DigitalStorm Enix: Phenomenal Cosmic Power, Itty Bitty Living Spaceby Dustin Sklavos on May 12, 2011 12:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Sandy Bridge
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)|
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)|
2x EVGA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB GDDR5
(512 CUDA Cores, 772/1544/1002MHz Core/Shaders/RAM, 384-bit memory bus)
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|
Realtek ALC892 HD Audio
Speaker, mic, line-in, and surround jacks for 7.1 sound
|Front Side||Optical drive|
2x USB 3.0
6x USB 2.0
Speaker, mic, line-in, and surround jacks for 7.1 sound
|Operating System||Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit|
|Dimensions||11.18" x 9.25" x 19.17"|
|Weight||14.77 lbs (case only)|
SilverStone Strider Gold 1000W PSU 80 Plus Gold Certified
Corsair H70 Liquid Cooler
|Warranty||3-year limited warranty with life-time customer care|
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?
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Abix - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - linkNoise results?
crimson117 - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - linkIs a genius.
demonbug - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - linkHeh, I just watched that with my son the other day... great article title.
DigitalFreak - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - linkStill looks like a trash can... now with a red lid!
zero2dash - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - linkAnd a bad spraypaint job to boot! o.O
Granted I'm not a modder extraordinaire, but that paint job is really bad; you can see splotches all over the place on the black. They either rushed it or they didn't do even coats.
TIGGAH - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - linkI think those splotches are finger/hand prints. I have the silver version and my daughter pawed it over with her grubby hands and I had to scrub it to get the metal to look even again.
DigitalStorm - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link@zero2dash.
The black is actually just finger prints on the metal surface of the chassis. We only had the red trim pieces painted. I hope that clears it up. =]
Omid.M - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - linkBecause of that awesome title.
xxtypersxx - Friday, May 13, 2011 - linkGreat Review.
This system is very similar component wise to the 2600k/P8P67M-PRO system I built at launch except that I am running 2 gtx 470's. I can confirm the issues they describe with voltage stability, in order to ensure vcore never dropped below 1.39v while folding at 4.7ghz (it will blue screen if it does) I had to use a +.135v offset which would shoot the cpu-z voltage up to 1.48v if it was at full speed without a load. However, just a couple days ago I upgraded to a leaked 0708 bios dated early may (found it in a forum thread, google brings it right up) and the LLC is now rock solid. I only get a one increment warble now and it actually brings the board on part with the good full atx overclockers. While I don't expect you to upgrade to unofficially released bios versions for your review, I do recommend this for anyone running one of these boards.
Still, seeing a boutique comfortable warrantying those sort of voltages makes me feel better about pushing mine a bit more...
DigitalStorm - Friday, May 13, 2011 - linkThat's awesome news. I'll share this with our team and hopefully Asus will publish an official BIOS update that will help achieve a stable overclock at lower offset settings.