If you still can’t get enough speed out of your PC, or want to be the first on your street with a 1GHz machine, you need look no further than Kryotech’s Super-G. This is a PC based on AMD’s 700MHz Athlon processor, over-clocked to the magic Gigahertz mark. This level of over-clocking would normally be heavily frowned on by processor makers, but the Super-G has the full blessing of AMD… because the machine comes with its own fridge.
The tower case is extra tall, as there’s a refrigeration unit in the base, connected to the processor by a heat pipe. When you switch the power on, the fridge starts up first and drops the temperature of the chip down to -45°C before powering up the computer. At this low temperature, the chip can happily run 50 per cent over-clocked. A simple display on the outside of the case shows the current temperature and if for any reason the refrigerator cuts out the machine switches off safely. It would be more convenient if it just cut back the clock rate to 700MHz and continued running, though.
The rest of the specification of the Super-G is in line with the processor and includes 256Mb of main memory, a 25.4Gb Ultra DMA 66 IBM hard drive and a GeForce 256-based graphics adapter from Guillemot. Kryotech sells through a number of distributors in the UK, though, and provides a ‘bare-bones’ chassis to which each distributor can add components of their choice. If you buy from a distributor other than TopPC – a division of Panrix – which supplied the review machine, the specification may well differ.
The review machine wasn’t that stable – whether the result of early configuration problems or a rogue sample – but once running satisfactorily gave results faster than any other PC so far tested. The SYSmark 98 result gave a very high index of 11.76. 3DMark also scored it well, with indexes of up to 6,100. This indicates that the machine would be ideal for 3D modelling and gaming, as well as video or photo work.
The asking price doesn’t include a monitor – you’ll need to add around £400 for a suitable large-screen device – and seems high when compared with a 750MHz regular Athlon system, which will cost you over £1,000 less. However, if the novelty factor of the Super-G appeals to you, or you really need the extra processing power, then you won’t currently find a faster x86 processor in any single-processor machine.
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