There are a few things that we tend to take for granted in life: death, taxes, and a lack of overclocking support on PCs from major OEMs. Certainly, there are many people that don't need overclocking, and those are exactly the people that tend to purchase name brand PCs in the first place. If your typical computer use doesn't get much more complex than surfing the Internet, the difference between a massively overclocked CPU and the stock configuration is hardly going to be noticeable. What's more, overclocking tends to come with drawbacks. System stability is frequently suspect, and outside of a few boutique computer shops that factory overclock systems, you will generally void your warranty by overclocking.

Conversely, overclocking gives those willing to take a chance the ability to squeeze extra performance out of even the top performing parts. Alternately, consumers can save money by purchasing a cheaper processor and running it at speeds that would normally cost two or three times as much. Intel's latest Core 2 processors have rekindled interest in overclocking, in part simply because they overclock so well. In the past, the benchmark for highly overclockable chips has generally been set at 50% or more, with good overclocking chips achieving a 25% to 50% overclock. Core 2 Duo blows away some of these old conventions, with some chips like the E4300 managing even massive 100% overclocks! And they manage this without breaking a sweat. With chips that overclock so well, it seems a shame to run them at stock speeds.

Over the years, we have seen a few factory overclocked systems, but rarely from a major OEM. The big OEMs like Dell, Gateway, HP, etc. tend to play it safe, but Gateway has broken with tradition by releasing a significantly overclocked Core 2 Extreme QX6700 system. What's more, they have done it at a price that is likely to turn a lot of heads - and yes, the factory warranty remains intact. We talked in the past about the type of people that actually can make use of a quad core system, and the people that are likely to want a quad core processor are often the people that stand to benefit the most from additional performance courtesy of overclocking. With Intel's QX6700 already reigning supreme as the fastest multi-core configuration on the market, why not add another 20% performance? We've seen similar configurations for sale from boutique manufacturers, often with astronomical prices. While the QX6700 certainly won't be cheap no matter how you slice it, Gateway offers their 20% overclock for a modest $100 price increase. Considering the price difference between the Q6600 and the QX6700 is $150 for a 266 MHz speed increase, doubling that speed increase for a mere $100 is a real bargain!

A super fast processor sounds great, especially if it still carries a factory warranty. However, warranties don't mean a lot if the system won't run stable. Besides the processor, however, there are many other components that can affect system performance. The type of work you plan on doing with the computer will also affect how much benefit a fast CPU gets you. We'll assume right now that anyone planning on purchasing a quad core system routinely needs a lot of CPU power, but unfortunately there are still CPU intensive tasks that can't properly utilize multiple processor cores. In order to see just how much faster this Gateway system is compared to other options, we will be comparing performance results with the test systems used in our AMD Quad FX article. Before we get to the actual performance, however, let's take a closer look at the FX530.

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  • Tuvoc - Saturday, February 17, 2007 - link

    Thanks for that.
    Presumably there was no evidence of throttling while you were testing ? I'm surprised at 1.45v on air at 3.2 that it stayed cool enough. Maybe the BTX case design helps a lot

    I have an Intel Quad Core on an ASUS P5N-E SLI 650i which you've reviewed. With vcore on auto (which os presumably the default 1.35v), CPU-Z reports as low as 1.20v under full load, from a starting value of about 1.28 (vdroop on this board is a little higher than normal as you found in your review). But the difference between the Gateway 1.45v BIOS setting and the CPU-Z figure of 1.238v is extreme...

    Now if only I could get a proper coretemp program to monitor temps under Vista x64..... (I mean proper core temps, not ASUS Probe temps..)
  • PrinceGaz - Saturday, February 10, 2007 - link

    I know it is already overclocked to 3.2GHz, but it would have been nice if you reported the core-temperatures and found out how much further it would overclock. Assuming of course the options were available in the BIOS for further overclocking and over-volting.
  • anandtech02148 - Saturday, February 10, 2007 - link

    Lianli Case would be luxury and modular. you can take out parts just so to fit a 8800gtx.

    $4000 to spend, there's a riches that this Gateway can only show with a quad cpu. no fancy rams or mobos.
  • Genx87 - Friday, February 9, 2007 - link

    Yup that's a Gateway. I hate their cases btw.

  • bamacre - Saturday, February 10, 2007 - link

    Yeah, me too. I think as far as OEM's, Dell has the best cases, hands down.
  • Vidmar - Friday, February 9, 2007 - link

    One thing I didn't see mentioned in your article is that all Gateways are now being built (assembled) in the USA. Also all Gateway support is located in the USA as well. I think these two points are major pluses for that company.
  • Vidmar - Friday, February 9, 2007 - link

    Ahh now I do see a bit on the support "Finally, Gateway also makes a point that they now offer 100% North America based phone support, so that should generally keep the communication barrier down to a minimum".

  • Crassus - Friday, February 9, 2007 - link

    Revisiting the AMD Quad FX-74 power draw under load:

    When I looked at those numbers, suddenly a scene from one of the Harry Potter movies popped up in my mind. It's Harry waving his wand at something shouting "Ridiculous". In this case, it's a FX-74.

    For the record: I run a X2 and am pretty happy with it, and I'm not going to swap it out anytime soon.
  • shortylickens - Friday, February 9, 2007 - link

    This baby uses my companies memory.
  • Operandi - Friday, February 9, 2007 - link

    For $4,000 that is pretty blah looking box compared to an XPS or a Lian Li for your custom build.

    Also in regards to the PSU. Delta make very high quality units, much better then 90% of the "enthusiasts" class PSUs at any rate.

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