|PROMETEIA MACH II|
The search for the ultimate Driverheaven rig starts today , the aim to create a beast so powerful it will make grown men green with envy. This is the first part in a series of overclocking adventures with the top of the line hardware which will hopefully not only be educational and informative but fun.
So whats this "Prometeia Mach II" all about then? Well to create the ultimate Driverheaven beast the standard heatsinks and even watercooling arent up to the task, we have to push it to the limits, and the only way to do this? sub zero processor temperatures. I had a quite unpleasant run in a while ago with vapochill so I turned to the legendary Mach II to aid me in my quest for overclocking bliss. I was put in touch by the headquarters with one of the United Kingdom Distributors Extreme Prometeia who have generously supplied the test unit for this series of overclocking editorials. Phil the owner of Extreme Prometeia not only supplies units and cases but he customises complete setups even going as far as cascade systems for customers who wish to go to the total extremes. Ive been amazed at how helpful and knowledgable this guy is and I have absolutely no hestiation in saying ........ You name it, Phil is your man.
Nice paintjob eh?
The Mach II unit is an impressive sight to behold and is styled to match the Lian Li PC60 case which sits atop it - basically the lower refrigeration unit is attached with a hole cut through to allow the evaporator to cool your CPU. You can of course find other cases to mod but I was supplied by Extreme Prometeia a full setup, ready to build. According to the Nventiv site, assembling the prometeia is as easy as "fitting a heatsink", while I didnt run into any major problems myself I would class myself as a failry experienced builder and I can see several areas which would prove very daunting to a beginner level builder. Phil has an excellent guide on his site in the FAQ section detailing all the steps necessary to fit the CPU with string seal and all the other steps, id be a fool to try and improve on this so ill link to the this guide if you want to research this procedure further.
Following the instructions carefully and the somewhat poorly translated manual supplied with the unit I ran into no major problems but I took my time with it. The one point i will stress is to ensure the whole cpu area is totally sealed or condensation will soon be causing major problems.
So what does the system comprise?
Todays "heart" in the overclocking rig will be a 3.4 ghz P4 SL793 stepping Intel cpu. Modern day processors run hot, a side effect of the ever increasing hunt for clock speed and performance. As clocks get higher the need for good cooling is no longer a luxury its a necessity - this is where the Mach II should excel in letting us get 4ghz+ out of this baby.
Thermal paste is something that shouldnt be overlooked and and id like to thank OCZ for supplying me with their silver compound for this project.
The motherboard I used is the Abit IC7 MAX3 one of the best P4 boards currently available - for the purposes of this article and to ensure I had successfully sealed the CPU area with string seal I removed the OTES, and cooled the mobo with a 120mm fan.
Memory, vitally important to a system was again generously supplied by OCZ in the shape of 2 x 512 stick of DDR 4400, state of the art memory which looks as gorgeous as it performs. ill be reviewing this more thoroughly at a later date. They also supplied ramsinks which adhered painlessly to the video card.
The video, well what
else? has to be the 9800 XT for now, nothing currently available is
faster and id like to thank Visiontek
for supplying the card for this article. We have a review of this
here. This card is running overclocked at 460 core and 420 ram
(up 15mhz with the OCZ heatsinks in place). The rest of the system
comprises a Globalwin Sapphire 520w 19db super silent PSU, 2 raptors
in raid 0 via onboard sata, 2 x 120 gig western digital JB SE drives
in raid 0 via adaptec raid PCI card and 1 x 80 gig western digital
JB SE drive as a dual OS boot. Optical media is supported by a modified
NEC 1300a flashed to region free via third party firmware.
Next: The Mach II setup