The Core i7 Giveaway Winner, Next Contest Soon

by Anand Lal Shimpi on 12/22/2009 12:00 AM EST


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  • SSUSeaWolf - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    This rich dude gets a super fast computer in addition to his already super fast computer? Then he complains about it.

    That's not fair and he is a bad person.

    People like me who have a 7 year old computer because they can't afford anything else deserve the system much more than this guy.
  • macroecon - Thursday, December 24, 2009 - link

    In all due respect I totally disagree with your comment. The winner of this computer didn't cheat or do anything dishonest, so how is it not fair? And just because you can't afford to buy a new computer doesn't make you more "deserving" to win this computer. It's just random chance. If Anand really goes by your rule of "fairness" then we wouldn't even have this giveaway to begin with, he should just give it to some homeless kid in Africa who has 100X less wealth than you. Reply
  • Rev1 - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    Are you serious?! He won it fair and square. I'd be pissed to to have to deal with xfx's customer service. Look and the horrible craftsmanship that went into the comp also, but it was free, i'd be pissed as hell if i bought some garbage like that though. Reply
  • marc1000 - Thursday, December 24, 2009 - link

    hey, calm down. The system is not garbage at all, it was just built by a worker, and not by an IT expert who likes to tweak even the cables of his computer (I'm one of the later!) Reply
  • Rev1 - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    iBuyPower did a horrible wiring job, that thing runs way to hot also and should clock higher, bummer bout the GPU also, but hey it was free. Reply
  • MMORPGOD - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    I like chance but wish like the others have said that it went to someone who could use.

    I would trade up my amd64 3200 939 rig in a heartbeat, 10yrs old and still ticking with a HD 3650 agp card to keep her going, can play crysis low and most games decently still. Reason why an old PC user such as my self keeps coming back to Anandtech is because I enjoy the articles and seeing technology come around. A fixed income sure hurts though when you see all these toys. =(
  • Narcofis - Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - link

    I feel the pain too. I have your same exact rig except I got an amd 4000+ (939). Reply
  • Boyne7 - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    the pics really show just how poor of a build the ibuypower rig is, even compared to your home built machine the ibuypower looks cluttered and obviously was thrown together in about 5 minutes, whereas you took time to do cable management and keep things tidy. Bravo to you, boo on ibuypower. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link


    Thanks for the write-up on the system. Yes we are all jealous so ignore some of the nastier comments, they are just bitter. As to my post there are 3 things I wanted to bring up.

    1. The dust issue. I dislike filters as they require very frequent cleaning and depending on where you have the computer (mine for instance is under the table in a cubby-hole) it may be more trouble than it's worse. The problem, obviously, is that dust is a great insulator and even a moderate coating on a heatsink/chip can greatly increase the temperature of the component. There really is no way to vacuum up dust, it's stuck on the components well. What I now do to make my system look like new is to use an air compressor with a low-flow nozzle. Just take the system outside and in 2 minutes you'll have a completely clean system. Heatsink fins are always a major culprit to house dirt since they "filter" it, and the air compressor method works wonders.

    2. The liquid cooling system. I remember back when a similar iBuyPower system was reviewed by Anandtech (can't remember the exact author), but in the comments section I specifically mentioned the cooling system looked...underwhelming. The large number of fins on the radiator and single fan was not going to be up to the task, and I remember the review had shown a very high idle temp, even at stock speeds. You did a great job easily increasing the efficiency of the cooler by adding the push fan. There was just no way a single fan was going to be able to create a strong enough pull to do anything other than keeping the system from frying.

    3. Cable management- I too was shocked at how poor the cabling was. I would have thought the need for good PR in a contest would have had iBuyPower go the extra mile to show just how good it could get. I'm going to go back and look at the system they sent to Anandtech for review. I'm positive the cabling for that system was done properly, which shows if you're not a reviewer, this is how your system will look out of the box. Shame, shame.

