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  • ejiggyb - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Well consider I once paid $8,000.00 just for 8MB of RAM. Reply
  • Beenthere - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    They saw you coming... ;) Reply
  • FireX11 - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Why do they charge so much for this computer? I literally could of got the same thing at IronsideComputers.com for half the price, and what's the point of watercooled graphics cards if you're not going to overclock? Reply
  • trifecta88 - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    32GB of RAM for six cores and two radiators? Talk about overkill! Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Mick Romney just ordered one for each of his kids.

    But seriously...so thats what it costs to built the max of everything in a consumer-class PC. $8000.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    It's not the max, but it's close to the max for Puget. The max so far would be two GTX 590s instead of 580s. Reply
  • thetuna - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    And you'd have to max out the ram too.
    8GB dimms are available.
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I'm not sure the board would allow 64GB. You might be able to use 8GB dimms, but not fill all the slots. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I'd rather have two 6990s. If you can afford this system, you probably have several bigass monitors. 2GB of framebuffer vs 1.5GB is going to be useful at that point. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Flipping the AUSUM switch too, of course. Reply
  • neelwebs - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Me too. They should have two 6990s and 16GB of RAM instead of 32GB and two 580s. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Yup. Most games won't use more than 2GB, let alone 32GB, and somebody who actually will use that much RAM for video editing, image editing or CAD, or some such.. won't be be using a system like this. They'll have bought a Xeon workstation loaded out with RAM. Reply
  • inighthawki - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Considering that most games are still running 32-bit binaries, its literally impossible for most to use more than 4GB. But a lot of ram can have its advantages. Though this is clearly targeted towards gamers, it's certainly possible that this PC can make use of a lot of video encoding, CAD, and have a game open as well, which could push the limits of 8GB easily, especially if you turn off the paging file. Reply
  • Beenthere - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    ...or a proper gaming system instead of a hacked server platform. ;) Reply
  • DarkStryke - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    8K and you get a crappy low end case that isn't even painted in the interior, with some abhorrent wiring on the side window fan and nothing sleeved.

    You can build a rig yourself for close to half this with the exact same parts, then spend the extra $3k on a real enthusiast case, a high quality water loop with aquacomputer quality plated blocks and some high end sleeving (not to mention a better PSU like the seasonic 1k platinum).

    For a custom high end build this aesthetically looks like garbage, something you'd expect from a junior modder at best.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    The Antec P183 V3 is a "crappy low end case"? That's news to me.

    But whatever. I actually have this unit in house and while I disagree with the price, this is definitely one of the cleaner, nicer builds I've tested.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I agree with him in a sense. This is probably one of the fastest, neatest turnkey system you can buy, but there are some seriously nice things you can do if you go all custom, and get someone to custom fabricate bits for a high end case. Reply
  • Rick83 - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I got one even though I exclusively use the optical output for my Z-560s, because even though my mainboard's audio has a fancy 'SoundBlaster' branding, it doesn't support dolby-encoding of surround streams. The Xonar does have a license though, so that works.
    Additionally, I find having multiple soundcards rather convenipent, it allows me to use the onboard optical out to hook up a small digital head phone am.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    This system is just for bragging rights. No one who knows what they are doing with PCs would use an X79 and SB-E for gaming. At best this thing would make a poor server. Reply
  • fluxtatic - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Yeah, definitely a heinously expensive e-peen extender. I knew they'd come, but it doesn't make them any less ridiculous. I hope anyone that thinks this is a good idea buys one, as idiots deserve to lose thousands on poorly-conceived ideas.

    Really too bad there wasn't a better AMD system on comparison, too. I know AT is at the mercy of what gets sent to be reviewed, but this makes it look even worse. Give me numbers on a box with an X6 and a current GPU just so it's on level ground.

    And yes, I understand entirely that the SB procs here are quads...but I also know that AMD quads can't compete with SB, sadly.
    Reply
  • tiro_uspsss - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    "..and the wiring and liquid-cooling routing are top notch.."

    you've got to be joking right? its crap. very crap. super-duper crap given the cost of the system.

    seriously, on what the heck did you base that statement??
    Reply
  • LordanSS - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    My biggest concern... is something I have read about, regarding Koolance's products.

    From what I can gather, they make pretty decent copper water blocks. The issue is that their water blocks are made out of copper, the radiators are aluminum.

