A CAD workstation which delivers impressive performance at a sub £1,000 price point.
The Core i5 2500K is one of two Sandy Bridge chips that Intel has left unlocked and ready for overclocking. This is music to the ears of specialist system builders like InterPro, who has boosted the CPU from 3.3GHz to 4.3GHz and in the process produced an incredibly powerful entry-level machine out of a £150 processor.
The InterPro IPW-Ci7 handled our tests with aplomb, and for pure CAD showed that it stands shoulder to shoulder alongside Core i7-based systems. However, its lack of support for HyperThreading slowed things down a little in our 3ds Max rendering test. Nvidia’s new entry-level Quadro 600 graphics card delivered respectable frame rates in our 3D CAD test.
Despite its entry-level credentials, InterPro is still able to pack in a generous 8GB and keep its attractive sub-£1,000 price point. A new WD SATA-3 1TB hard drive gives plenty of no-frills storage.
Even with an overclocked CPU, the machine was incredibly quiet in operation. It is compact, well built and would be a great investment for entry-level CAD users.
However, even if you only dabble in rendering, an upgrade to the Core i7 2600K should be given serious consideration.