Buying Guide: Gaming PCs For Hardcore Gamers' Dreams (Part 4) - Yoyotech Warbird 3570XTA

10/3/2012 9:15:09 AM

The Warbird 3570XTA is one of the least expensive systems in our group test, and on looks alone you'd probably guess that. However, this is a complete and solid-performing system out of the box.

The Gigabyte Luxo X10 system case includes minimal cable management, and there are no perpendicular drive bays for easy access. Oddly, its motherboard sits upside down.

Description: Yoyotech Warbird 3570XTA

Yoyotech Warbird 3570XTA

An Arctic Freezer cooler has enabled YoYoTech to push its 3.4GHz i5-3570K to an impressive 4.5GHz, equal to that of CyberPower's liquid-cooled PC. It was still beaten by the Arbico and Dino PC in World Bench 6, but it turned in a respectable 209-point score - an impressive result for a system with 'only' 8GB of RAM.

YoYoTech has selected the same Asus P8Z77V-LX motherboard as Arbico. It's a feature-rich board, but not as enthusiast-friendly as the non-LX or Pro editions, which offer additional features and superior overclocking assistance.

A PNY nVidia GeForce GTX 670 graphics card delivered very good gaming performance in our tests. It's a little slower than the Arbico's GeForce GTX 680, but a lot less expensive, enabling YoYoTech to include a 23.6in Asus VS247H full-HD monitor and a wired mouse and keyboard, yet still keep the price reasonably low.

Description: Yoyotech Warbird 3570XTA

Yoyotech Warbird 3570XTA

Verdict: Offering excellent value for money and strong performance the YoYoTech Warbird 3570XTA is a costing just $1,803. The system case leaves a little to be desired, but looks aren’t everything.


Price: $1,803


Build: 6/10

Features: 8/10

Performance: 8/10

Value: 8/10

Overall: 10/10



Ivy Bridge chips don't overclock to the same extent as their older Sandy Bridge siblings, yet they offer increased performance as standard and at any given speed.

The processor speed isn't always a good indicator of overall system performance in any case, so don’t jump at the chance to buy a 4.5GHz machine over a potentially faster 4.4GHz system.

Description: World Bench 6

For gaming systems, the graphics card has a greater impact on performance than the processor. nVidia's GeForce GTX 680 is the fastest money can buy, but the GTX 670 is significantly cheaper and only slightly behind in performance.

Our group test covers gaming machines costing from $1803 to $2352. If that's way out of your price range, you can customise the specification to include a less powerful graphics card - often the most expensive component in a desktop PC.

Description: Crysis performance

If you want all-out speed, Arbico's Elite 5357 OCX is unbeatable both in application performance and those crucial gaming frame rates. It's one of the least expensive PCs here, but you'll need to factor in the price of a monitor, keyboard and mouse if you don't already have them.

If you love to upgrade and tinker with your PC, CyberPower's Fang III Rattler offers by far the most impressive system case in our round-up. With plenty of room inside and easy-swap drive bays, it’ll prove a doddle to upgrade the components. It also comes with a superior Pro version of Asus’ popular P8Z77 motherboard.

Description: Power consumption

If you want the minimum spend, but crave high performance, take a look at YoYo Tech’s Warbird 3570XTA. It comes in a less impressive case and isn’t as easy to upgrade, but delivers great performance and a full set of peripherals. Watch out for dust build-up over time, though, as the 4.5GHz overclock is rather ambitious for an air-cooled system in such a small case.

How We Test

Application performance

Core system performance is measured using World Bench 6. This customised test suite runs several desktop Windows applications with real-world workloads, mimicking how PCs are used on a daily basis.

Results from 10 individual tests are combined and weighted to produce a numerical score relative to a baseline PC.

Our baseline configuration runs a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo E6600 processor, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, an nVidia GeForce 7900 GS graphics card, twin Western Digital Caviar WD3200KS hard drives in a striped Raid array, and Windows Vista Home Premium 32bit. This PC scored 100 points in World Bench 6.

Gaming performance

We use two games to evaluate performance. Stalker: Call of Pripyat was chosen for its DirectX 11.0 requirement and simple-to-use benchmarking tool, while the older game Crysis remains sufficiently intensive to stretch modern graphics cards to their limit.

We crank up the quality levels to 1080p, then record framerates in Crysis at High, V High and V High (16x AA) settings, plus Ultra in Stalker.

Transcoding performance

Because you'll often be working with more than one video file format, we set each PC the task of converting a batch of 1080p Mpeg4 video clips for use on the iPad 2 and recorded how long it took to complete. We use Cyber Link's Media Espresso software.


Because gamers demand the best performance from their hardware, we allow vendors to overclock PCs in this category. We require that any tweaked component is designed for overclocking, and that the PC vendor offers a comprehensive warranty.

Power consumption

Overclocking and high-end graphics cards can place considerable demands on power. We measure the power consumption of the base PC unit and keyboard, excluding the monitors and speakers.

We set the PC to ‘High Performance’ mode in Windows, ensuring that its hard drive won't power down mid-test. We then measure the power consumption of the computer as it's sitting idle, since it's important that graphics subsystems don't consume unnecessary power when they're not driving games.

Next, we measure power consumption while the PC is running Media Espresso.

Subjective assessment

We pay close attention to the physical characteristics of each PC, its noise output and its build quality, delving inside the case and taking note of the quality of components used, cabling and airflow.

Good-quality peripherals are also important, and where they are supplied we note the ergonomics of the keyboard and mouse. Ordinary wireless keyboard and mouse combos are frowned upon, whereas fast, responsive peripherals will impress.


Differences in warranty terms can impact our scoring. Long warranties are sought after, but we also look at the terms and conditions - specifically, whether faulty systems must be returned to the vendor at your own cost and if both parts and labour are included. Ensure the vendor offers full software support and preferably a home installation for more complex systems.

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