OCUK Titan 8500i Vortex System Review (Z77)

Today we are looking at the latest system from UK etailer, Overclockers UK. The Titan 8500i Vortex is a special configuration for the Gadget Show Live in Birmingham and features a Core i5 2500k processor with liquid cooler, Gigabyte Z77 motherboard, SSD drive and Sapphire 7 series graphics.
Overclockers UK have been creating prebuilt systems now for many years and this is the first time we have had the opportunity to look at one, up close and personal. The Titan 8500i Vortex is a competitively priced system  designed for all round use and casual gaming.

OCUK Titan 8500i Vortex System
Motherboard Gigabyte Z77X-D3H Intel Z77 (Socket 1155)
Optical Drive OcUK 22x DVDRW SATA Rewriter (Black)
SSD Drive OCZ Agility 3 60GB 2.5″ SATA 3
System Fan Sharkoon Silent Eagle 2000 120mm fan
Processor Intel Core i5 2500k 3.3ghz – overclocked to 4.6ghz
Power Supply OCZ ZS Series 650W ’80 Plus Bronze’
Memory Corsair Vengeance Low profile 8GB DDR3 1600mhz
HDD Drive Hitachi Deskstar 1TB Sata 6GB 7K1000.D
Chassis BitFenix Shinobi USB 3.0 Gaming Case
Cooler OcUK H Flo Extreme Liquid Dual Fan Cooler
Graphics Sapphire HD7770 1024MB GDDR5
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64 bit
Warranty 12 months standard warranty
£884.99 inc vat

OCUK are using the Bitfenix Shinobi case which won our top award when we reviewed it last September.

Our review sample didn’t contain the final retail accessories pack, although we did receive an engineering pre-delivery ‘check list’, which was good to see.

This Shinobi is without the window modification, so both side panels are plain. The Bitfenix logo is emblazoned in red on the front of the case and two blue racing stipes are accented vertically. At the side of the case is an Overclockers UK badge, which matches the colours of the case well. It has a relatively small footprint which we also like.
We reviewed the windowed version over here.

The Shinobi is a well designed case with strong connectivity at the top. Two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports rest aside the power, reset and headphone/microphone connectors.

The Shinobi case has the power supply mounted at the bottom and watercooling holes at the side of the expansion bay section. The Gigabyte Z77 motherboard has DVI and VGA ports, which are covered as OCUK are using a discrete Sapphire HD7770 graphics card.

Two thumbscrews hold the side panel in place and the insides of the case are painted entirely black, which looks great.

OCUK are using a Coolit liquid cooler – the ECO II FatBoy. We have tested this before and it is extremely impressive. The optical drive stands out from the rest of the build, as it is white. OCUK are thankfully using a black front plate however so it matches the external appearance of the case.

OCUK are using the ZS Series 650W power supply. We reviewed the 550W version of this power supply in September last year and it is a quality product. At the right of the build is the 60GB Agility 3 OCZ SSD above the Hitachi Deskstar 1TB hard drive.

8GB of Corsair Vengeance memory is installed, with heatspreaders. I have used this memory extensively over the last year and it is very stable and reliable.

The engineers at OCUK have paid a lot of attention to the cable routing phase of the build, with all cables neatly running behind the motherboard plate, out of view.

OCUK have configured the Gigabyte Z77X-D3H motherboard in a pre-overclocked state @ 4.6ghz. We will look at their settings shortly. This 3D Bios is intuitive and easy to navigate.

Looking at the M.I.T. current status of the 2500k, we can see that the turbo has been set to 4600mhz, from default speeds of 3300mhz. We can also see that two 4GB DDR3 memory sticks are installed with 9-9-9-28 timings.

An overview of the frequency settings, showing memory running at 1600mhz via a 16.00 system multiplier. Clock ratio is configured to 46, for 4,600mhz.

Many of the advanced CPU Core features are set to ‘auto’. The main CPU clock ratio is configured to 46.

