Speed Demon

We remember the good old days, when computers ran at 333MHz, or 1GHz, or 1.2GHz, and you knew exactly where you stood. Now, though, this multi-core business means you could buy a dual-core machine at 2.5GHz and a quad-core at 1.8GHz and the second one would be faster, though if you ask someone 'how fast, exactly,' no-one can really explain it.

Anyway, the point is testing the speed of PCs is getting more complicated. However, we're pretty sure that 4.6GHz is crazy fast, and a 4.6GHz six-core processor is even faster.

So speed freaks might want to try out this new Digital Storm gaming PC. (Digital Storm is the faintly ridiculous manufacturer name, not the PC's name.) It packs a six-core Intel Core i7-980X processor, in addition to three 'NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 (1.5GB) GPUs' whatever that means (OK, they're graphics chips), and 6GB of RAM. That ought to be enough for lightning speed, but just to be safe, Digital Storm have 'overclocked' it all (meaning, setting up the processors to run a bit faster than the maker intended) for extra oomph.

By rights, this baby ought to explode when you start it up, there's so much going on. But a nifty liquid-cooling system - you know, like in your fridge - keeps it all humming along. All in all, get yourself this for Christmas and you should be sorted for gaming gear for a good few years.

There's just one catch: the price. How high? Try used car territory: $6,903, or over £5500. There are a couple of slightly less freakish alternatives, though, starting at an only marginally more sane $3899.

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