Aria GLADIATOR Sparta i5 4.40GHz Overclocked Bundle Review

Intel’s Haswell processors have presented us with arguably some of the biggest variations in air-cooled overclocking ability that we have seen from the company’s mainstream and high-end processors since the pre-Nehalem era. With that in mind, there’s a clear justification to opting for pre-overclocked bundles sold by retailers. Is Aria’s 4.40GHz i5 4670K-equipped Gladiator Sparta bundle a good choice?
Based around the latest fan-favourite model from Intel’s mainstream processor line-up, the multiplier-unlocked Core i5 4670K, Aria’s Gladiator Sparta i5 bundle uses a low-cost Gigabyte motherboard and 8GB of Corsair memory to build the foundation for a solid mid-range system. Featuring an out-of-the-box overclock to 4.40GHz and cooled by a Scythe Ashura heatsink with Gelid GC-Extreme thermal paste, the versatile 4670K processor can be used to form a variety of system types, despite being best suited for gaming and general usage tasks.
With the build process already completed and a 4.40GHz overclock applied, does Aria’s convenient Gladiator Sparta i5 4.40GHz bundle appeal to users who want a fast system foundation without having overclocking and stability worries?
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Features:
  • Intel Core i5 4670K @ 4.40GHz.
  • Gigabyte GA-Z87-HD3 LGA 1150 motherboard.
  • 8GB (2x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance Arctic White 1600MHz memory.
  • Scythe Ashura CPU cooler w/ Gelid GC-Extreme thermal paste.
  • Next day shipping process.
  • 24 month collect & return warranty.
packaging-2
Aria ships the Gladiator Sparta i5 bundle in a large box with plenty of protective packaging. The bundle itself is then protected by more bubble wrap to ensure that its CPU cooler is not knocked and doesn’t cause damage during transit.
packaging
A pair of elastic bands secures the built-up bundle to the motherboard box. Aria provides a slip outlining the built date.
bundled-items
Inside the motherboard box are the bundle’s accessories and the packaging for certain items, such as the RAM and CPU.
bundles
The bundled items include the motherboard’s typical accessories: 4x SATA cables and the IO shield. Other items supplied include: CPU cooler mounting hardware, Gelid GC-Extreme thermal paste and a smearing tool.
In the event of a BIOS failure, the 8GB USB flash drive that Aria supplies can be used to restore the Gladiator Sparta i5 bundle’s overclocked configuration.
manuals
Motherboard and CPU manuals as well as driver discs are supplied so that the OS installation can be straightforward. We like Aria’s decision to supply the items’ individual packaging as it can help in the case of a component being sent to the manufacturer for RMA, for example.
screwdriver-set
A thoughtful addition to the system bundle is a good-quality five-piece screwdriver set. We asked our Aria contact how much cost this adds to the bundle’s price to which we were told that it doesn’t increase the asking fee; Aria absorbs the tool kit’s cost into the profit margin for its bundle.
GLADIATOR-Sparta-i5-5GLADIATOR-Sparta-i5-6 board-rear
Using Gigabyte’s attractive Z87-HD3 motherboard, Aria has done a good job in making the Gladiator Sparta i5 an aesthetically-pleasing system bundle. The black touches to Scythe’s CPU cooler compliment the equally-dark VRM heatsinks on Gigabyte’s motherboard.
In my opinion, Corsair’s white memory modules add a well-balanced touch of brightness to the motherboard bundle. On the other hand, I know that plenty of people will disagree with me and criticise Aria for not colour-coordinating the memory modules.
The Gigabyte motherboard is slightly narrower than the ‘standard’ ATX form factor, measuring in at 30.5 x 22.5 centimetres. Case compatibility will not be impaired by the narrow dimensions; an ATX-capable chassis will not need to use its right-side column of stand-off points.
GLADIATOR-Sparta-i5-3
Scythe’s 161mm-tall Ashura CPU cooler uses a 140mm PWM fan to direct air across a fin array that is fed heat by six copper heatpipes. Given its large height, the Ashura is actually quite accommodating in other dimensions; it doesn’t cause any major interference with the Gladiator Sparta i5 bundle’s Gigabyte motherboard.
GLADIATOR-Sparta-i5-2
Gigabyte’s Z87-HD3 motherboard features a pair of full-length PCI-E slots, but only the top operates at Gen 3 x16 bandwidth; the bottom is limited to a PCI-E 2.0 x4 lane.