OCUK have left most of the phase control settings to ‘auto’, with only the Loadline calibration moved to the ‘extreme’ setting. This helps ensure that the voltage won’t ‘dip’ under load, causing potential instability.

CPU core voltage is increased to 1.365V according to the bios, which is well within safety parameters. All other settings are left at ‘auto’. Memory is set at 1.6V for added stability.

The system menu shows the model name of the motherboard and the bios revision, in this case 03/02/2012.

The bios features tab shows the boot configuration of the system, with the OCZ Agility 3 SSD set up as the main operating system drive. The 1TB hard drive is configured as secondary, ideal for storage and backup.

The Peripherals section offers control over all the onboard devices.

The last two tabs are self explanatory. The Gigabyte board will let the user save and load various profiles and to override the default settings. There is also a dedicated Q-Flash menu underneath for painfree updating.
On this page we present some super high resolution images of the product taken with the 24.5MP Nikon D3X camera and 24-70mm ED lens. These will take much longer to open due to the dimensions, especially on slower connections. If you use these pictures on another site or publication, please credit Kitguru.net as the owner/source.

The system scores a very healthy 7.5 points, limited by the Sapphire HD7770 graphics card.

The review system shipped with only the barebones drivers installed, along with useful software such as CPUz and Unigine heaven DX11 benchmark. A very clean install of Windows 7, which we like to see.

A quick overview of the system via CPUz and GPUz highlighting the Core i5 2500k which is overclocked to 4.6ghz. This is a 32nm part which we have reviewed in depth before when it was first launched. It is a dual core processor without hyperthreading, with 6MB of level 3 cache.
The 8GB of Corsair memory is running at 1600mhz with 9-9-9-28 2T timings. The Sapphire HD7770 graphics card is clocked at the reference AMD speeds of 1000mhz core and 1125mhz memory (4.5Gbps effective). It has 640 shaders, 16 ROPs with 1GB of GDDR5 memory connected via a 128 bit memory interface.

