A Closer look at the Commander
When it comes to testing the Commander PC, we don't need to have all the components listed in our SBG of the system here. Items like PSU, Case, Speakers etc. don't affect the overall performance, which means we don't need to have those parts on hand. Instead, we just organize the items that do contribute to performance and we'll cover those particular parts here.
The decision to go with the P67 chipset is an absolute no brainer. Its performance is nothing short of fantastic and it can be accompanied with what I consider the best CPU on the market at the moment when it comes to value for money - the Intel i7 2600k.
The P67 board of choice? The ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Professional. And while you might not be the biggest fan of Fatal1ty, nor some of the items he's stamped his name on, this ASRock board is killer. Everything from the box to the PCB looks great and there's some really nifty little features on the board that make it stand out. When combined with the 2600k, overclocking is an absolute breeze and there's really not much more you could ask for.
While probably the most key components are indeed the CPU and Motherboard, the most important component for when it comes to making sure you're going to have a great gaming experience would be the video card. The aggressive pricing of the AMD HD 6000 series means we're able to put in the second fastest single GPU offering from the company in the form of the Sapphire HD 6950 2GB. This is a card and model that's always impressed us, and you'll see why today.
The last time we benchmarked the Commander PC which was roughly 12 months ago, we had an SSD setup. To give you an idea of how much better pricing has become on the technology, though, we've moved from a dual 30GB setup to a dual 60 GB setup in RAID 0 in the form of Mushkin Callisto Deluxe drives. 120GB of storage should be plenty to run your games off and is a really nice upgrade from the 60GB setup previously.
Last but certainly not least is memory, and that comes in the form of a Patriot Viper Xtreme 1866MHz 8GB kit. The reason for 1866MHz over 2000MHz is that 1866MHz is a natively supported speed on the P67 platform. The next native one from that is 2133MHz and that brings with it a bit of a price jump.
The Viper Extreme series from Patriot don't just carry strong specifications, but also one of the best quality heatsinks we've seen on a memory module. Combined with 8GB of RAM of two sticks and you've got the perfect kit of RAM for your machine.
That's really all the main components out of the way, so let's have a look at the test system quickly and how we're going to be comparing the Commander PC today.