Both of the PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots use the chipset’s lanes and therefore share their bandwidth with the x16-length version. When a card is installed in one, or both, of the x1 slots, the full-length expansion will operate at PCI-E 2.0 x1 bandwidth.
Given the bundle’s target audience which consists of single-GPU users, the lane configuration is unlikely to cause an issue, but helps to reduce the motherboard’s cost.
One design decision, on Gigabyte’s part, that irritates me is the omission of a connection in the uppermost expansion location. Placing an x1 slot in that location would have little impact on production costs, but would increase the flexibility for users installing more than one expansion card.
GLADIATOR-Sparta-i5
Corsair’s 1600MHz Vengeance Arctic White low voltage 4GB DIMMs occupy two of the Z87-HD3’s four memory slots. Operating at 1600MHz CL9 with a 1.35V DIMM voltage, Corsair’s modules should run cool, thanks to their lower-than-JEDEC voltage.
Sat next to the 24-pin power connector is a single internal USB 3.0 header. The header’s outwards-facing orientation makes it easy to access in narrow cases but also increases the complexity of cable management.

gigabyte-board
Six SATA 6Gb/s ports, operating from the Z87 chipset, are located in the Gigabyte board’s bottom-right corner. As a cost-cutting measure, the ports are orientated to face outwards, rather than the more-costly, dual-stacked alternative.
A large heatsink sporting a golden Gigabyte logo is used to cool the Z87 chipset. Its function is mainly aesthetic as the chipset itself doesn’t produce a significant amount of heat.
Positioned beneath the heatsink is a pair of BIOS chips. Gigabyte provided the Z87-HD3 with a dual-BIOS implementation for redundancy purposes.
IO-ports
Rear IO ports found on the Gigabyte Z87-HD3 motherboard are the typical affair for an entry-level, mainstream product. The only notable exclusion is an optical SPDIF output that many people use to connect their computer to a surround sound system.
Motherboard rear ports:
  • 2x USB 2.0.
  • 4x USB 3.0.
  • 1x PS/2 Combo.
  • 1x VGA.
  • 1x DVI-D.
  • 1x HDMI.
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN.
  • 6x audio jacks.
fan headers
The red circles in the above image indicate the location of each fan header.
Gigabyte supplies the Z87-HD3 with four 4-pin fan headers in total, one of which is reserved for CPU duties. Distribution of the headers is adequate, with the majority being positioned mid-board and within the reach of typical fan mounting locations.
bundle
Aria’s Gladiator Sparta i5 bundle fits inside an ATX-capable case with ease. The bundle’s dark colour scheme is an excellent match for that used on our Gun Metal edition of NZXT’s Phantom 630 chassis.
Provided your chassis can accept the 161mm height of Scythe’s CPU cooler, there shouldn’t be any other interference issues to worry about.
system
Aria’s bundle can be used to provide the foundation for an attractive gaming system, especially when combined with a dark-coloured graphics card such as our reference GTX 760.
1_main-settings
The Gladiator Sparta i5 system bundle uses Gigabyte’s Z87-HD3 motherboard which is equipped with the company’s fresh UEFI BIOS.
Using a 1920 x 1080 resolution (on our test monitor, at least) to cram plenty of voltage, frequency and temperature readouts onto a single page, the Gigabyte interface can be somewhat daunting at first look. After paying closer attention to which settings are crucial and which ones are for more specific purposes, the interface becomes far easier to interpret.
Thankfully, one of the positive points for Aria’s Gladiator bundle is its pre-defined BIOS settings. Users are unlikely to be forced into the BIOS unless a change of settings is necessary.
2_frequency
Many of the CPU’s clock settings are set to ‘auto’, other than the core ratio that is configured to 44x for a 4.40GHz processor frequency. Aria’s applied overclock is static, not dynamic, so 4.40GHz will be the system’s continuous operational frequency.
3_memory
Memory is manually configured to operate at its 1600MHz rated frequency. Timings mode is set as ‘expert’ but the standard CL9 settings are applied.
Given that the Corsair modules are rated for 1600MHz CL9 at a low voltage of 1.35V, the XMP profile automatically configures the modules to run close to their rated voltage, levelling-out at a setting of 1.36V.
