An entry-level workstation that squeezes even more out of Intel's Core i7 2600K CPU

  • Intel Core i7 2960XM Extreme Edition 2.70GHz
  • 16GB
  • Intel Core i7-2600K CPU (3.4GHz clocked to 4.7GHz) (Quad Core)
  • 16GB (4 x 4GB) Corsair DDR3 memory
  • Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z (Intel Z68) motherboard
  • 20GB Intel 311 Disk Caching SSD + 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200 SATA III drive
  • Nvidia Quadro 2000 (1GB) graphics card
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 3 year collect and return warranty (full parts and labour)
  • £1,184

Having made its name in high-performance gaming PCs, AEC Magazine debutant Wired2Fire has now turned its hand to CAD workstations.

The Wired2-3D Ultima is its latest single processor workstation, based on the ubiquitous quad core Intel Core i7 2600K. However, while the majority of workstation manufacturers overclock this chip to 4.5GHz, Wired2Fire has pushed things up a notch, guaranteeing 4.7GHz on all machines it ships. All the thermals are managed with air-cooling, a Thermaltake FRIO CPU Cooler to be precise, and a three-year collect and return warranty (full parts and labour) is included to give customers peace of mind.

Elsewhere, the Ultima has many other characteristics of a performance CAD workstation. It has been kitted out with 16GB DDR3 memory to handle sizeable 3D datasets. For graphics, the popular Nvidia Quadro 2000 is a solid mainstream CAD performer.

One area where the Wired2-3D Ultima does not conform to type is in storage. It makes use of Intel’s new Smart Response Technology (SRT), a cost saving feature of the Intel Z68 chipset, which allows a solid-state drive (SSD) to function as cache for a traditional mechanical drive. It means commonly used applications and datasets will load faster, even after reboot. We did not test this system scientifically, but applications did feel responsive and OS boot time was quick. There is an interesting article on ( that explains this in more depth.

In summary, the Wired2-3D Ultima looks to be a capable performance CAD workstation that boasts the fastest overclocked Intel Core i7 2600K processor we have ever seen. Greg Corke