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Uberclok Ion review: Uberclok Ion

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The Good Strong, affordable gaming configuration with overclocked CPU and GPU; accessible Web site makes shopping for a system easy; upgrade room thanks to SLI-capable motherboard.

The Bad Difficult to add second hard drive; clunky-looking case.

The Bottom Line Thanks to its overclocked CPU and 3D card, the Uberclok Ion delivers excellent performance for its price. It also offers a reliable upgrade path due to its SLI motherboard. We also like its Web site. We'd like to see more from Uberclok before we make too strong a recommendation, but this system makes a great first impression.

Visit for details.

7.7 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Support 7

Review Sections

It seems like every day we get a pitch from a new desktop vendor wanting us to review their "fully customizable, blazing-fast gaming PC." Few of those vendors, however, seem to know how to make an accessible Web site from which to purchase their products. Uberclok is a pleasant exception. We are happy enough with the $1,999 Ion submitted to us, and if you're in the market for a midrange, overclocked gaming PC, we'd certainly recommend you include this one as you make your comparisons. We expect you'll also appreciate that Uberclok's Web site also makes it easy to know what you're buying.

The Ion is Uberclock's midrange gaming desktop, and you can't purchase it without both the CPU and the graphics card overclocked. The starting price for the Ion is $1,629, and with upgrades you can get it to over $4,000, but that's as high as you can go. Our review unit comes in at a reasonable $1,999 and includes upgrades to the processor and the hard drive. It is also a dual-boot system, with both Windows XP Professional and Windows Vista Home Premium installed.

  Uberclok Ion Gateway FX7020
Price $1,999 $1,099
CPU 3.2Ghz Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (overclocked) 2.3GHz AMD Phenom 9600
Memory 2GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM 3GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
Graphics 512MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT (overclocked) 512MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
Hard drives 500GB, 7,200 rpm 500GB, 7,200 rpm
Optical drive Dual-layer DVD burner, DVD-ROM drive Dual-layer DVD burner
Networking Gigabit Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium / Windows XP Professional Windows Vista Home Premium
TV Tuner NA Integrated ATSC/NTSC tuner

We compare the Uberclok to the less-expensive Gateway FX7020 as these two systems are the first to complete our newest 3D gaming benchmarks. It's also instructive to see what you get in the Uberclok for an extra $900. Compared to the Gateway's AMD Phenom 9600 quad-core chip, the Ion's higher-end Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor (overclocked from 2.66GHz to 3.2Ghz) helps it stand out on our performance tests. And while Uberclok isn't the only vendor to offer a dual-boot option, none of the mainstream desktop vendors do. Windows Vista gaming has become less of a gamble than it used to be, but we can certainly understand sticking to your XP guns, as well.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Uberclok Ion
Dell XPS 420

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Uberclok Ion
Dell XPS 420

Multimedia multitasking (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Uberclok Ion
Dell XPS 420

(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering multiple CPUs  
Rendering single CPU  
Uberclok Ion
Dell XPS 420
Gateway FX7020

On our application tests, the Uberclok won across the board, not only beating the less-expensive Gateway, but also taking on the $2,279 Dell XPS 420 and the $1,999 Velocity Micro ProMagix E2240. Both the Dell and the Velocity Micro systems also feature Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU, although neither is overclocked. That the Uberclok wins on all of our performance tests speaks well of its overall value.

Unreal Tournament 3 (frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Uberclok Ion
Gateway FX7020

Crysis (frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Uberclok Ion
Gateway FX7020

World in Conflict (frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Uberclok Ion
Gateway FX7020

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