4_voltages
CPU input and ring (cache) voltages are manually configured to enhance stability of the 4.40GHz overclock. 1.900V is applied to the CPU input, while the ring (cache) uses a voltage of 1.150V. Both of those settings are likely to be fine for a 4.40GHz processor frequency.
To further enhance system stability, the CPU Digital and Analog I/O voltages both receive a +50mV offset.
Using a setting of 1.350V, the Gladiator Sparta i5 system bundle’s applied CPU Vcore is approaching the limit of safety for 24/7 usage. While our temperature tests prove that Scythe’s Ashura CPU cooler is able to tame the processor’s heat output, a higher voltage level would warrant improved cooling.
Ideally, we would have liked to see the applied Vcore level at around 1.30V or less. This level of voltage would keep temperatures in check, even for extended time periods, and it would give peace of mind with the 4670K’s lifespan. Bear in mind that Aria gives the Gladiator Sparta i5 bundle a 2 year warranty, so the company is clearly confident in its chosen overclock settings.
5_Fan-Settings
Most of the fan settings remain unchanged or optimised for user convenience. A gradient of 2.50 PWM value per degree Celsius is set for the CPU fan. Graphically, this equates to quite a rapid rate of response to increases in CPU temperature.
6_oc-profiles
Aria’s system builders save the 4.40GHz overclock settings to a specific BIOS profile. An additional profile is used for backup purposes in the event that the primary parameters are overwritten.
If this isn’t enough (if the BIOS is corrupted, for example), Aria also supplies an 8GB USB flash drive with the overclock profiles saved to it.
To test the Aria GLADIATOR Sparta i5 4.40GHz Overclocked Bundle, we paired it with a 500GB Samsung 840 Series SSD and a 2GB nVidia GTX 760 graphics card. The build was powered by Seasonic’s excellent Platinum 1000W unit.
We decided to use a dedicated, gaming-calibre graphics card to test the GLADIATOR Sparta i5; we are confident that many people purchasing this bundle will be interested in some degree of gaming which requires a better solution than the onboard HD 4600 GPU.
system
We will be comparing the Aria GLADIATOR Sparta i5 4.40GHz Overclocked Bundle’s performance to that of our reference 4770K-based system using the ASRock Z87 OC Formula motherboard. Performance figures from our reference AMD FX-8350-based system are also included to show what a similarly-priced setup from the AMD camp can offer.
Note: As our NZXT Phantom 630 chassis was required for other testing procedures, we tested the Aria Gladiator Sparta i5 4.40GHz overclocked bundle in an open-air environment. This may have a small affect on the maximum GPU frequency reached by our GTX 760’s boost profiles.
stock-(4_4GHz)-clocks
Aria GLADIATOR Sparta i5 Test System:
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 4670K @ 4.40GHz (GLADIATOR Sparta i5 Bundle).
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87-HD3 (GLADIATOR Sparta i5 Bundle).
  • Memory: 8GB Corsair Vengeance Arctic White LV 1600MHz (GLADIATOR Sparta i5 Bundle).
  • CPU Cooler: Scythe Ashura with Gelid GC-3 Thermal Compound (GLADIATOR Sparta i5 Bundle).
  • Graphics CardnVidia GTX 760 2GB.
  • System Drive: 500GB Samsung 840 Series SSD.
  • Power SupplySeasonic Platinum 1000W.
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional w/ SP1 64-bit.
4770K-based Comparison System:
FX-8350-based Comparison System:
Settings:
  • Gigabyte Z87-HD3 F2 BIOS.
  • GeForce 320.49 VGA drivers.
  • Intel 9.4.0.1017 chipset drivers.
Software Suite:
  • 3DMark
  • 3DMark 11
  • PCMark 8
  • Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
  • SiSoft Sandra 2013 SP4
  • Cinebench 11.5 64 bit
  • Super Pi
  • VLC Media Player 2.0.7
  • CyberLink Media Espresso 6.7
  • HandBrake 0.9.9
  • ATTO
  • Battlefield 3
  • Metro 2033
  • Sleeping Dogs
PCMark 8 is the latest version in the popular series of PC benchmarking tools. Improving on previous releases, PCMark 8 includes battery life measurement tools and new tests using popular applications from Adobe and Microsoft. Whether you are looking for long battery life, or maximum power, PCMark 8 helps you find the devices that offer the perfect combination of efficiency and performance for your needs.
pcmark-8
pcmark 8
pcm8-1
Thanks to its overclocked processor, Aria’s Gladiator Sparta i5 4.40GHz bundle manages to take top place in the PCMark 8 test.
