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Cryo Nano - Ultimate SFF PC


by Zardon - 29th October 2009
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Introduction

We review a plethora of high end components on DriverHeaven and you can be sure if you need a new graphics card, motherboard or processor we have already had an indepth look at it this year. From time to time however we also take a look at prebuilt systems - because not everyone has the knowledge, confidence - or even the time to build their own high performance rig.

Today we look at a new small form factor system from UK company Cryo Performance Computing, who were founded in August of 2008. Cryo initially did a trial run selling their specialised brand of modified computers on Ebay and found there was a discerning market for their own brand of massively overclocked computers.

Selling overclocked computers is really nothing new and many of you will be immediately disinterested having heard this many times in the past, so I decided to call Alan Johnston, their Chief Technologist to find out exactly what differentiates Cryo from the plethora of system builders in the UK.

Speaking with Alan I was immediately confident in his technical knowledge and his vision of the marketplace - he categorically stated that unless he values the hardware himself, he won't include it in the system builds they sell. We discussed 3D gaming technology, various steppings of processors and cooling solutions to aid the longevity and stability of the fastest enthusiast PC's available. Alan offered to send us a prototype of a computer sold inside their "media' range - aptly named the "Nano". This is housed inside a glorious modified Lian Li V351 HTPC chassis with a massively overclocked, watercooled Core i7 processor. Cryo say this is the fastest media PC on the market - in such a diminutive chassis they certainly better be well versed in cooling techniques or there could be serious problems!

Alan assured me that when they build their PC's they spend many man hours fine tuning the bios and stress testing to get every mhz possible while ensuring temperatures are within safe thresholds - if a component doesn't reach their expectations during stress testing they simply replace it. Not only that but they guarantee their overclocked system with a 24 month return to base warranty - this is a point really worth focusing on because even if you build an overclocked PC yourself and fry a component, you are immediately out of pocket. Cryo do all the hard work for you and if something fails six months down the line, they take it back and sort it out.

Obviously - all this talk about attention to detail and fine tuning is great on paper, but today we will push this system right to the limits in a variety of areas, from 1080p media use partnered with a 42 inch Panasonic NeoPDP 600hz Plasma TV, to gaming on a state of the art Samsung LED 30 inch panel at 2560x1600. If this system is sold to handle everything from media to gaming, then we need to be sure that Cryo do in fact live up to their rather bold claims.

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