System validation is available over here.
To test the system today, we are using a mixture of synthetic and real world software as well as a series of games. We will also compare the results from the Alienware Aurora R4 against some other systems we have tested in recent months.
These are listed below:
Comparison Systems:
Intel Core i7 2700k System
Cooling: ThermalTake Frio OCK
Graphics: XFX HD6870 Black Edition x 2
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 Motherboard
Chassis: Silverstone Raven 3.
Power Supply: Corsair 850W.
Memory: Corsair 1600mhz memory
Storage: Intel 80GB SSD (boot) / Patriot Wildfire 120GB SSD.
Monitor: Dell Ultrasharp U2410 Rev A00.
AMD FX 8150 Black Edition
Motherboard: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7
Cooler: Noctua NH D14
Memory: G-SKill Ripjaws 1600mhz 8GB (2x 4GB)
Graphics Card: HIS HD6970 IceQ Mix
Power Supply: ADATA 1200W
Optical Drive: Asus BluRay Drive
Chassis: SilverStone Raven 3
Monitors: 3x Ilyama ProLite E2472HDD
Boot Drive: Intel 40GB SSD
Secondary Drive: Patriot 120GB WildFire
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T
Processor: AMD Phenom II X6 1100T @ 3.3ghz
Motherboard: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7
Cooler: Noctua NH D14
Memory: G-SKill Ripjaws 1600mhz 8GB (2x 4GB)
Graphics Card: HIS HD6970 IceQ Mix
Power Supply: ADATA 1200W
Optical Drive: Asus BluRay Drive
Chassis: SilverStone Raven 3
Boot Drive: Intel 40GB SSD
Secondary Drive: Patriot 120GB WildFire
Intel Core i7 2600k
Processor: Intel Core i7 2600k @ 3.4ghz
Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen 3
Cooler: Intel XTS-100H
Memory: ADATA 1600mhz DDR3 8GB (2x4GB)
Graphics Card: HIS HD6970 IceQ Mix
Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower 850W
Optical Drive: Asus BluRay Drive
Boot Drive: Intel 510 SSD 250GB
Intel Core i5 2500k
Processor: Intel Core i7 2500k @ 3.3ghz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 Motherboard
Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme Rev.2 CPU Cooler
Memory: Corsair 1600mhz memory 8GB (2x4GB)
Graphics Card: HIS HD6970 IceQ Mix
Power Supply: Corsair 850W.
Optical Drive: Asus BluRay Drive
Boot Drive: Patriot Pyro 120GB SSD.
3DMark 11
3DMark Vantage
PCMark 7
Cinebench 11.5 64 bit
FRAPS Professional
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
HD Tach
Atto Disk Benchmark
Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra 11
Cyberlink MediaEspresso
Alan Wake
F1 2011
Battlefield 3
Mass Effect 3
Total War: Shogun 2
Technical Monitoring and Test Equipment:
Lacie 730 Monitor (Image Quality testing)
Dell U2410 Monitor
Thermal Diodes
Raytek Laser Temp Gun 3i LSRC/MT4 Mini Temp
Extech digital sound level meter & SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter
Nikon D3X with R1C1 Kit (4 flashes), Nikon 24-70MM lens.
Some game descriptions are taken and edited with courtesy from Wikipedia.
SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. It should provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software.
Sandra is a (girl’s) name of Greek origin that means “defender”, “helper of mankind”. We think that’s quite fitting.
It works along the lines of other Windows utilities, however it tries to go beyond them and show you more of what’s really going on. Giving the user the ability to draw comparisons at both a high and low-level. You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, PCI, PCI-X, PCIe (PCI Express), database, USB, USB2, 1394/Firewire, etc.
Native ports for all major operating systems are available:
  • Windows XP, 2003/R2, Vista, 7, 2008/R2 (x86)
  • Windows XP, 2003/R2, Vista, 7, 2008/R2 (x64)
  • Windows 2003/R2, 2008/R2* (IA64)
  • Windows Mobile 5.x (ARM CE 5.01)
  • Windows Mobile 6.x (ARM CE 5.02)
All major technologies are supported and taken advantage of:
  • SMP – Multi-Processor
  • MC – Multi-Core
  • SMT/HT – Hyper-Threading
  • MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE 4.1, SSE 4.2, AVX, FMA – Multi-Media instructions
  • GPGPU, DirectX, OpenGL – Graphics
  • NUMA – Non-Uniform Memory Access
  • AMD64/EM64T/x64 – 64-bit extensions to x86
  • IA64 – Intel* Itanium 64-bit

The overclocked 2500k @ 4.6ghz outperforms the reference clocked 2600k, even though it has hyperthreading for a total of 8 cores. Memory performance is on a par with what we would expect from 1,600mhz rated DDR2 in a dual channel configuration.
PCMark 7 includes 7 PC tests for Windows 7, combining more than 25 individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, web browsing and gaming. Specifically designed to cover the full range of PC hardware from netbooks and tablets to notebooks and desktops, PCMark 7 offers complete PC performance testing for Windows 7 for home and business use.

The system scores well, thanks to the balanced configuration, including high performance Solid State Drive and overclocked 2500k.
CINEBENCH R11.5 64 Bit is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.
CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and Mac OS X). And best of all: It’s completely free.

