Setup and Startup

As we state frequently, systems that get shipped often need a little tightening and reseating prior to bootup. Both of the SATA cables in the Reactor became disconnected during shipment; once reconnected, everything came up without problem.

First, let's look at the BIOS.

The Reactor comes overclocked to 3.4GHz right out of the box (425 MHz FSB, 1700 MHz quad-pumped). Our temperatures are much higher than with the Ion, but this is completely different class of processor with two additional cores. Once again we see good attention to detail here, with increased core voltage and tweaked memory timings. First boot is good and clean, just the way an enthusiast would like it.

The desktop is clear, the number of processes is comfortably low for Vista, and there is a small amount of genuinely useful software installed. Detonator 175.16 drivers were installed, which were up to date at the time of shipment (we later installed 177.92 for our testing). We still feel some kind of antivirus package, like AVG Free, should be offered to the end-user as an optional install, but this is a minor point. After all, you can always download a trial/freeware AV package if you want it, and if you don't want it that's just extra time cleaning out the preconfigured system.

Specs and Appearance General Performance
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  • emilyek - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    You could buy these parts on newegg for close to a third of that.
    Maybe I should start my own company. I wouldn't even need a wholesale license.

    Why 1k watts? Because it's a Cooler Master PSU. You'll find lots of those in pre-builts on e-bay; they can be had cheap, and anyone foolish enough to buy that box will be totally impressed by the high number.
  • TheGoat Eater - Sunday, October 12, 2008 - link

    as you can tell by the subject line that pictured HSF ("> is not the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 ("> the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 has 3 heatpipes and the one pictured clearly has 6 heatpipes.
    Just a FYI...
  • Uberclok - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Quite correct - sorry for the confusion. We built this unit for Anandtech ove a month ago, when we were using the Thermalright Ultima-90 HSF. Not long after we shipped it, we switched to the Xigmatek. Both are heatpipe-based air coolers, not a liquid/air hybrid as a previous poster suggested.
  • Matt Campbell - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Thanks for the catch!
  • Zebo - Saturday, October 11, 2008 - link

    Like any regular reader here is going to buy this overpriced computer.

    Whens Anandtech going to start reviewing the Bugatti Veyron or Caviar?
  • CEO Ballmer - Friday, October 10, 2008 - link

    These people are suing us over the "Vista Ready" stickers, this could solve the problem. All we need to do is send one of these to all of those cheap PC owners!">
  • Stas - Friday, October 10, 2008 - link

    so, aside from the fact that I can build the same system for almost half the price, the 1KW power supply is stupidity. The efficiency cannot be more than 75% even at max load. I would put a Corsair HX520 in it, maybe 600. Cheaper and more efficient. Probably hit 85% at max load, ~80 idle.
  • Stas - Friday, October 10, 2008 - link

    I guess it makes sense for the sake of marketing, as been said, that way customers could put 2xHD4870x2 in it. Which in my opinion is stupid, considering it comes with a $500 card already (just get another one of the same to match in SLI), but whatever. If it sells, it sells.
  • GaryJohnson - Saturday, October 11, 2008 - link

    I'm interested in how well it does sell. I really think these system reviews should be written from the 'here's what the competition is doing' perspective, as I think an AT reader is more likely to be selling pre-built systems than buying them.
  • mgmason - Friday, October 10, 2008 - link

    Is the CPU vCore really set to 1.44 volts as we see on the bios screen, or the more reasonable 1.37? Still seems a bit high, I'm getting a stable 3.2 Ghz out of my Q9450 using only 1.22 volts. I get CPU temps of about 60 degrees under load using air cooling with an Arctic Freezer Pro 7.

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