Specifications

The system under review is the Ion, the lesser of the two configurations priced at around $1600. The base price is $1629 but as configured the system costs $1734 plus shipping. FedEx Ground is reasonably priced (~$45 to CA, across the country from IL). Ion specs as listed on the website are as follows:

Uberclock Ion Test Setup and Options
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 running at 3.0 GHz
Motherboard 680i SLI - Lifetime warranty
Memory Type Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800
Video Card EVGA 8800 GT - 650MHz/1.625GHz/1.9GHz Core/Shader/RAM
or EVGA 8800 GTX - 630MHz/1.4GHz/2GHz Core/Shader/RAM
Lifetime warranty on all cards.
SLI (dual cards) available.
Power Supply Thermaltake Purepower 600-Watt
or Thermaltake Toughpower 850-Watt (with 8800 GTX)
or Thermaltake Toughpower 1000-Watt (with 8800 Ultra)
Case Antec Nine Hundred
Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3Gb/sec
or Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1TB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/sec
or Western Digital RaptorX 150GB 10k rpm SATA 3Gb/sec
Multi-drive & RAID configurations available.
OS XP Professional
Vista Home Premium
Vista Business
Vista Ultimate
Dual-boot XP/Vista available
32-bit or 64-bit
Removables Floppy Drive + Card Reader: CF (I/II), Microdrive, SM, SD, MMC, Memory Stick & Memory Stick Pro
DVD Burner Lite-On 20x DVD burner with LightScribe
DVD Reader Lite-On DVD reader
CPU Cooler Tuniq Tower 120

Overall, these are all solid component choices, though some are slightly different from the options available on the ordering webpage. The review system came with a BFG 8800 GT at 600/1800MHz core/RAM, a Seagate 7200.10 500GB drive, and a Thermaltake Toughpower 650W, with Windows XP Pro. The inclusion of a high capacity, good quality, SLI certified power supply is definitely appreciated; this allows the buyer a great upgrade path to quad-core processors and/or SLI video cards as the desire arises. Überclok also informs us that the E4500 will be replaced shortly by the E4700 at the same price.

Ordering Impressions and Support System Overview
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  • Matt Campbell - Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - link

    Snakeskin and zipties, plus all S-ATA drives except for the combo floppy/memory card reader, which uses a short rounded cable. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - link

    FYI:

    The article has been updated with an enlarged image of the interior (on page 5). Click to get the large image.
    Reply
  • chizow - Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - link

    Glad to see a company using over the counter enthusiast parts for an enthusiast PC. This is a great option for those who want great performance now and future upgradability without the hassle and headache of a DIY/BYOPC. Here's to hoping they do well and last awhile!

    Reply
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - link

    I'd like to add my agreement that $400 is a great price point for a 3 year warranty, system assembly and software installation, and overclocking; and a little profit margin over their costs. You could pay close to $400 just for a warranty at other vendors, and you'd get a lot of junk installed, and it would be overclocked, and (with Dell for example) wouldn't even be overclockable or very expandable.

    If I were in the market for a new windows machine, I'd consider an Ion system :)

    **Crimson117 Seal of Approval**
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - link

    The 3 Year warranty is more like home owners insurance. They charge a flat rate to everyone, and do not 'pay-out' very often(no need if there is no problem). Of course the hardware components they've seem to have chosen all should have at least a 3 year OEM warranty, so for parts, they are not out a penny. I have not visited their website, or viewed the service policies, but I wonder how they handle part replacement in home. Dell will pay technicians such as ourselves here an hourly rate to replace parts that have gone bad in a customers PC, at their home. Well, to be more exact, a contractor will set everything up, and then contact us, etc.

    More likely that $400 is going to go towards customer support over the phone, or email etc.

    This is actually not a bad idea, and if you choose your hardware carefully, document everything well in plain English(or whatever language), I suspect they could make a tidy profit, while keeping their customers close to 100% happy. Of course, how well they treat their customers remains to be seen.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - link

    "Clearly, the 650W power supply still has a large amount of overhead. Estimating at 80% efficiency, at full load the Ion is still only using around 200W. This is good news for both stability and expansion."

    Uhh, 80% efficiency means it requires MORE power to supply the measured power draw. If you detected 248w at load, and the PS is 80% efficient, the Ion is using ~310w.

    Great review btw, as I'm about to build my own system and its always nice to see a small new company like this come out. The first part of the review had me in a timewarp when Alienware had just came out. My dad purchased me a system for going to college from them when they were in their infancy. It came with a binder very similar to what Uberclock supplies and really made you feel like you were not getting another Dell/HP clone. I see good things for this company.....if they can get their name to come up with a search!
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - link

    Wanted to also mention that some of the graphs (especially the games) are confusing because its difficult to tell when you are comparing systems or just the same system at different resolutions/quality settings. Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - link

    I agree, those graphs were messed up. I almost never get confused when reading an AT review.

    Lol, when in doubt skip to the conclusion to get a quick overview .)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - link

    Regarding power, PSUs are rated at what they can theoretically OUTPUT. Efficiency is a measure of how much power they draw from the wall vs. how much is actually passed on to components. The Kill-A-Watt devices are inexpensive tools to measure wall power draw, so if it draw 248W at load, 80% efficiency would mean that the PSU is only outputting 198W.

    While we do have someone that has all the necessary equipment for PSU testing, that equipment is in Europe and is prohibitively expensive. The rest of us make do with less sophisticated tools. On the other hand, knowing how much power a system really uses (at the outlet) is a useful metric, even if it wouldn't be as meaningful in a PSU review without knowing the power delivered.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - link

    Ah, I now see what the author was getting at. The wording is a bit confusing though. It doesn't really matter how much the components are drawing, just how much power supply is drawing to power the components (I would omit the 200w figure).

    I think it might have been better worded as, "Clearly, even estimating 80% efficiency, the 650W power supply still has a large amount of overhead. This is good news for both stability and expansion."
    Reply

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