The system scores 7.18 points which means it would be capable of being utilised as a 3D rendering system. The core 2500k processor is a capable design, but overclocked to 4.6ghz it actually outperforms the more expensive 2600k at reference clock speeds.
Unigine provides an interesting way to test hardware. It can be easily adapted to various projects due to its elaborated software design and flexible toolset. A lot of their customers claim that they have never seen such extremely-effective code, which is so easy to understand.
Heaven Benchmark is a DirectX 11 GPU benchmark based on advanced Unigine engine from Unigine Corp. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. Interactive mode provides emerging experience of exploring the intricate world of steampunk.
Efficient and well-architected framework makes Unigine highly scalable:
  • Multiple API (DirectX 9 / DirectX 10 / DirectX 11 / OpenGL) render
  • Cross-platform: MS Windows (XP, Vista, Windows 7) / Linux
  • Full support of 32bit and 64bit systems
  • Multicore CPU support
  • Little / big endian support (ready for game consoles)
  • Powerful C++ API
  • Comprehensive performance profiling system
  • Flexible XML-based data structures
We use the following settings: 1920×1080 resolution. Anti Aliasing off. Anisotrophy 4, Tessellation normal. Shaders High. Stereo 3D disabled. API: Direct X 11.

The Sapphire HD7770 isn’t the most powerful graphics card on the market, but it manages to maintain smooth frame rates throughout most of this benchmark, averaging just over 30 frames per second.
Futuremark released 3DMark Vantage, on April 28, 2008. It is a benchmark based upon DirectX 10, and therefore will only run under Windows Vista (Service Pack 1 is stated as a requirement) and Windows 7. This is the first edition where the feature-restricted, free of charge version could not be used any number of times. 1280×1024 resolution was used with performance settings.

The overclocked Core i5 2500k helps boost the overall score to 14,987 points, with the graphics card scoring 13,428 points.
3DMark 11 is designed for testing DirectX 11 hardware running on Windows 7 and Windows Vista the benchmark includes six all new benchmark tests that make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.
After running the tests 3DMark gives your system a score with larger numbers indicating better performance. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.
If you want to learn more about this benchmark, or to buy it yourself, head over to this page.

3DMark 11 is an intensive system test based around Direct X 11. The system scores 3,455 points which indicates decent gaming performance at reasonable resolutions and image quality settings.
HQV Benchmark 2.0 is an updated version of the original tool and it consists of various video clips and test patterns which are designed to evalute motion correction, de-interlacing, decoding, noise reduction, detail enhancement and film cadence detection.
There are two versions of the program, standard definition on DVD and high definition on Bluray. As our audience will be concentrating on HD content so will we.
This has a total of 39 video tests which is increased from 23 in the original and the scoring is also up from a total of 130 to 210. As hardware and software gets more complicated, the software has been tuned to make sure we can thoroughly maximise our analysis.
Read our initial analysis over here

OCUK Titan 8500i Vortex System
Dial with static pattern 5
Gray Bars 5
Violin 5
Stadium 2:2 5
Stadium 3:2 5
Horizontal Text Scroll 5
Vertical Text Scroll 5
Transition to 3:2 Lock 5
Transition to 2:2 Lock 0
2:2:2:4 24 FPS DVCAM Video
2:3:3:2 24 FPS DVCam Video
3:2:3:2:2 24 FOS Vari-Speed
5:5 FPS Animation
6:4 12 FPS Animation
8:7 8 FPS Animation
Interlace Chroma Problem (ICP)
Chroma Upsampling Error (CUE)
Random Noise: Sailboat
Random Noise: Flower
Random Noise: Sunrise
Random Noise: Harbour Night
Scrolling Text
Roller Coaster
Ferris Wheel
Bridge Traffic
Text Pattern/ Scrolling Text
Roller Coaster
Ferris Wheel
Bridge Traffic
Luminance Frequency Bands
Chrominance Frequency Bands
Vanishing Text 5
Resolution Enhancement
Theme Park
Driftwood 5
Ferris Wheel
Skin Tones
Total 196
A score of 196 points is class leading right now, the ideal solution for high definition media playback on a big screen.
The OCUK Titan 8500i Vortex System uses the OCZ Agility 3 for a boot drive, and the Hitachi Deskstar 1TB for secondary storage duties. This is an ideal way to configure an enthusiast grade system.

