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X79 overclocking just became affordable

The most powerful chip that most of us will consider buying is the Intel Core i7 3770k. It's fast, powerful and lives at the top end of affordable. Similarly, the Z77 is a great chipset. But, between them, there is one area where that kind of combination needs to bow down: Memory. Aria has a new solution to the problem. KitGuru brushes up on X79's features, advantages and benefits – just for you.

Borrowing a description from a Rolling Stones song, Intel has been around a good long year and it has delivered an interesting mix of brilliant and bland processors. Somewhere in there is a set of ‘unsung heroes'. Not the Q6660 D-Zero Stepping champions, but ones that offer a significant advantage in just one or two areas – which might be enough for you.

The Core i7 3820 takes us back to a Britain covered in thick snow at the start of 2012. KitGuru took an in-depth look at the 32nm X79 chip on an Asrock Extreme4-M board. Performance was impressive, but the pricing for the overall solution was against it.  At launch, you could easily pay £200 for an X79 mainboard and £260 for the processor itself. That's close to £500 and all you have is a board and chip. Now it's around £340. Interesting?  Read on.

In a pure fire fight, you will find Intel chips that can beat the Core i7 3820, but if you wanted to push a serious amount of data through some hardcore processing – for example serious video – then this set up is very powerful. Here are the results we achieved at the time:-

Simply put, this chip is a little more badass than the name leads you to believe. We're thinking 'Honda Civic Type R'.

Head to head, put alongside the Core i7 3770k, Intel's 3820's extra cache and improved memory throughput, means it can hold its own in the right kind of tests.

Right now, Aria is offering the Intel Core i7 3820 at £212 with the Gigabyte X79-UD3 at just £119. That's a full X79 overclocking platform for less than the price of some X77 board.

OK. You're gonna ask. Why no ‘K' in the name ?  One of KitGuru's operatives spoke with an Intel guru and we were told that ‘K' only applies to ‘Multiplier Unlocked' – but you can get the juice from a 3820 using dark arts. Nuff said. Click on the pick for more details on the offer itself.

If you want to put 32GB into an overclocked X79 machine without breaking the (memory) bank - here's an idea

KitGuru Says: If you are a Digital Content Creator looking for a new system, this Core i7 3820 offer has to be on your short list. One of the few programs to eat whatever memory you have on offer is Adobe After Effects – with X79 you can double the amount of RAM in your machine AND double the theoretical bandwidth.

Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.

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