads.
For the most part, though, they are the key components to our Commander PC and why we use and recommend them. With the boring bits out the way, let's get stuck into the performance side of things and see exactly what we've got on offer today.