The OCZ Agility 3 is an excellent performance Solid State Drive which delivers 500 MB/s in the sequential read test, and around 460 MB/s in the sequential write test. 4K QD 32 performance is also strong. The 1TB mechanical drive is substantial slower, but is perfectly fine when used as a high capacity storage and backup drive.

The ATTO Disk Benchmark verifies the findings above, with the Agility 3 60GB scoring around 550 MB/s read and 480MB/s write. This is an excellent drive to use for boot/ operating system duties.
V2011 is the first release of 3DStudio Max to fully support the Windows 7 operating system. This is a professional level tool that many people use for work purposes and our test will show any possible differences between board design today.
Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011 software offers compelling new techniques to help bring designs to life by aggregating data, iterating ideas, and presenting the results.
Streamlined, more intelligent data exchange workflows and innovative new modeling and visualization tools help significantly increase designers’ creativity and productivity, enabling them to better explore, validate, and communicate the stories behind their designs.
Major new features:
  • Slate: A node based material editor.
  • Quicksilver: Hardware renderer with multithreaded rendering engine that utilizes both CPU and GPU.
  • Extended Graphite Modeling Toolset
  • 3ds Max Composite: A HDRI-capable compositor based on Autodesk Toxik.
  • Viewport Canvas toolset for 3D and 2D texture painting directly in the viewport
  • Object Painting: use 3D geometry as ‘brushes’ on other geometry
  • Character Animation Toolkit (CAT): now integrated as part of the base package
  • Autodesk Material Library: Over 1200 new photometrically accurate shaders
  • Additional file format support: includes native support for Sketchup, Inventor
  • FBX file linking
  • Save to Previous Release (2010)
We created a new 8200×3200 scene and recorded the time for the hardware to finalise the render.

The overall performance with 3D Studio Max 2011 is strong, taking six minutes and 50 seconds to complete the rendering task. This verifies our findings earlier with the synthetic Cinebench R11.5 benchmark.
CyberLink MediaEspresso 6 is the successor to CyberLink MediaShow Espresso 5.5. With its further optimized CPU/GPU-acceleration, MediaEspresso is an even faster way to convert not only your video but also your music and image files between a wide range of popular formats.
Now you can easily playback and display your favourite movies, songs and photos not just on your mobile phone, iPad, PSP, Xbox, or Youtube and Facebook channels but also on the newly launched iPhone 4. Compile, convert and enjoy images and songs on any of your computing devices and enhance your videos with CyberLink’s built-in TrueTheater Technology.
New and Improved Features
  • Ultra Fast Media Conversion – With support from the Intel Core i-Series processor family, ATI Stream & NVIDIA CUDA, MediaEspresso’s Batch-Conversion function enables multiple files to be transcoded simultaneously.
  • Smart Detect Technology – MediaEspresso 6 automatically detects the type of portable device connected to the PC and selects the best multimedia profile to begin the conversion without the need for user’s intervention.
  • Direct Sync to Portable Devices – Video, audio and image files can be transferred in a few easy steps to mobile phones including those from Acer, BlackBerry, HTC, Samsung, LG, Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and Palm, as well as Sony Walkman and PSP devices.
  • Enhanced Video Quality – CyberLink TrueTheater Denoise and Lighting enables the enhancement of video quality through optical noise filters and automatic brightness adjustment.
  • Video, Music and Image File Conversion – Convert not only videos to popular formats such as AVI, MPEG, MKV, H.264/AVC, and FLV at the click of a button, but also images such as JPEG and PNG and music files like WMA, MP3 and M4A.
  • Online Sharing – Conversion to video formats used by popular social networking websites and a direct upload feature means posting videos to Facebook and YouTube has never been easier.
For our testing today we are converting a 3.3GB 720p MKV file (2h:12mins) to Apple Mp4 format for playback on a portable device. This is a common procedure for many people and will give a good indication of system power. We are using the newest version which has been optimised for Sandybridge processors.