    Different metals... same loop... good idea? =/
    Reply
  • Snotling - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    the aluminum-copper thing would maybe become an issue if Such supercharged rigs lasted more than 5 years.

    sure you'll get a bit more oxidation and some of your conduits may get narrower over time but you'll still get decent cooling.
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I think the thermals would come into play too. Heat is still dissipated into the air and along the length of the material. The surface area of the material and amount of heat generated could be enough to handle the cooling required; of course, in lava everything burns. Reply
  • Beenthere - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I expect that water leaks will destroy the PC hardware long before five years so the electrolysis and corrosion issues from the different metals is a moot point as the system will be scraped long before then. This is a really bad PC system even at $2K. Reply
  • jonup - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    You can't help yourself mentioning the leaks, can you? :)

    Everyone,
    Water coolers leak! Just ask Beenthere.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Reality bites when you can't deal with it. ;) Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    Just toss some anti-corrosive in there and it should be good enough. Standard operating procedure when you build your own water cooling rig. Reply
  • Beenthere - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    Maybe throw some automotive stop leak in too, while you're at it? ;) Reply
  • hotsacoman - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Just donate the system to me and i'll support you lol Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    If I could keep it, why would I give it to you? ;) Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Umm, possibly a prize give away to the more active readers/forum participators/commenters? Reply
  • Onslaught2k3 - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    "We start at the top with Intel's shiny new top-of-the-line Core i7-3960X. Built on a 32nm process, the new chip features eight hyper-threaded Sandy Bridge cores and 20MB of L3 cache, although in this chip 5MB of L3 and two of the cores are disabled."

    to this

    "We start at the top with Intel's shiny new top-of-the-line Core i7-3960X. Built on a 32nm process, the new chip features SIX hyper-threaded Sandy Bridge cores and 20MB of L3 cache, although in this chip 5MB of L3 and two of the cores are disabled."

    Can't anyone willing buy the same system AND build it themselves at less than half that cost? Nice review though, Dustin.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Read the SNB-E review:
    "If you look carefully at the die shot above, you'll notice that there are actually eight Sandy Bridge cores. The Xeon version will have all eight enabled, but the last two are fused off for SNB-E."
    This version is a hexacore, not a quad-core as you say. But the chip it is built on actually has 8 cores.
    Reply
  • Onslaught2k3 - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Ok, no corrections are needed. I wonder if at some point a BIOS-based unlock would be available for this chip exclusively... since... you know... it's over $1k in price... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Pretty sure they're fused off; AMD has allowed core unlocking on some chips in the past, but I don't recall that from Intel any time in recent history. Reply
  • mfenn - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Anybody want to take bets on whether or not Dustin can make it through an entire article without using the word "dire"? Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Outlook...dire. ;) Reply
  • ckryan - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    When will the Dustin Sklavos Review kit become available for purchase?

    You get a case with dire cable management, a laptop with a dire TN panel, and an AIO with dire thermals AND a dire TN!! It's a can't-win proposition.

    I don't have a beef with boutique builders putting boutique prices on boutique builds. I do have a problem with laying out that much feddy and not getting an Asus Xonar Essence STX, but instead receiving the DX. If I using someone else's money to buy this system I could easily massage it into the system is could be. I could adjust the overclock my damn self.

    FWIW, I think it's hard to really make a high end X79 build, when you get most of the actual features from a P67/Z68 chipset.
    Reply
  • wickman - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    1920x1080 is a pretty low resolution to be using for a system powered by dual GTX 580, 590s, 6990s, and so forth. I don't think anyone running this type of gpu subsystem would possibly be running such a low resolution when the cards themselves are capable of running games at 2560x1400, 2560x1600, or higher when used with multiple panels.

    Would be nice to see what these systems were able to do at much higher resolutions.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    While I don't have a 2560x1600 panel to test with, I usually test these high end systems in triple-display surround configurations whenever possible. With this one I wasn't able to as NVIDIA Surround currently doesn't work on X79. Reply
  • wickman - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Well we'd be happy to yell at Anand for you until he sends you a bigger panel! lol. But thanks for the note, it's a shame Nvidia Surround wasn't working, I'd be very interested in seeing the results and whether or not the new on die pci express channels have any impact on performance.

    Great review though, we all appreciate the hard work!
    Reply
  • ckryan - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I think Mr. Sklavos has a Dell 30" laying around, but the testbed is getting kinda old and is limited to 1080p. The surround testing couldn't be tested since nVidia surround doesn't quite work with SB-E yet (or maybe it's the other way arround?). Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Why would you say you think I have a 30" Dell laying around when I just said I don't have a 30" panel?

    Our testbed is also getting refreshed soon, but we've been delayed by the DX11 support problems in Arkham City.
    Reply
  • ckryan - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Whoa, Tiger.

