Wired2Fire Hellspawn Predator review
Wired2Fire’s base unit coaxes 4.8GHz out of its Ivy Bridge processor with barely a whisper from its cooling fans
Review Date: 27 Apr 2012
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £979 (£1,175 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
If we hadn’t already written about it, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the Hellspawn Predator was filled with cutting-edge hardware. Wired2Fire has employed Corsair’s new Carbide Series 300R chassis, and after some of the king-size desktop PCs we’ve seen in recent months, it’s a refreshingly compact and rather understated affair.
Inside, the build is immaculate. Every cable is neatly routed out of sight behind the motherboard and, despite the Corsair’s relatively compact dimensions, generous venting around the chassis provides plenty of airflow. Those looking to upgrade to a dual graphics card setup will welcome the opportunity to attach a further two 120mm or 140mm fans to the side panel or add another two to the roof above.
Elsewhere, there’s little lacking. A Blu-ray reader leaves two 5.25in drive bays empty below, and inside there’s enough room for another two side-mounted hard drives beneath the SSD and HDD combo, each clipping in and out easily.
Almost completely concealed by the huge Be Quiet cooler is Asus’ P8Z77-V Pro motherboard, and there’s no shortage of connectivity, with four USB 3 ports and two USB 2 ports at the rear, and a further two front-facing USB 3 ports courtesy of the Corsair’s front panel. Meanwhile, the spare PCI Express 16x slot provides a future upgrade path to CrossFire for those craving more graphical grunt.
Those expecting Ivy Bridge to deliver an almighty performance increase may come away disappointed, but Wired2Fire’s Hellspawn Predator still has plenty going for it. Despite a hefty overclock and serious reserves of power, the new 22nm processor has allowed Wired2Fire to create a compact, powerful system that’s both power-efficient and cool-running. If you’re looking for a high-powered base unit that doesn’t draw undue attention to itself, the Hellspawn Predator is one PC that should definitely make your shortlist.
Author: Sasha Muller
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