The Easy Core i3 Upgrade?

Posted on 15th Jan 2010 at 12:59 by Clive Webster with 10 comments

Clive Webster
Now that Intel is done with releasing CPUs for the time being, we've got a chance to analyse the situation and see what's worth buying. For those on a budget, the Intel Core i3-530 is your best bet unless your budget is limited to £70 or so, in which case you'll have to look elsewhere. But I'm betting that if your budget is so tight that you can't go for the superior Intel Core i5-750, you haven't got fancy DDR3 memory or an LGA1156 motherboard. Enter the easy Core i3 upgrade bundle.

Comprising a Core i3-530, Gigabyte motherboard, 4GB of DDR3 memory and a cooler, OcUK's Core i3 bundle looks pretty good. As the kit is assembled at OcUK, you shouldn't have to do much fiddling to get the upgrade installed, and as a bonus the CPU is overclocked to 4GHz as standard. By knowing the overclocking potential of the CPU, the cooling ability of the cooler and the frequency of the memory, OcUK clearly feels confident that it can apply that overclock to every bundle.

The motherboard is Gigabyte's GA-H55M-UD2H, which is based on the Intel H55 chipset - we've had good experiences with Gigabyte's low-end motherboards in the past, so I'd guess that board would be decent. In fact, I'll probably ask for one to be sent in for testing any time now.

The cooler can either be Zalman's CNPS 10X Extreme or Corsair's Hydro H50. The bundle costs £350 inc VAT with the Zalman cooler which, while not the best ever, is at least fairly quiet and should handle the overclock without a problem. By adding the Corsair (surely overkill for a dual-core CPU, even if it is Hyper-Threaded?) you increase the price to £354 inc VAT.

The upgrade looks like a stress-free way to get Core i3 to me, but what do you think? Let us know below.


Discuss in the forums Reply
okenobi 15th January 2010, 13:16 Quote
Yes, it's cheap. But I wouldn't buy from OcUK. I still think a 530 with the P55-UD2 is a smart way to go, as there's room for an i5/i7 in the future.

I would also still like to see some numbers on i3-530 vs AMD Phenom II X2 550BE as budget options.

If Scan were to offer a bundle with a similar overclock and a Fenrir - that could well interest me.
Unknownsock 15th January 2010, 15:05 Quote
Well you can ask them to change certain partsd, such as a fenrir, not sure about memory but possibly.
I live next CCL but ocuk just cant be beat in price most of the time imo.
Cupboard 15th January 2010, 17:20 Quote
That is around the same price I got my i7 motherboard/CPU/RAM/cooler for.
It was most definitely second hand, the stepping is the older sort and the motherboard is a bit suspect but I would go for second hand faster over new, slower components any day.
Farfalho 15th January 2010, 18:01 Quote
OCuk sell pretty good bundle's and although I'm an AMD user, I think that is quite a bundle with out-of-store oc, you still got guarantee of that from OCuk although the manufacturer is gone. Pretty sweet actually
vampalan 16th January 2010, 15:27 Quote
A quick search for "online shop review" overclockers found:
dec 17th January 2010, 14:21 Quote
thats pretty bold. bringing 4ghz to the entry level. that takes the fun (and stress ) out of doing it yourself though.

@okenobi - i dont think we'll see that comparison because nehalem is so much better than K10.5 and 550BE are only $30 or so cheaper than i3-530's.
joco2_uk 18th January 2010, 10:58 Quote
It would still be interesting to see how far ahead it was compared to the 550BE
woodss 19th January 2010, 10:03 Quote
Originally Posted by vampalan
A quick search for "online shop review" overclockers found:

when they first started ocUK was a bit of a pain for me, but only in that 2 deliveries took 1 week each. But this was years ago and now they are flawless from my last few years using them, id rate them everytime.
okenobi 19th January 2010, 14:13 Quote
Originally Posted by woodss
when they first started ocUK was a bit of a pain for me, but only in that 2 deliveries took 1 week each. But this was years ago and now they are flawless from my last few years using them, id rate them everytime.

Well my bad experiences were a while ago too, but that kind of rep is hard to improve. Especially when the people you're now happy with haven't messed up yet.
Landy_Ed 20th January 2010, 22:58 Quote
Is it my imagination, or are the same combination of parts available from Scan for £42 less? in these forums I'd say that much of a variance is relevant!
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.

Discuss in the forums
Cougar Megara Review

Cougar Megara Review

27th April 2017

Synology DS216 Review

Synology DS216 Review

25th April 2017