Introducing the DigitalStorm Enix

Just recently we had a chance to lay hands on SilverStone's FT03 enclosure, and it was impressive enough to earn a Bronze Editors' Choice award. It wasn't the quietest case we've ever reviewed, but it had strong thermal qualities and a slick-looking design. Now DigitalStorm has taken SilverStone's eye-catching little number, custom-painted the grills, and turned it into a double-shoebox-sized monster. The Enix we're looking at today boasts the highest overclock on an Intel Core i7-2600K we've yet seen and pairs it with not one but two EVGA GeForce GTX 580's.

The red trim and black shell do a lot of favors for SilverStone's FT03 enclosure, but we're really interested in how well the Enix sings. Our last visit with DigitalStorm was a mixed one: the BlackOps Assassin we reviewed was a performance demon to be sure, but we were a bit turned off by some of the component choices coupled with the price tag. When we received the press release for the Enix, it was just too good to resist, and DigitalStorm was game to send us one. So how much power is crammed into this little box?

DigitalStorm Enix Specifications
Chassis SilverStone FT03 (custom paint)
Processor Intel Core i7-2600K @ 4.7GHz
(spec: 4x3.4GHz, 32nm, 8MB L3, 95W)
Motherboard ASUS P8P67-M Pro Motherboard with P67 chipset
Memory 2x4GB Corsair Dominator DHX DDR3-1600 (expandable to 16GB)
Graphics 2x EVGA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB GDDR5
(512 CUDA Cores, 772/1544/1002MHz Core/Shaders/RAM, 384-bit memory bus)
Hard Drive(s) Corsair Performance 3 128GB SATA 6Gbps SSD
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6Gbps HDD
Optical Drive(s) Optiarc BD-ROM/DVD+-RW Slimline Combo Drive
Networking Realtek PCIe Gigabit Ethernet
Audio Realtek ALC892 HD Audio
Speaker, mic, line-in, and surround jacks for 7.1 sound
Optical out
Front Side Optical drive
Top 2x USB 3.0
2x PS/2
Optical out
6x USB 2.0
Speaker, mic, line-in, and surround jacks for 7.1 sound
4x DVI-D
2x Mini-HDMI
Back Side -
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 11.18" x 9.25" x 19.17"
Weight 14.77 lbs (case only)
Extras SilverStone Strider Gold 1000W PSU 80 Plus Gold Certified
Corsair H70 Liquid Cooler
Case Paint
Warranty 3-year limited warranty with life-time customer care
Pricing Enix starts at $1,149
As configured $3,612

We start out with both the DigitalStorm Enix's curse and its saving grace: a heavily souped-up Intel Core i7-2600K water-cooled using Corsair's H70 kit (a testament to both the kit's performance and the FT03's surprisingly roomy interior). DigitalStorm has overclocked the i7-2600K to a screaming 4.7GHz, making it not only the fastest processor we've ever tested in a boutique system but also among the most power hungry as you'll see later.

As if to reassure everyone that splitting the i7-2600K's sixteen PCI-Express 2.0 lanes between two cards isn't really a big deal, DigitalStorm has packed the Enix with two EVGA GeForce GTX 580s running at stock speeds in SLI. If every single frame matters to you, then the P67 chipset and inherent limitations of using the processor's PCIe lanes may put you off, but between the variability in performance of running a multi-GPU setup and the absurdly high performance of two GTX 580s in SLI paired with an overclocked i7-2600K, it's hard for anyone to reasonably take issue.

Based on our last experience with DigitalStorm, they've also opted to use a higher-end name-brand memory kit and power supply. This was a source of some contention in the comments of that review, where some readers argued that if the memory works, it works, and there's no need to ding the vendor for using cheaper stuff. That's true, but at the same time, if I'm paying over $3,000 for a desktop I'm going to want parts from vendors that have a history of reliability, and there's something miserly about putting discount memory in a premium gaming machine.

To round out the system, DigitalStorm bumped the slot-loading optical drive up to a Blu-ray reader/DVD-writer, added the requisite 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black, and then chose to employ the new Corsair Performance 3 SSD.

All told, the Enix looks to be, at least on paper, the fastest system we've ever tested (a dubious honor when a new contender is always just around the corner). Ready to break some of our system benchmark records?

Application and Futuremark Performance
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  • randinspace - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    I think his point was that they'll just give you what they value it at when it dies, which a lot of companies do in other industries now that products and parts don't stay on the market indefinitely.

    Although even if they decided on a flat $300 or so they should be covered by inflation, the profit they made off the rest of the unit as a whole, insurance, tax write-offs, etc.
  • fingerbob69 - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    I don't know if US law is different to UK law in this regard but if the cpu was to die during the 10 yr guarantee period, in say year 9, then DigitalStorm would be obliged to replace it with an equivalent chip ...or better.

    As the customer, I would interpret that to be Intel's latest/last mid range release. So for example, if I had had a duff i7-750 in a DigitalStorm unit, with that chip having gone eol some years past, I would today be expecting a 2600k as replacement...which of course means a mobo change also as the two are integral to each other.
  • Belard - Saturday, May 14, 2011 - link

    If you go back 5 years ago... the TOP Dog CPU was the Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800, which was about $500 USD.

    Today, a $60 AMD X2 bottom end CPU is just as fast and its a 1 year old CPU. So it takes about 3~4 years for a $500~900 CPU to be replaced by a $100 or less bottom end model.

    Is there a typo, don't recall an i7-750. An i5-750, yes.

    Common sense, they'd have to replace the board and maybe the memory too if an O/C CPU dies. I'm sure they'll be updating the BIOS with better controls ASAP still. If in 5 years, they need to replace the CPU, as long as its faster - even at $60, it'll be fair. With 16GB costing about $200 today, it should be about $20 in 10 years :)

    LOL... you'll be OLD and saying "I remember the says when we had 2 core CPUs! Imagine that! Can't imagine how I got anything down with 3Ghz Quads"

    Would warranty of the CPU cover the labor to replace it and the system board?
  • qwertymac93 - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Hmm, dual 590s? trade those for dual 6950's and upgrade the SSD to a 240GB vertex 3, then we are talkin'.
  • qwertymac93 - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Meant 580, Not 590. Man, not having an edit feature sucks...
  • MeSh1 - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    No peek inside?
  • arthur449 - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    In Silverstone's FT03 manual, they strongly recommend removing the angled 120mm fan shroud under the video cards and mounting a pair of 80mm fans in its place when using two cards in Crossfire/SLI.
  • Azfar - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Err..i'm a bit confused looking at the optical drive bay. the conventional drive won't work at this slot type....right ?
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Correct; you need a slot-loading slim laptop drive, which adds to the overall cost.
  • Zap - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    It isn't too bad a cost for a combo drive. Try pricing out (or even finding these days) a slim slot load BD burner! Back when the Panasonic one was available, they were running close to $600 for just the bare drive!

    I did a quick price search and the Optiarc used in this DigitalStorm rig runs about $150. Expensive? Yes, however not exorbitantly so.

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