Graphics acceleration is enabled, so the HD7770 can be factored into the result.

The Titan 8500i Vortex completed the task in 9 minutes and 11 minutes, which is a very impressive result, thanks in part to the Sapphire HD7770.
Handbrake is a fantastic free program which we wanted to include to confirm findings with Media Espresso, earlier in the review. HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows.
We used the latest V 0.9.5 for testing today across all platforms. We encoded an DVD.MPG file.

5 minutes and 35 seconds is a good result, falling just behind the reference clocked 2600k with twice the logical cores.
F1 2011 is the newest Direct X 11 racing game from industry pioneers CodeMasters. The 2011 Formula One season is the 62nd FIA Formula One season. The original calendar consisted of twenty rounds, including the inaugural running of the Indian Grand Prix before the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Pirelli returns to the sport as tyre supplier for all teams, taking over from Bridgestone. Red Bull Racing are the reigning Constructor’s Champions. Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel is the defending Drivers’ Champion, one of five World Champions appearing on the grid.

The Sapphire HD7770 has no problem powering this engine at 1080p with high image quality settings, averaging 37 frames per second. This drops to 33 frames per second a couple of times during the test environment.
Battlefield 3 is one of the finest looking first person shooters released in the last year. In campaign mode, players take on the personas of several military roles; a USMC recon Marine, an F-18 systems officer, an M1A2 Abrams tank operator, and a SPETSNAZ operative. The campaign takes place at various locations, from Iran to New York, and follows the story of Sergeant Blackburn and later, Dimitri Mayakovsky.

We used a ‘medium’ image quality setting to get smooth frame rates throughout the test environment. The game was perfectly smooth, but higher settings placed too much of a load on the discrete graphics card and the frame rate would suffer.
Shogun 2 is set in 16th-century feudal Japan, in the aftermath of the Ōnin War. The country is fractured into rival clans led by local warlords, each fighting for control. The player takes on the role of one of these warlords, with the goal of dominating other factions and claiming his rule over Japan. The standard edition of the game will feature a total of eight factions (plus a ninth faction for the tutorial), each with a unique starting position and different political and military strengths.
We are using the built in benchmark which is available via the STEAM client for this game.

At 1080p the graphics card struggles to maintain a >25 frame rate environment, dropping a few times to the low 20′s. At 720p however, the engine runs perfectly smooth at all times.
Gameplay in Mass Effect 3 is influenced by decisions from Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. Combat has been changed and refined; in particular, the cover system has been improved, there are more options for moving around the battlefield, instant melee kills and more conventional grenades are introduced as well as improved artificial intelligence. A four player multiplayer co-op mode is also available.

Mass Effect 3 runs well on a wide cross section of hardware. The Titan 8500i Vortex system maintains smooth frame rates throughout, dropping to 39 fps once.
Alan Wake is a third-person shooter psychological thriller action game developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was released for the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. The story follows bestselling thriller novelist Alan Wake, as he tries to uncover the mystery behind his wife’s disappearance during a vacation in the small (fictional) town of Bright Falls, Washington, all while experiencing events from the plot in his latest novel, which he cannot remember writing, coming to life.

The system maintains smooth frame rates at these high settings, dropping only a few times under the 30 fps sweet spot. Great results, as this is quite a demanding engine at 1080p.
We have changed our method of measuring noise levels. We have built a system inside a Lian Li chassis with no case fans and have used a fanless cooler on our CPU. We are using a heatpipe based passive power supply and an Intel SSD to keep noise levels to a minimum. The motherboard is also passively cooled. This gives us a build with completely passive cooling and it means we can measure noise of just the graphics card inside the system when we run looped 3dMark tests. Ambient noise in the room is around 20-25dBa. We measure from a distance of around 1 meter from the closed chassis and 4 foot from the ground to mirror a real world situation.
Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on only the video card. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.
KitGuru noise guide
10dBA - Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA - High Quality Computer fan
40dBA - A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA - Normal Conversation
60dBA - Laughter
70dBA - Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA - City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA - Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA - MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA - Orchestra
120dBA - Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA - Threshold of Pain
140dBA - Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA - Instant Perforation of eardrum