    I posted that first, before you said that. I recalled you saying you had a GTX580 and a Dell 30" in one of your reviews (I don't remember the context, but I'm wrong -- a lot). I'm probably just hallucinating. The point was, it wouldn't be a problem to test {this system} at a higher resolution than 1080p, but the test bed results would no longer be relevant (since there wouldn't be a way to test the previous systems again).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    Jarred's the one with the GTX 580 and a Dell 30". Sorry! And no, Dustin, you can't have it! ;-) Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    Boss man, I'm fine with three 24" 1920x1200 monitors (two *VA and an IPS), thank you. ;) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, November 26, 2011 - link

    Oh yeah? What if I have three 30" IPS panels, though? And a partridge in a pear tree! Reply
  • Beenthere - Saturday, November 26, 2011 - link

    I wouldn't stand under the tree... Reply
  • kevith - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I think the only real concern is the lifespan of the processor. Running it at above 1.4 V is something, that will definitely shorten its life considerably. Reply
  • vanadiel - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I don't understand for the life of me why anyone would purchase a system like this for over $7K.
    While it's true that this system will ensure top notch gaming, so will a system that costs 5 times less.
    I benched my own system to compare the scores, and while I got beaten on every number, the beating was merely a little tap on the shoulder.
    If I would pay this much for a system I would expect it to crush and utterly demolish my current gaming system.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    No one would actually buy a system like this unless they were technically PC illiterate. This is a system for posers with more money than knowledge. Reply
  • vanadiel - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    Maybe, but it's not much of a pose if you get beaten. A system like this has to have stellar performance or there's no point in purchasing it. Reply
  • Beenthere - Saturday, November 26, 2011 - link

    Which is exactly why no one but a poser would buy it. ;) Reply
  • mariush - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Mass storage is handled by a Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB drive, and given the current shortages in the industry as a result of the Thailand flooding, you pay dearly for the privilege.

    Yeah, right. I'm sure the price of a 2 TB hard drive really matters in the total of 7500$ for this system system.
    Reply
  • Catalina588 - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I too was surprised by the high voltage used in the factory OC, as well as the permanent 1.4+ volt load on the processor. I don't see the benefits of that overclock. Here are two scenarios:

    1. Always at 100% CPU Utilization
    If you're running simulations constantly (e.g., Folding@Home), then the cooling limits of your setup will drive the possible OC. I set my Turbo to 43X BCLK 100 for a 4.3GHz boot on 6 cores. After 10 minutes, CPU-Z reports the core speed has dropped to the thermal stability point of my Intel HSC water-loop: 4.1 GHz at less than 80 degrees package temperature (via Core Temp) with a voltage of 1.104. Looks like it could run this way for a long time with no sweat.

    2. Occasional high-performance single threads
    Set the Turbo multiplier to 48X. Leave all the Intel SpeedStep technology enabled. If it boots, run your burn-in tests and you should be fine. If not, try a lower Turbo multiplier The processor will spool all 6 cores up to 48X briefly (seconds) or a couple of cores for long runs. If you're doing a long video transcode, you'll see the core speed decline from 48X as the TDP thermal limits are met and throttled back. With this method, most of the time you'll benefit from the energy savings running at lower voltage and lower core speeds at idle.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    Not a very sophisticated overclock, if you rely on thermal throttling.

    Also, if your CPU throttles (but there is more overclock to be had) you might want to think about getting better cooling, because 1.1V and 4.1GHz seems quite conservative on moderate to good air cooling. Seems like you have bad to moderate cooling in your rig.

    My CPU (i7 860) is not limited by temperature (75°C @1.408V+4.05GHz) but by normal manufacturing errors. Even a small spike at 1.5V didn't result in better OC and gave me errors after a few minutes on LinX.

    Even if it was limited by temperature, I wouldn't let it just throttle, I'd tweak it to get the best non-throttle overclock.

    But there are enough good OC manuals out there. :D
    Reply
  • jadawgis732 - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    I think the conclusion here smacks of real, independent speak, which is not something you find in spades in this day in age when every reviewer is just writing it as nicely as possible in order to keep in high standing with manufacturers. I love the "good citizen" line in the power section too. Just one mistake, on the conclusion page, after you finish ripping apart Puget's placement strategy and pricing scheme you say, "[...] having six cores, but it's not like anyone gamers have been crying that [...]" Anyway keep up the great work. Reply
  • McFoozle - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    1. Intel Sandy Bridge-E is a bust. By the time it starts providing the necessary performance per dollar to make sense, Ivy Bridge will be out.

    2. This system doesn't even make sense for people with money to burn who don't have time to spend on building it themselves.

