It didn't take long for boutique PC companies to take advantage of the overclocking potential in Intel's fastest Sandy Bridge processor, the Core i7-2600K. (The "K" standing for an unlocked multiplier, which eases user overclocking.) Both Maingear and Origin PC have announced that their gaming desktops will feature the new CPU, and both have tweaked it to 5GHz for select systems.
While Maingear is updating its whole desktop lineup to the new Sandy Bridge chips, performance fans will want to look for units that offer the i7-2600K running at that magic 5GHz threshold. The company put the processor through its paces at 4.8GHz, and it provided 37% faster 3D rendering, 36% faster CPU video encoding and 24% overall system performance over the stock 3.4GHz version, so 5GHz will provide even more oomph. Maingear desktops using these latest processors will be available starting on January 9.
The ninth is also the date you can get the i7-2600K in Origin's Genesis and Big O desktops. In fact, the company is promising that it's overclocked it beyond 5GHz, though it doesn't say how much more. It does say the overclocking passes all of its stability tests, however. The lineups feature up to Three-Way SLI for graphics and customized liquid cooling, which in the case of the Big O, extends to the Xbox 360 that's also included in the chassis.
Pricing for these refreshed systems hasn't been announced yet by either company, but it will be interesting to see how much they'll cost with the i7-2600K instead of a six-core Intel Extreme Edition processor inside.