We're getting to take a look at our first PC from Ironside Computers today. Ironside is a system integrator and builds highly customizable gaming desktops. We've got a fairly well-spec'd Cyclone PC from Ironside in our lab to check out.
It's worth noting that because of the high degree of customization, your Cyclone system could look radically different than the one pictured above and throughout this review. Ironside allows you to select a platform-in this case, Ivy Bridge-and then select a case and components that make use of that platform.
Please note that PCMark 7 has been updated to the latest version, causing previous benchmark results to not be comparable. We have archived these results. Unfortunately, this means there are fewer systems to compare to.
Without further ado, let's dive into the meat of this review and see what the Cyclone is made of.
Specifications, Configurations and Pricing
Ironside Computers equipped our Cyclone gaming desktop review sample system with Intel's Ivy Bridge-powered i5-3570K. One of the main differences between the 3570K and the 3770K is the inclusion of HyperThreading. For gaming, HyperThreading is a mostly useless technology. The 3570K retains Turbo Boost, which allows it to jump from 3.4GHz to 3.8GHz when one or two cores are loaded.
Cooling is provided by Ironside's Level 2 Iron Tundra liquid cooling set up. It makes use of a 240mm radiator combined with an XSPC 5.25-inch reservoir and pump combo and an XSPC waterblock for the CPU. This should ideally perform better than an integrated all-in-one water cooler that seems to be in fashion.
The 3570K is slotted into an ASRock Z77 Extreme 4. This motherboard features support for CrossFire and SLI, making it the perfect base for a gaming PC. It features on-board USB 3.0 and SATA 3 6Gbps. There are definitely better motherboards out there, but this one is no slouch.
Two 8GB DDR3 DIMMs are slotted into the motherboard's RAM slots, leaving two slots open for easy expansion to 32GB in the future. They are clocked at 1600MHz, which should provide good performance for gaming.
Graphics are provided by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 video card. The NVIDIA GTX 670 is quite a capable video card, though the Cyclone can be configured with SLI'd GTX Titans, one of the fastest video card configurations currently on the market. All of these components are housed inside a Corsair Vengeance Series C70 Gunmetal mid-tower case.
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit is the operating system pre-installed on a Corsair Neutron GTX 120GB SSD. Users can customize the Cyclone to come with various 64-bit versions of Windows 7 or Windows 8 Pro 64-bit. Storage is provided by a 7,200RPM 1TB drive.
The cost for a system like this is $1,948.37, give or take a few dollars for sales and other discounts. Configuration is endless, thanks in part to the case. Ironside Computers offers a high degree of customization. Individual components can be selected from different manufacturers for most of the major components in the system.