    3. Boutique systems builders obviously charge big money to build these things for you and they almost always do things that are weird, undesired and even downright inexplicable.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    I agree that Sandy Bridge-E is pointless for almost everyone.

    Also, the sort of person that would buy the best ULTRA EXXXXTREME edition processor would already have a Core i7-980x or 990x system, and would STILL have no reason to upgrade to this.

    Everyone's better off waiting for Ivy Bridge.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    Okay' there aren't a lot of people that multibox, based on percentage of gamers (but there are probably more people that multibox than would actually spend $8000 for a computer), but if you are really going to talk about the gaming performance of a 6-core hyperthreaded CPU, shouldn't you be playing to it's strengths instead of just running single or dual core apps on it and saying "it's not any better"?

    Try running 5 WoW accounts at the same time and see what happens on rigs like this. Use a 2560x1600 monitor (at least). Turn the settings up to max - on all the accounts. You might see more of a spread in performance under those circumstances.

    (If you did that, you would probably want to adjust the core affinities of the different accounts so they would be running on different cores).

    (Not complaining about the article, just trying to look at it from a different viewpoint.)

    ;)
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, November 25, 2011 - link

    Leeloo Multibox Reply
  • prophet001 - Sunday, November 27, 2011 - link

    I don't understand why people say that Sandybridge is bust? I've seen a lot of benchmarks on it and it seems to perform really well. While it has been noted that the x79 chipset is holding it back, I don't see why one wouldn't want to build a system with it? What am I missing? Reply
  • Menetlaus - Sunday, November 27, 2011 - link

    Gaming people are saying it is bust because they were expecting bigger improvements with the additional PCI-e lanes, the 6X series chipsets are limited to 1-16x or 2-8x for graphics and there has been a lot of talk that 2-16x (a la x79, or gulftown the SB-E predecessor) would offer big improvements due to the extra PCI-e lanes.

    Sadly it was known that there is not a huge difference between 2-16x and 2-8x AND that more than 3 or 4 CPU cores does not offer much improvement in gaming, so it should not have been a surprise that the gaming people came away unimpressed by SB-E after the past year of SB goodness.

    As you say there are places where SB-E works better than a quad core (rendering or other 100% usage scenarios), but this is a completely different usage from gaming, and the gaming group is a lot bigger and more vocal than the rendering shop guys.
    Reply
  • Oldie - Sunday, November 27, 2011 - link

    All of that money, all of that build quality, and they leave those ugly braided wires going right across the window? Reply
  • Toughbook - Monday, November 28, 2011 - link

    It's a shame the interior shows of bare metal. How much could it actually have added to the production cost of each unit to have them painted, perhaps to the buyer's choice of color?
    Bare wires going thru holes in the chassis with no protection?

    I would think the buyers of these units have a never ending amount of discretionary income. They see the price and think it's got to be the best because it's the most expensive. Or a business man tells his or her assistant to get the best desktop money can buy. Bingo! Do you think he might care or realize the short comings?

    Thanks for the interesting review!
    Reply
  • sedluk - Monday, November 28, 2011 - link

    What the author of this review mixes up is what Puget Systems built vs. what Intel build. The X79/LGA2011 platform is expensive and does not add much value over much less expensive platforms. We can all agree on this. You still might want to pay a lot of money and have a X79 system, and if you do then the Puget Systems build is top notch. I have never owned a Puget Systems, but I respect the job they had done. It is not fair to fault them for something them for something Intel is responsible for. Reply
  • Beenthere - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    While it's true the X79/SB-E is a poor POS hacked server system, $7K for this mess is obscene. For $3K I can build a better performing system so why would I spend $7K for this POS?

    Puke-It PCs must be good if they can actually sell these at $7K.
    Reply
  • METALMORPHASIS - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    For that price,you should be able to drive it down the street and back again as well as play games. Reply
  • BellFamily7 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    A columnist from PC Mag (I forget who - not Dvorak) commented in ~1982 that "the computer you REALLY want always seems to cost $3,500."

    Adjusting for inflation (bls.gov has a good inflation 'calculator') $3,500 in 1982 is - ta-da! - $8,200 dollars in 2011.

    Amazing - the "$3,500 Rule" still holds true.
    Reply
  • GullLars - Sunday, December 04, 2011 - link

    Like the subject says, how does this compare to a liquid cooled SR2 setup?
    And how does this perform in Folding@Home?
    Reply
  • Romulous - Friday, December 09, 2011 - link

    So, where's the connector for my vacuum cleaner hose ? Reply

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