Around the time of the Athlon64 and Athlon64 FX launch on September 23rd, we were talking with Elite PC about evaluating a full-blown gaming system that they were planning to build around the Athlon64 FX. There were several delays due to Elite PC's desire to use a Dual Socket 940 board and the new ATI Radeon XT. There were some difficulties with their early Dual boards and they wanted everything to be right before sending us a review system. When the system was finally shipped to AnandTech, there were several miscues as well. We really expected the Elite PC Titan FX to be the first full-size system review at AnandTech, but events conspired to delay it for a while. We do think, however, that you will agree that this is a system worth waiting for.

Elite PC is a web-based reseller that maintains a storefront in Tempe, Arizona. You can see, configure, and order systems at their website at www.elitepc.com. The System we are evaluating is their top gaming system, the Titan FX, and you can see the available options and prices at the Titan FX page. Since Elite PC also maintains a 20-station LAN Center that is open 7 days a week for LAN Gaming, it is clear that they have a very good idea of what most gamers want in a gaming PC.

The Titan FX is built around the Dual Processor version of the MSI K8T Master motherboard. While Elite PC normally ships the system with one Athlon64 FX CPU, they wanted to give gamers the option for a future upgrade to Dual Opteron chips. In addition, the rest of the top-of-the-line features include 1GB of high-speed Registered DDR400 memory, SATA RAID 0 with 2 Western Digital Raptor 10,000RPM hard drives, ATI Radeon XT 256Mb, Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, MSI TV@nywhere card with Remote Control, Sony DVD +/- burner, 16X DVD, USB Multi-flash reader, 120mm Case fan, blue case lighting, and Windows XP Professional, all wrapped in a silver and black Chenbro Xpider case with a 460-watt power supply and a 3-year onsite warranty.

UPDATE 12/01/2003: Elite PC has provided an update on Dual Processor usage. "The only AMD processors that can be run in DUAL mode are the 200 and 800 series Opteron processors. The motherboard in the Titan FX machine will run all 940 pin processors, however only the 200 and 800 series Opteron processors will run as Dual processors." AnandTech just tried to benchmark the Titan FX system with 2 FX51, and while the system worked, the boot screen only identified ONE CPU even though two were installed. Oddly, the few benchmarks we ran were higher than single CPU, but not at the levels we would expect with Dual Opteron chips. Elite PC recommends the 200 or 800 Opterons for Dual CPU operation.


We asked Elite PC to ship us the system without a monitor and speakers for our testing. Gamers often already have a monitor and speaker system, but they can also choose from a wide array of CRTs or flat panel monitors, and select whatever they prefer for speakers. All the peripherals are in black to complement the silver and black chassis. While this was written, the price for the Titan FX, exactly as reviewed is $2999.99. This is for the base tower, and does not include monitor, speakers, keyboard, or pointing device. It does include a 3-year Warranty with On-Site Service.

In keeping with the AnandTech policy regarding complete systems, we evaluated the Elite PC Titan FX as it is received. While we do make driver and minor OS adjustments to be consistent with other testing done at Anandtech, we test the actual system, video card, and hard drives as received. This gives readers results that truly reflect performance of the system. We compare results to other similar systems that we have tested, and also compare results to the best components (motherboards) we have tested that use similar components. This differs from our test procedures with barebone SFF systems. Small Form Factor systems are usually sold as basic barebones, and we use the same standardized components in their build to allow better performance and noise-level comparisons.

System Specifications


 System Specifications
   Elite PC Titan FX  Dell Dimension XPS
Expansion Bays (5.25"/3.5"/Hidden) 4/1/6 3/1/3
Front USB Ports 3 2
Rear USB Ports 2 6
Internal USB Ports 0 0
Front Firewire Ports 1 Standard 1 Standard
Rear Firewire Ports 1 Standard 1 Standard
On-Board Parallel Port 1 Rear 1 Rear
On-Board Game Port 1 Rear None
Modem Ports None 2 Rear
Video Ports ATI XT Analog/Digital/SVGA
MSI @nywhere TV card
Rear SVGA, Coax, 2 Mini Jacks
ATI XT Analog/Digital/SVGA
On-Board Serial Ports 2 Rear 2 Rear
Front Audio Jacks 2 — Headphone and Mic 2 — Headphone
Rear Audio Jacks 6 Mini on Audigy 2 6 Mini on Audigy 2
SPDIF One — Rear
Mini Out
One — Rear
Mini Out
Number of Fans (including CPU/chipset) 3 — 70mm CPU, 80mm intake, 120mm out 4
Power Supply 460W 460W

Elite PC Titan FX: Chenbro Xpider Chassis
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  • tfranzese - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    If you people actaully read the FX articles posted you would find that their HT links are still intact and the chip is multiple processor capable.

    Either way, if in the future it isn't, that doesn't mean that because you bought a single chip computer that because you have a dually board that you've been shafted. You're stupid if you think that. It probably saves ElitePC time and money to buy in bulk the MSI's and just use them for all their systems.
    Reply
  • Doop - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    Sorry if I sound ignorant but the Athlon FX is not multiprocessor compatible? So you buy this system then when you want to add a second processor you have to buy 2 and sell the Athlon FX?

    I may be wrong about that but I'm pretty sure...
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    I have both the MSI and Sony DVD writers. They are identical :) (roundup coming up soon!)

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • destaccado - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    well looks like elitepc is trying to save a few dollars already, the computer does not come with a sony dvd writer, it's msi (check their site) and on top of that it doesn't list the name brand for the power supply or the dvd-rom, also you can't even configure it with a second athlon fx although this might not be fair to fault them for since you may be able to over the phone........check reseller ratings.... Reply
  • destaccado - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    Wow after looking at reseller ratings I don't see how you guys can in good faith recommend them .....a 4.67 lifetime rating? That's pathetic even if it is 20 something odd reviews, obviously their customers don't care to rate them very high, or at all, and on top of that- according to their warranty on their website they reserve the right to simply pay for shipping in leau of on-site service so I'm guessing anyone who doesn't live in Az isn't getting a tech to their home and the service is definately not overnight.....It's ok though I understand you guys can't rip their pc and you gave me a good idea of the fx performance..... Reply
  • Anubis - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    are we gonna see a test with 2 CPUs?? i like to see thoes scores

    also 300$ is a good deal because the dell XPX is that expensive and so are similar comps from Falcon NW and Voodoo PC as well as others that offer super high end gameing systems. compaired to a 6000$ FNW 3000$ is a steal
    Reply
  • Oxonium - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    That's the first thing I thought of when I saw this review. You CAN'T upgrade to dual Athlon 64 FX. The extra HT links are disabled. An upgrade to the Opteron 2xx series would be needed. I'm surprised that ElitePC went through all the trouble to use a dual board but doesn't offer an option to order dual processors on their configuration page. Strange. Reply
  • acemcmac - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    How is 3000$ a "value" with ANY loadout? A fully pimped 875 rig will only run you 1500$ tops retail, and it will prolly be useful for top of of the line games just as long too... Reply
  • Shinei - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    Yeah, it's gotta be the XT; there's no way it could be the beast that it is without it... Though even with a Pro instead of an XT that's still downright BRUTAL performance.
    What makes me curious is why they made the motherboard a dualie; AFX is basically a 14x Opteron chip, so it can't link up between processors... Unless they figured out how to re-enable those other two HT links?
    Reply
  • Booja555 - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    What GPU does it use? on page one you say ATIR 9800XT, on page 2 you say ATIR 9800Pro.
    Somehow I get the feeling that it's the XT, looking at all the other specs a pro would be an unecasary bottleneck.
    Reply

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