Introduction

Digital Storm was a new name to us when they first called to offer a gaming system for review. They carry a number of different systems, and pride themselves on "performance, support, and value". Today we're looking at a no-holds-barred, top of the line system: an overclocked Core i7-965 with water-cooling and triple-SLI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 GPUs. First, we'll look at the company, the website and ordering process, and the system and components; then we'll jump into our performance review of the Core i7-965 system.


Digital Storm - Overview

We didn't know much about Digital Storm's history, so we asked them for a brief PR blurb, excerpted in part below.

 

Digital Storm was founded in San Jose, CA in 2001 and has been in the computer gaming industry for nearly 9 years. In that time we have come to be regarded as a system integrator that builds bleeding-edge: fast, stable, and highly customized gaming systems backed up with a passionate staff that stands behind their product. We are also the only computer gaming company with an "A+" rating from the BBB. This rating reflects our company's dedication to taking care of our customers. Our company has adopted a simple theory: put yourself in the customers shoes. Every decision we make reflects this anthem.

 

Also, as previously stated, their "About Us" page claims they operate by providing performance, support, and value. We'll look at each claim in turn and examine how they rate.

Website and Ordering Impressions
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  • viciki123 - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    http://www.weddingdressonlineshop.co.uk/24-tea-len...">http://www.weddingdressonlineshop.co.uk/24-tea-len... Reply
  • Jillian - Thursday, December 29, 2011 - link

    The thing that got me really infuriated was the additional Video Card. Again, I was told the card was an additional $500+(I don't remember the exact price that was quoted). I questioned the price because on the upgrade center the price is listed as $409, which is a large increase. I was told that this was because the upgrade center parts didn't come with a warranty from DS. http://www.idresses.co.uk Reply
  • djrobr199 - Tuesday, December 01, 2009 - link

    The following is what I sent to Digital Storm customer service, which explains what I went through when purchasing a PC through them. I just sent it today, so I am anxiously awaiting there response.
    //////////////////////

    I was contacted via telephone today about my order where I wanted to upgrade the hard drive to a 300G velociraptor and add another gtx-285 2GB vram. After some discussion I found out that I would be paying about $200 additional to replace the original 1TB HD with a Raptor. I was told that with the warranty you are charging $300+ for that HD. Wow, that is about $100 OVER the cost of the drive (listed in your upgrade center). That is outrageous!! I know you are going to sell it for more than Frys Electronics etc...($220), but that difference is ridiculous.

    The thing that got me really infuriated was the additional Video Card. Again, I was told the card was an additional $500+(I don't remember the exact price that was quoted). I questioned the price because on the upgrade center the price is listed as $409, which is a large increase. I was told that this was because the upgrade center parts didn't come with a warranty from DS.

    Even though I was amazed at the increase in cost, I was ok with just getting the additional Video Card through the upgrade center without the additional warranty. I was told by the customer service rep that I could not do that. I was totally confused as to why they were not able to do that.

    I asked to speak with someone who could authorize what I wanted to do. I was put on hold for a little bit and I ended up talking with the same Customer Service Rep again, who said they talked with their boss and they would allow me to purchase the additional video card as a separate order, but the video card would not be installed and would not go through the test that the rest of the PC would be going through after it was built.

    I am still left wondering why, according to your own website, you claim that you get LIFETIME free labor upgrades when purchased through Digital Storm yet I am unable to buy a video card and have it installed with a brand new pc being built by you.

    If this is how you treat customers that are in the process of buying one of your systems I am scared to find out what kind of customer service you provide AFTER the sale has gone through.

    It's not like I'm asking you to do anything out of the ordinary. I just wanted to buy a component from you and have you install it, which I should be able to do according to your own words that are printed right on your website!

    I have done a LOT of research online and I even have a close personal friend that bought one of your PC's a few years ago and I have heard and read a lot of good reviews about your products AND your customer service. I don't know what to think now, after I had this experience.

    I am seriously contemplating on not placing an order with you. I don't want to do that because of all the good reviews I've read. It's just that spending about $2700 on a computer is a LOT of money for me and I don't want to spend it on something that I may have a lot of problems with (customer service related).

    Thank you for your time,

    Robert
    Reply
  • djrobr199 - Wednesday, December 02, 2009 - link

    Well, I got my response from Digital Storm. Basically the end result is that they are installing and testing the additional video card I purchased from them. They are saying that they are making "an exception" in my case and it is not normal business practice for them to do that.
    I am still confused about that because it clearly states (when you are on the configuration page) that you receive LIFETIME free labor on upgrades when you purchase the components from Digital Storm. I'm hoping that this is not a sign of things to come. I've read so many good reviews that I'm putting my faith in them and I went and submitted the order.
    Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Wednesday, December 02, 2009 - link

    Thanks Robert. Let us know how things turn out. Reply
  • djrobr199 - Thursday, December 03, 2009 - link

    this is there response :)

    bullet Posted: Today at 2:15pm
    @djrobr199,

    There seems to be a misunderstanding. We do offer labor-free upgrades. If one of our staff members said we won't install it for free it was a misunderstanding.

    We are more than happy to install it for free. Warranty, etc... is a different story.

    I hope that clears it up. If you have any further issues/concerns/questions, please feel free to directly contact us or our management staff at: management@digitalstormonline.com
    Reply
  • softysung - Friday, June 05, 2009 - link

    I have purchased a system myself, dealt with support and have great things to say. I am definitely going to be making my next purchase with DS again. I also have a mate that I recommended to them and he is also happy with the service and product. Reply
  • snookie - Monday, June 01, 2009 - link

    I sent Digital Storm an e-mail asking why the just on the shelves issues of Maximum PC and CPU magazine and their web site all show 3 different prices for their 650i system and they did not reply back. The Maximum PC and CPU magazine articles show it for $1599 and $1699 while their website shows it for a minimum of $1815. I guess they don't like questions like that. Reply
  • softysung - Friday, June 05, 2009 - link

    They don't publish any email addresses... did you try using their request help page (http://www.digitalstormonline.com/sendmessage.asp)">http://www.digitalstormonline.com/sendmessage.asp)

    I called em and they said they do offer those systems, just call them and they will help you out mate.
    Reply
  • eternalkp - Sunday, May 31, 2009 - link

    why i7 965 & 3xGTX 285? that's why it's so expensive.

    I would select this system:

    http://www.digitalstormonline.com/comploadsaved.as...">http://www.digitalstormonline.com/comploadsaved.as...

    Any chassis & custom paint>I would stay with standard & not pay extras.
    1000W PSU +$126
    Intel i7 920 2.66ghz...choose OC to 4.0~4.2ghz option.
    6gb DDR3 triple channels 2000mhz RAM +$332
    2x300gb western digital 10k rpm HD in raid 0 +532
    Bluray writer +$281
    3xGTX 280 SLI, this is the best option since it's on clearance. +681
    I think this is way cheaper than 3xGTX 285 and the performance is right there with GTX 285.
    creative lab titanium sound card +$221
    H20 specialized frostbite cooling stage 3 for CPU & 3 GPU: +$1209.

    OC options:
    OC to i7 920 2.66ghz to 4.0 to 4.2ghz +$199
    OC GPU to max: $45
    OC RAM to max: $55.

    this system will be quiet and goes for $5,500

    grand total of $
    Reply

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