    OK, thanks for the update and Anandtech for posting the minireview.
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    So I went back and take a look at the systems sent to Anandtech for review:

    Here's one of an upper-midrange system (which I would say the contest system falls under though this used standard air cooling):">

    And here was a top of the line monster:">

    This is one of the downsides to reviewing systems/components that are SENT by manufacturers/companies. They will cherry-pick and give extra attention on the hopes that a prospective buyer will think they will receive the same thing. Not so in this case it seems.
  • Possum - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    I agree that much more attention was paid to the cabling of those systems compared to the one I received. One thing to mention is that there is no way that the cabling could end up looking nearly as clean in my system due to the NZXT Guardian 921 case being much more cramped inside without any cable management options. When I re-arranged the hard drives and re-routed the cabling, I had route the stiff power supply cables away from the back of the drives so they wouldn't put stress the SATA cables attached to the very fragile SATA connectors. Reply
  • mubeen - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    Really lucky guy. I mean your old system was good enough. Still you get a better one. Thumbs up Bro. Reply
  • papapapapapapapababy - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    1. DUST FILTERS - dust, your old pc is disgusting

    2. CABLE MANAGEMENT- clutter, your new pc is disgusting

    3 I SEE A PATTERN HERE- lazy user is lazy

    4 the end- yes im envious
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Please dear lord get some fan filters on your new gear. Your old case is dusty!

    And congrats :)
  • mindless1 - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Actually no, no it is not. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a light coating of dust and that barely even qualifies as a light coating of dust.

    Know what would be worse? Same cleaning interval but with filters instead, because then instead of X amount of dust scattered over several hundred cubic inches of space, it would be concentrated on a very small filter intake area effectively cutting airflow, worsening cooling far more.

    Granted, cleaning out the filter is easier, but at that dust level per build period, it would probably not need dusted out at all before the next upgrdae.
  • marc1000 - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    oh, no! dust IS terrible, and filters DO WORK. I have a small case with a uATX board on it. My case only has 2 intake fans (1 92mm and 1 120mm) and the only exausts are the PSU and the GPU (1 120mm and 1 70mm-blower). Hence my case has a POSITIVE air pressure, because there is more air entering through the intakes than there is air leaving. I have dust filters on both the intake fans. only a very fine coating of dust will pass the filters, so the whole case stays "clean enough", even after a full year without cleaning the filters.

    If I go back in time to when I did not have those filters, the dust on a old system with more exaust than intake (negative pressure) would build up on the components and in some points the coating got some milimeters thick.

    Well, I blew away the original topic. But the filters are nice, everyone should use them :-P
  • Possum - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    The Cooler Master CM-690 is a VERY porous case. Dust filters would have to be placed on the entire front panel, the side panel, the bottom, and half of the top panel where there aren't exhaust fans. My cooling system was configured for negative pressure: one intake fan in the front, the power supply fan intake in the bottom, one powerful exhaust fan in the rear, and two exhaust fans at the top.
  • marc1000 - Thursday, December 24, 2009 - link

    Hi Possum. My case is very porous too, that's the reason I configured it for positive pressure. Cold air only enters through the fans (with filters), and hot air leaves on every little hole around the chassis (without filters - not needed on exausts if the intake is filtered). Yet, there is very little dust inside my case, and I got some very good temps (mainly because the tow intake fans blow directly over the CPU area). Make an experimentation yourself: run orthos/prime for a few minutes and note the CPU temp. then reverse the two top fans of your case and stress the CPU again and take the new temp (don't worry with filters by now). If you can, come back here and post the results. After you are convinced that positive pressure is good, then you will realize you can have a clean case as a wonderful "side effect" of it. =D

    BTW: I tested positive-vs-negative pressure by reversing both my fans to exaust, and measuring the temps of my old GPU (R3850 without blower), with positive pressure the temps were 2 to 3ºC cooler all the time (the CPU was only slightly affected because it was using a supersized cooler at that time. now i'm overclocking it so it might have a bigger difference too).
  • Possum - Thursday, December 24, 2009 - link

    marc, thanks for sharing the results of your temperature testing. When I built the Q6600 system into the Cooler Master 690, I was aware of the dust disadvantage of using negative pressure for cooling. I had read an article that tested and concluded that negative pressure gave the most complete air circulation within a case, hence a better cooling effect. The trade off of extra dust intake for better cooling seemed worth it to me. I never actually did my own comparison test of positive versus negative pressure, but next time maybe I will. Dust gathering at every possible air path into the case does indeed look unsightly. Reply
  • cmajewsk - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    His old system is less than a year old, and now he wins this? Where is the justice in this world???? Reply
  • Possum - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    My old system was built at the beginning of January 2008, originally with an 8800GT that was upgraded to an HD4870 in July 2008. I'm currently on a three year CPU/motherboard/RAM upgrade cycle (it was 1.5 years back in college, but hardware was changing very quickly back then). Winning this system pushed forward the upgrade by about a year. Reply
  • wizdum - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Agreed! Reply
  • marc1000 - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    think like the indians: it's CARMA!

  • Stas - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    that case... i'm gonna throw up. Reply
  • lebarle - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Ah man I wanted that system. I like the SSD and the water cooler is cool. Very nice prize.