The bundle’s boost in processor frequency allows it to outperform our 4770K-based reference system by almost 200 points. AMD’s FX-8350-based system is beaten by over 1400 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
3dmark-11-1
Despite its 500MHz (against the forced turbo parameter) clock speed advantage over our 4770K-based system, Aria’s Gladiator Sparta i5 bundle cannot match the hyper-threading CPU’s Physics and Overall performance in 3DMark 11.
Aria’s overclocked 4670K bundle does manage to outperform our similarly-priced AMD test system in all of 3DMark 11’s tests.
3DMark is Futuremark’s latest gaming-orientated benchmark. It can be used to benchmark and compare everything from mobile devices, such as smart phones, tablets and laptops, to high-end gaming systems. The benchmark is available for Windows, Windows RT Android and iOS.
With 3 separate tests, each of which is intended to be used alongside a specific classification of hardware, 3DMark is a very versatile benchmark. Ice Storm is intended to be used with mobile devices, Cloud Gate is good for use with laptops and home PCs, and Fire Strike can be used to push the performance of gaming PCs.
We used the ‘Fire Strike’ benchmark which is designed to be used on gaming PCs. We opted for the Normal setting, NOT the Extreme mode.
3dmark
3dm-1
3DMark paints a similar picture to the company’s 2011 software. The 4770K’s hyper-threading gives it a strong Physics score that Aria’s overclocked bundle cannot match.
Again, Aria’s Gladiator bundle manages to outperform the stock-clocked FX-8350 system in every parameter, with the most notable observation being the differences in Physics scores.
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
heaven-benchmark-setting
heaven
heaven
Thanks to its CPU overclock (and potentially the higher GPU boost clock) Aria’s Gladiator Sparta i5 bundle takes the lead in Unigine’s Heaven benchmark.
Given that the Heaven benchmark is heavily swayed by graphics performance, it would be a fair to suggest that our GTX 760 was boosting to a higher GPU frequency when used with Aria’s bundle in an open-air environment.
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
sandra arith
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sandra mem band
sandra-mem-band-1
Sandra’s processor arithmetic test shows the overclocked 4670K to be a solid overall performer.
Due to the Gladiator Sparta i5′s use of 1600MHz CL9 memory, the bundle dips beneath the 20GB/s memory bandwidth result in Sandra’s specific test.
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.
cinebench
cine-1
With the 4.40GHz overclock applied to its 4670K processor, the Gladiator Sparta i5 bundle manages to outperform our eight-core, FX-8350-based test system in the Cinebench benchmark.
Super Pi is used by a huge audience, particularly to check stability when overclocking processors. If a system is able to calculate PI to the 2 millionth place after the decimal without mistake, it is considered to be stable in regards to RAM and CPU.
We used Super Pi’s ’32M’ benchmark setting.
super pi
pi-1
Super Pi’s single-threaded workload loves processor frequency which is exactly why the overclocked Core i5 in Aria’s system bundle manages to outperform the stock-clocked i7 in our 4770K test machine.
The Matroska Media container is a very popular, open standard Multimedia container which is usually found as .MKV files. It is a very popular format in enthusiast circles and can be played directly in VLC or Windows Media Player with suitable codecs installed.
We played our 1080P MKV rip of The Dark Knight using the latest version of VLC Media Player.
mkv 1080p
Despite its higher operational frequency, the Gladiator Sparta i5′s CPU utilisation figure for 1080P media playback is slightly higher than that of the 4770K-based system. At 6% utilisation the figure still matches that set by AMD’s FX-8350 processor and leaves plenty of the 4670K CPU’s power free to run other operations.
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 4.4GB 720p MKV file (1h:58mins) 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.
media-espresso-settings
Hardware acceleration is disabled to provide an accurate interpretation of the CPU performance.
media espresso
espresso-1
Cyberlink’s MediaEspresso conversion software scales well with raw Megahertz rather than thread count. Leading the pack in regards to operational frequency, Aria’s system bundle manages a solid sub-9 minute conversion time when tasked with our 720P MKV file.
HandBrake is a fantastic free program that can be used to convert video files to many common formats for portable devices. HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multi-platform, multi-threaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows.
We used the latest V 0.9.9 version.