The system generates a lot of noise when first powered up, but it drops quickly. This isn’t the quietest system we have tested, although OCUK have opted for an aggressive fan profile from the cooling system.
The tests were performed in a controlled air conditioned room with temperatures maintained at a constant 23c – a comfortable environment for the majority of people reading this.
Idle temperatures were measured after 30 minutes of ‘resting’ in the Windows 7 environment. System temperatures were measured by running Furmark with Cinebench R11.5 64 bit in a loop for 30 minutes then recording the maximum temperatures during this time period.

We attached 5 diodes to the internal of the chassis.
1: next to the optical drive at the top of the case.
: Above the motherboard, next to the CPU radiator.
3: Above the drives.
4: next to the memory, above the graphics card.
on the power supply.

The liquid cooler is more enough for this processor, maintaining sub 60c temperatures even under full, extended load. Thanks to the cool running HD7770, the Bitfenix case is never tasked too hard.
To measure power consumption, we used a power meter which was attached directly to the system, excluding all external devices including the monitor. We loaded Unigine Heaven benchmark to test the system under a ‘general load’ situation.

This system is actually very efficient, thanks in part to the very low power demand from the Sapphire HD7770. When gaming it generally consumed around 115-120 watts at the socket.
The Titan 8500i Vortex System is built specifically to a tight price point, targeting a wide enthusiast audience who are in the market for a balanced, all round system.
While Overclockers UK could have focused entirely on basing the system around the most powerful discrete graphics card, they have opted to maintain the price point by adopting the HD7770 and focusing on other key areas.
The HD7770 is a reasonably powerful graphics card which delivers smooth frame rates with a variety of modern gaming engines. As our testing highlighted it delivered smooth frame rates with Alan Wake, Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 and F1 2011 … all at 1080p with high image quality settings.
The Bitfenix Shinobi case is actually one of the best choices in the bargain arena, combining decent cooling performance, low noise levels and a quality finish. The I/O panel at the top has two easily accessible USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 connectors, more than enough for connecting a variety of pen drives, media devices and hard drives.
Internally, the build standard is excellent. The engineers have devoted time and resources to routing all the cables carefully behind the motherboard panel, ensuring a clean system build while maintaining maximum airflow.
This system is supplied in a heavy overclocked state and the Gigabyte Z77X-D3H motherboard proved to be perfectly stable throughout the last week of testing.
The Core i5 2500k receives a clock boost from 3.3ghz to 4.6ghz and runs cool and stable, thanks to the high end liquid cooling. The 2500k is a fast processor even at reference speeds, but when overclocked this system can be utilised for more serious duties, such as 3D rendering and video encoding. At 4.6ghz, is is faster than the more expensive, reference clocked, hyperthread enabled 2600k.
Many systems can suffer in the hands of less experienced system builders who incorporate ill advised drive configurations. Thankfully we have no concerns with the Titan 8500i Vortex as OCUK have carefully selected the OCZ Agility 3 60GB drive for the boot drive/operating system, with a Hitachi Deskstar 1TB equipped for storage and backup duties. The use of quality Corsair Vengeance memory with heatspreaders is reassuring.
Some people may find the HD7770 borderline for their gaming requirements, but there is the potential for adding another at a later date to run in Crossfire, if added horsepower is needed.
The Titan 8500i Vortex is a well built system that can be used in many environments. You can buy it from OCUK for £884.99 inc vat.
  • 1.3ghz overclock ‘out of the box’.
  • excellent SSD performance.
  • plenty of storage capacity.
  • Another HD7770 could be added later if the need arises.
  • Competitive pricing.
  • efficient power consumption at socket.
  • HD7770 might not be enough for a diehard gamer.
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