The March 2011 Computer Kit Review

by Dave

The verdict is out. The March 2011 computer kit is one heck of a great computer. This has been the first computer that I put together for myself in quite some time. Typically, I end up with an AMD build that I continually keep on upgrading. This time, I've waited long enough.

For those that know the hardware, they know the i2600k chips overclock really well. This is indeed what I found. Without anything fancy, just adjusting the multiplier in the BIOS I managed to get the chip to 4.6Ghz. With a little more tuning, I got 5Ghz, which was the number in my head of what I wanted to hit.

The computer is running now, 100% stable with very low voltage increase at 4.4Ghz. Not the fastest overclock, but I can honestly say, at this point I'm not using the CPU anyway, so I won't be feeding it more voltage until there's more information about Sandforce and how well they handle increased power.

As for the RAM in this kit, for those wanting to buy, the 7 8 7 24 timings at 1.6v were achievable at 1.5v. I haven't got around to it yet, but I'll be playing with these timings further to see if I can get them lower. As an alternative, I'll also try bumping up the Mhz speed on the RAM, then benching the system to see which of the 2 gets me better results.

Those that ask is there something I would change or didn't like. I can say yes to only one thing. The marvel controller for the SATA 6GB REALLY needs a new driver. All the ones available were giving me blue screens. After changing the ports and disabling them altogether all is well. Hopefully Asus will come out with a fix quickly.

All in all, it's a fantastic kit, given a choice, I'd build the exact same thing again. I love this PC. It's actually a little stupid how quick it is. The AMD 940 build I had before this just seems plain outdated, and honestly, it's pretty quick as well. See the exact specifications of the March 2011 computer kit.

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