For our testing today we are converting a 4.4GB 720p MKV file (1h:58mins) to MP4 format, using HandBrake’s ‘Normal’ profile, for playback on High-Resolution devices. This is a common procedure for many people and will give a good indication of system power.
handbrake
Handbrake is far more multi-threaded than its Cyberlink counterpart. Even with a 500MHz frequency boost over the forced-turbo 4770K, the 4670K-based Gladiator Sparta i5 bundle cannot get near the performance of our stock-clocked i7.
Our similarly-priced AMD FX-8350-based system is beaten by the Aria bundle by a considerable margin, however.
The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Measure your storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes. Several options are available to customize your performance measurement including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host adapters, hard drives and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.
kingston-hyperx-3k
Using the Z87 chipset’s native SATA 6Gb/s ports, it’s no surprise that the Gladiator Sparta i5 4.40GHz bundle’s Gigabyte Z87-HD3 motherboard was able to push our Kingston Hyper 3K SSD to its limits.
With its emergence as the new standard for high-speed portable devices, USB 3.0 performance on a modern motherboard needs to be good to ensure that data transferral bottlenecks aren’t created.
We tested USB 3.0 performance using a SanDisk Extreme SSD connected to an Icy Box IB-223StU3 USB 3.0 enclosure. ATTO was the benchmark which was used.
sandisk-extreme-usb-3
USB 3.0 throughput from the Gladiator bundle’s Gigabyte Z87-HD3 topped-out at less than 250MB/s, which is typical for a motherboard without a UASP-activating tool.
According to EA, Battlefield 3 garnered 3 million pre-orders by the day of its release. It is unknown at present whether these figures are worldwide or just for the US. The pre-order total makes it “the biggest first-person shooter launch in EA history”, according to the publisher. The engine is beautiful on the PC and very demanding of the partnering hardware.
We used the game’s demanding ‘Ultra’ setting and a 1920 x 1080 resolution to push today’s gaming hardware.
bf3
Due to being tested in an open-air environment where ambient temperatures are lower than those for the inside of a chassis, the Aria Gladiator Sparta i5 bundle’s sneaky frame rate victory in Battlefield 3 is likely related to our GTX 760′s higher boost frequency.
Even with the possibility of different GPU frequencies taken into account, the average frame rate difference between Aria’s system bundle and our 4770K-based test system is less than 3%.
Sleeping Dogs started development as an original title, but was announced in 2009 as True Crime: Hong Kong, the third instalment and a reboot of the True Crime series.
As a result of the game’s high development budget and delays, it was cancelled by Activision Blizzard in 2011. Six months later, it was announced that Square Enix had picked up the publishing rights to the game, but the game was renamed Sleeping Dogs in 2012 since Square Enix did not purchase the True Crime name rights.
sleeping-dogs-settings
sleepings dogs
Sleeping Dogs sets each system at an identical performance level after analysing the hardware’s ability to crunch through a mixture of its highest performance setting.
Metro 2033 is a first-person shooter video game with survival horror elements, based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. The game is played from the perspective of Artyom, the player-character. The story takes place in post-apocalyptic Moscow, mostly inside the metro system, but occasionally missions bring the player above-ground.
We used the game’s built-in benchmark set to ‘Very High’ quality to offer an intense challenge for the gaming hardware while also making playable frame rates a possibility.
metro-2033-bench
metro 2033
Metro 2033 registers a performance difference between each of our compared systems. According to our results, Aria’s Gladiator Sparta i5-based system outperforms our FX-8350 machine by around 7%, but a proportion of this victory is likely related to the GPU’s boost frequency.
We measured the power consumption with the system resting at the Windows 7 desktop, representing idle values.
The power consumption of our entire test system is measured at the wall while loading only the CPU using Prime95′s Small FFTs setting. The rest of the system’s components were operating in their idle states, hence the increased power consumption values (in comparison to the idle figures) are largely related to the load on the CPU and motherboard power delivery components.
power consumption
Using the Core i5 variant of Intel’s latest mainstream processor range, the Gladiator Sparta i5 4.40GHz overclocked bundle shows off excellent power consumption figures, even with its 1.350V CPU voltage applied.
The tests were performed in a controlled environment with the temperature maintained at a constant 20°C. Idle temperatures were measured after sitting at the desktop for 5 minutes. Load measurements were acquired by running Prime95′s Small FFTs setting together for 5 minutes.