    The other readers are right. You did an excellent report with great photos, and the wiring looks much better after you straightened it up.

  • Possum - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Thanks for the compliments. Words don't easily flow from my mind when I try to write, but I figured I should put in the effort after winning such a huge prize.

    First an update to the i7 870 overclock:
    Apparently IntelBurnTest does not work to test complete system stability. Even after completely another 20 tests at maximum stress level, my computer would randomly reboot while idling. I had to drop the BCLK down to 178, leaving the multiplier at 22, for an overclock of 3.916 GHz. This time, in addition to running IntelBurnTest with 20 passes to test stability, I ran Prime95 for almost a day. No random reboots yet, so this is where I've left the overclock.

    An update to the underperforming XFX HD4890:
    I contacted XFX tech support via their website system, explained the situation of having won the video card and not having an invoice, and they quickly created an RMA case for me to send in the card. XFX is local to me in southern California, so they had the card the day after I shipped it. The RMA department tested the card, confirmed that it was faulty, and sent me a replacement. The total time between initial contact and receipt of the replacement was five days. Pretty fast!

    I re-ran the 3DMark06 and Far Cry 2 benchmarks and saw what was expected. I don't have the exact numbers in front of me here at work, but the Core i7 system scored a solid 3000 points higher in 3DMark06 and about 10% higher in Far Cry 2 over my old system.

  • Lifted - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    did ibuypower tell you to contact XFX directly, or did you simply avoid them and go straight to the source? Reply
  • Possum - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    I went directly to XFX. If I had purchased the system myself, I would definitely have contacted iBuyPower first. Reply
  • marc1000 - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    congrats on the system and on the report! when I read about the gpu performance I would suggest to you to try lower the BCLK, because I believe the GPU may work strangely with non-standard speeds. I have a relatively old c2d, and overclocked the FSB from 333 to 350mhz. The GPU score in 3dmark06 went slightly down, but the CPU score went up as expected. I will try different speeds to see if this is a trend or only a coincidence. But I'm glad to know the actual problem of your system was on the gpu, and it was quickly replaced. Reply
  • Possum - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    Thanks for the BCLK heads up. If I didn't have an HD4870 and another system to swap cards for a direct comparison, it would've been much harder to pinpoint the source of the problem, nevermind detecting the problem in the first place. Reply
  • TFHX2 - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Worst cabling job EVER! No wonder IBuyPower is a tier 2(or 3?) boutique builder. Reply
  • Inkjammer - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    I thought that was a user cabling job at first, so it didn't bother me, but if that's how iBuyPower cables their systems... oi vey, that's horrific. Reply
  • Lifted - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Agreed. I've never seen such a horrendous cabling job, even from the no-name white box manufacturers. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Orange lighting would have been sooo much cooler. Blue is a little...too common. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    I'm still curious as to how much Anandtech paid you to report on your awesome prize... Reply
  • Narcofis - Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - link

    LOL, a new computer. Reply
  • floersch - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Terrific pictures and account, Gregory! It's hard to imagine a better report from a randomly selected reader of AnandTech. Thanks! Reply
  • floersch - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Terrific pictures and account, Gregory! It's hard to imagine a better report from a randomly selected reader of Anandtech. Thanks! Reply
  • formulav8 - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Yeps, impressive Reply
  • Spacecomber - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Just a another "me too" post. Thanks for providing with the rest of us with a follow-up report on your new computer. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    I wish the PC would have gone to someone using an older system than an OC'd Q6600 though. I'd trade you my Athlon dual-core system for your "old" quad core one. Reply
  • waykizool - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    I'll trade you my P4 for your dual if you got the quad... Reply
  • icrf - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    No joke, better than I'd of done. Glad to see it going to a connoisseur. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    I believe you, because "I would have" cannot be shortened into "I'd of". Reply
  • mindless1 - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Look again, it just was! Reply
  • icrf - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    In informal speech and internet comments, it sure can. My grammar nazi hat is not permanently affixed. Reply
  • Minion4Hire - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    It sure can't. "I would have" could be shortened to "I'd have" but "I'd of" is basically nonsensical.

    My hat IS permanently affixed. =P
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Is it possible to whack the Radeon 4870 and 4890 in Crossfire? - because I would be doing that if it was!

    Also, Anandtech... It would be nice if you had a few competitions world wide! :) - Especially Australia!
  • gnesterenko - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Yes, but the 4890 would get throttled down to the speed of the 4870, so essentialy you'd be running a 4870x2 setup - still very nice however... Reply

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