The components of this custom build were hand selected by Tyler himself. He did a damn fine job of it too. If I was going down the AMD path there's nothing in this build that I wouldn't want in my own system. The whole build is powered by one of the new intelligent power supplies by Corsair the AX-860i with 860 watts. This provided more than enough juice to power the 8 core AMD FX8350 Black processor, 3 SSDs and Crossfired Radeon 7870s amongst the other bits that make up your typical system. The Corsair Link comes with software which allows you to monitor and have complete control over system resources.
The Corsair Obisidian 650D is still in my top five cases as of Mid 2013. Love the clean design and quality finishes in this case. Does anyone seriously still like the bling bling neon yum cha cases? Ok i admit it, i had LED fans once, but that was during the beige era, there was no other way to do it!. Maintenance is real easy too with the quick release panels. The 650D comes with dual 200mm fans with dust filters so things were pretty much sorted in the cooling department even with dual video cards.
Tyler sure didnt hold back in the storage department. We most commonly see single SSD setups with a larger hard drive as the secondary drive. Yes sometimes you get SSDs in pairs but triples are pretty rare! The boys checked with Tyler how he wanted these set up (RAID 5 or RAID 0 anyone???) but he just wanted them set up as normal drives.
This system was built by one of our in house techs Vinny. He said the system went together really easily thanks to the spacious Corsair Obsidian 650D. He also mentioned that even just using default settings the build was stable straight off, standard BIOS settings, updated Windows and drivers. Ran Prime95 during the burn in in for 24hrs like a champ!.
Although not mentioned on the parts list Tyler went all out with a 30" Dell Monitor and some sweet gaming gear from Corsair and Razer to boot. Havent heard a peep from Tyler for a bit so I guess he must be busy gaming! Hopefully we'll be able to touch base soon and have a little Q&A session to see how things are going and find out maybe if he'd do things a little different next time.
This system that we'd rebuilt for Daniel started life off as an old XFX nForce 790i Ultra powered by an Intel Core2Duo E8600 with two GeForce GTS250's in SLI and 6 months later upgraded to two GeForce GTX295's, it oozed performance.
Fast forward to 2011, Daniel decided to step up his game and have a no expense spared total rebuild of his main rig.
We ended up using his old Antec Three Hundred case and upgraded to an ASUS ROG board along with an Intel i7-980X Extreme Edition CPU, 12GB of memory in triple channel as well as two Intel 510 Series 250GB SSD's in RAID0 and to top it off threw in a pair of GeForce GTX590's for good measure.
Safe to say Daniel could throw out his heater as this machine would keep him warm in the winter.
Once assembled, this thing screamed. To date it's received the highest 3DMark 2011 of all the systems that have passed our build desk.
Ironically come winter 2012, Daniel wanted to upgrade the case to get more airflow into the rig. The old trusty Antec Three Hundred housed the build but just couldn't cool effectively and as such always had the fans working overtime.
After 9 months of housing the Extreme Edition rig we moved to a more spacious Corsair Graphite Series 600T in black and threw in an extra 4 Bitfenix 120mm fans for good measure. Pumps out just as much heat to keep Daniel's room a good 5 degrees warmer in winter but the noise levels have gone down significantly.
Daniel still keeps in contact calling PCM HQ every so often for some advice on future upgrades, troubleshooting advice when Windows has a dummy-spit or to complain that we secretly robbed him of a perfect 7.9 Windows Experience Index. We know deep down that he doesn't really mean it and we look forward to seeing Daniel in the future.
Michael came to us looking for a replacement for his daily machine. This build would be one of the first NZXT Phantoms we'd ever built and to top it off Michael went with the eye-popping red.
This new machine was required ASAP so we'd done our best to get it out as fast as we could without sacrificing quality. Sure enough we were able to achieve this in 2 days, day 1 to bench test the components and day 2 for assembly and despatch. The rig was quickly assembled and passed our torture tests without a hitch and was promptly couriered out to Michael.
Tragedy stuck. After a couple days we receive an email, it was from Michael letting us know the system was received but wasn't in the condition he was expecting. The protective box that we had packaged NZXT's box into showed little signs of damage however upon opening the two layers of protection it revealed that the entire tower case itself had been jammed in between 2 points with enough force to pinch the case and make it bow vertically rendering the system useless.
Once we'd heard the news from Michael we immediately started building a replacement system, exactly the same as the first, to replace the first damaged system. Thankfully this time around the system made it there without a hitch and is currently still in use today.
Sadly the although the first system made it back to us without any further drama's all of the components were rendered useless from shattered fans, bent motherboards, broken graphics cards and dented hard disks. We wouldn't want this to happen to anyone's rig!
Tony came to us with a request and we delivered. He'd heard the rage about the new AMD APU's at the time and wanted to try one out but he wanted something different, he wanted to go small form factor.
Tony had already scored himself an AMD Fusion A8-3850 and needed our help to find it a home. He was set on using SilverStone's Sugo series SG07 SFF case and it was our job to find components that would fit it. We eventually went for an ASUS F1A75-I Deluxe with 8GB of memory, 1TB hard disk and loaded up Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium.
Cabling the rig proved a bit tricky with a full sized power supply without modular cables but with over 10 years of building and modifying our own personal Shuttle SFF systems(the grandfather of current-day SFF systems) we eventually got there.
This small form factor AMD unit was destined to be a dual-purpose everyday machine as well as a HTPC the family can get around. It runs cool, quiet and has plenty of grunt to take out it's tasks. Tony couldn't be any happier with the build.
When Kieran's got some down time working for the Salvation Army he's kickin' it online with his gaming buddies. He came to us wanting a budget build to hit up some new games online, his old rig was about 4 years old and just couldn't keep up anymore.
Building budget builds for a specific purpose always seem to be the hardest, continuously finding new ways to save by juggling parts here and there, hitting up reviews and benchmark graphs to see what change will make the least impact on performance whilst saving more on the overall build cost.
Eventually we settled on an AMD rig, it simply can't be beaten value for money wise against the equivalent Intel setup.
The Antec Three Hundred Gaming case was designed for gamers and as such they'd make sure air flow would be a priority, we took advantage of this and installed a huge Cooler Master Hyper 212 tower-style cooler to make sure the gaming sessions went interrupted for hours on end and sticking to the AMD theme we ended up with a Radeon 6950 for good measure.
The system had run through our regular torture test without any troubles and we suspect it's still doing pretty damn well as Kieran hasn't had to get in touch with us regarding the health of the system.
Linda's been a customer of ours since 2009 first starting off with an ASUS Vintage 3 with an Intel Core2Duo E7400 2.8GHz dual-core system with 2GB of ram and a 640GB HDD. Couple years later we'd heard back from Linda, her old Vintage wasn't up to scratch anymore and she wanted to revamp her system to get more grunt to run her business.
This time around we decided to go with a custom built setup sporting an Intel i5 2500 3.3GHz quad-core processor with 8GB of memory and some help from a GeForce GTX560 with it's CUDA technology. With external hard disks becoming cheaper we went with a speedy Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200rpm hard disk for applications and current projects whereas the external hard disks will be storing archived projects for safe keeping in another location.
As a hub for the components in the build we utilised the tiny Gigabyte GA-Z68M-D2H motherboard and housed the entire setup in a comically large Corsair Graphite 600T tower case.
We initially envisioned this setup to last 12-24 months and eventually upgrading to bigger and better things hence the large Corsair Graphite Series 600T but apparently it's still holding it's own as Linda has yet to get back in touch with us for an upgrade though we'll being expecting her any day now.
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