We allowed the CPU cooler to operate at its default – PWM – settings. The Gladiator Sparta i5 4.40GHz bundle was tested in an open-air environment.
temperatures
Even with the application of a high CPU VCore, Scythe’s Ashura CPU cooler manages to tame the heat output of the Aria bundle’s overclocked 4670K processor.
With a maximum temperature of 74°C (when used outside of a chassis) there is actually thermal headroom for Aria’s system integrators to increase the CPU VCore by a slight amount. Although we wouldn’t recommend raising the voltage as it may impact the processor’s lifespan, the temperature levels speak greatly for the performance of Scythe’s CPU cooler.
We measure from a distance of around 1 metre from the bundle with our digital sound level meter to mirror a real world situation. When used inside a chassis, the noise output will be different, dependent upon the case’s design and number of fans.
Please refer to our KitGuru noise guide for a comparison between the noise levels of this system and everyday scenarios.
KitGuru noise guide
10dBA - Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA - High Quality Computer fan
40dBA - A Bubbling Brook, or a Refrigerator
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
acoustics
With a maximum recorded noise output of under 43 dBa, the Gladiator Sparta i5 4.40GHz bundle is unlikely to cause annoying disturbances. The large, 140mm fan used on Scythe’s CPU cooler shifts a large volume of air while spinning at a low maximum speed of around 1300 RPM.
The Aria Gladiator Sparta i5 4.40GHz is a rock-solid, pre-configured bundle with a healthy overclock applied and strong performance to match.
During our testing, the overclocked 4670K used in Aria’s bundle proved that it was ready to trade blows with Intel’s king of its Haswell line-up – our stock-clocked 4770K. Performance improvements over a similarly-priced FX-8350-based system were consistent and generally sizable.
We like the fact that Aria chooses to construct its Gladiator Sparta i5 bundle using high-quality components from well-respected manufacturers. Corsair’s memory was rock-solid during testing, even when running at the low voltage of around 1.35V. We were also pleasantly surprised by the ability of Scythe’s Ashura CPU cooler to tame the additional heat output by the 4670K’s considerable voltage bump, and do so while maintaining quiet-enough operation.
As far as build quality goes, we don’t have any complaints. Aria’s system builders did an excellent job in constructing the sample that we received. An equally-important comment is that Aria’s method of packaging the bundle is very sturdy and offers plenty of protection; a considerable factor of safety is added in the form of excess bubble wrap.
Thoughtful additions such as the screwdriver set, high-quality thermal paste, and back-up BIOS settings help to enforce the feeling that Aria’s Gladiator Sparta i5 4.40GHz bundle is aiming for high standards and ease-of-use. Backed by a 2 year warranty, Aria has aimed for long-term stability with its bundle.
Our main disappointment regarding the Gladiator Sparta i5 4.40GHz overclocked bundle is its VCore setting. Putting 1.35V through a 4670K is right on the limit of what we would consider sensible for 24/7 usage, especially when coupled with a mid-range air cooler. On the positive side, Aria does provide a 2 year warranty with its bundle.
Priced at £461.99 directly from Aria, the Gladiator Sparta i5 4.40GHz overclocked bundle is slightly more expensive than the stiff competition that similar offerings from competing retailers provide, but not without a valid reason. Aria includes a next day service with the Gladiator Sparta i5 4.40GHz bundle, meaning that the time spent waiting for your product to arrive is cut by a considerable margin.
Buying the parts separately would save around £60 but it would also dictate the time-consuming process of manual frequency tweaking and stability testing while also voiding the CPU’s warranty. If you want a system bundle quickly and need it to offer competitive performance, Aria’s Gladiator Sparta i5 4.40GHz overclocked bundle is a very good choice.
Pros:
  • Strong overclock applied to the 4670K.
  • Impressive performance.
  • High-quality components used throughout.
  • Solid build-quality and a 2 year warranty.
  • ‘Free’ screwdriver kit, USB flash drive and thermal paste.
  • Good value if you need a bundle quickly.
Cons:
  • Price is higher than competing options if you don’t need it quickly.
  • CPU VCore setting is higher than we would have liked.
KitGuru says: If you’re in the market for a fast, well-priced system bundle and don’t want to face the complications of Haswell’s silicon lottery, the Aria Gladiator Sparta i5 4.40GHz overclocked bundle is a good choice, and you won’t have to wait long for it to arrive.
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