Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

What Does A $16,000+ PC Look Like, Anyway?

What Does A $16,000+ PC Look Like, Anyway?
By
You Spent *How* Much On That?

A couple of months back, I was talking to the folks at Puget Systems for the first time, and in our initial discussion, they mentioned a high-end system they were working on. Curious as to what the company meant by a true high-end machine, I asked about the box's innards.

The project was just getting started and it would apparently require lots of customization, so I naturally wanted to know more. It turned out that the system would cost in excess of $16,000.

Given the enthusiasm over our $5,000 System Builder Marathon machine (despite its prohibitively high price tag), we just had to get a complete album of what goes into a box priced at more than three times what we already considered to be the ultimate enthusiast build. 

In the pages to come, we'll give you the customer's reason for wanting such a powerhouse, the full list of specs, and plenty of shots of what Puget had to do to get this thing running the way it wanted.

See more See less
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Photo reports comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 180 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    Luscious , March 2, 2009 9:45 AM
    I've been building water-cooling rigs for many years. I see 3 problems with this setup:

    Running 4 cooling blocks in series is going to create a ton of back pressure, and that particular pump on the Koolance, while quiet, is not a very powerful one.

    90 degree barbs are a big no-no for a watercooling setup, they create even more back pressure making the pump work harder.

    You never place a reservior at the bottom. It should be at the top of the case where it is the highest component in the water loop so as to minimize the formation of air bubbles in the other components.

    I don't know how well their setup runs, but I would be very surprised if it goes for a year without something breaking somewhere.
  • 13 Hide
    cangelini , March 2, 2009 6:05 AM
    boknoyOpteron processors? What will the intel fanboys say? Xeons/Corei7s not up to the task?


    There are no Nehalem-based Xeons yet ;)  For an application like this, AMD has the upper hand.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    bfaber , March 2, 2009 5:34 AM
    I can't imagine what somebody would do with 16-cores in a case like that.. You'd like such configurations would be more suitable for server duty, and hence require a good rack mount...
  • 9 Hide
    cangelini , March 2, 2009 5:51 AM
    bfaberI can't imagine what somebody would do with 16-cores in a case like that.. You'd like such configurations would be more suitable for server duty, and hence require a good rack mount...


    Video workstation maybe? The problem with most rackmount systems is that they're bloody noisy. This thing was designed to be the exact opposite, suggesting it'd be used in an office or something.

    Who knows, maybe the new owner of that rig will stop by and tell us exactly what he's doing with it now!
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , March 2, 2009 5:54 AM
    Opteron processors? What will the intel fanboys say? Xeons/Corei7s not up to the task?
  • 13 Hide
    cangelini , March 2, 2009 6:05 AM
    boknoyOpteron processors? What will the intel fanboys say? Xeons/Corei7s not up to the task?


    There are no Nehalem-based Xeons yet ;)  For an application like this, AMD has the upper hand.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 2, 2009 6:17 AM
    What about the display cards??
  • 1 Hide
    macer1 , March 2, 2009 6:31 AM
    http://media.bestofmicro.com/2/9/181521/original/PRE%20BUILD_02.JPG


  • 2 Hide
    wildwestgoh , March 2, 2009 6:36 AM
    There's 1 card above the PSU being bended, wonder if that's ok =)

    And, the Chasis going to be massively heavy on one side, with the already heavy mainboard + the radiator, wonder if the chasis can withstand such setup for long term.
  • 5 Hide
    cangelini , March 2, 2009 6:39 AM
    BloodRageWhat about the display cards??


    It's in one of the captions, too, but he ordered an 8800 GTS.
  • 4 Hide
    palladin9479 , March 2, 2009 6:43 AM
    This isn't a workstation, its a freaking mainframe put in a large tower case modded for silent running. 16 cores and that much memory, with such a small GFX option, someone's doing some heavy virtualization. Hope he's running a flavor of LINUX on that thing.
  • 7 Hide
    deej1977 , March 2, 2009 6:51 AM
    No no no it's for a member of the x264 release groups, he wants to encode his Blu-rays super fast and be the first at everything ;) .
  • 5 Hide
    arkadi , March 2, 2009 9:29 AM
    To bad toms can't have it 4 few days, just 4 benchmarking. Suddenly my i7 rig got smaller lol
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , March 2, 2009 9:36 AM
    How long until this is made obsolete by a single socket solution? 2 years? 3 years?
  • 23 Hide
    Luscious , March 2, 2009 9:45 AM
    I've been building water-cooling rigs for many years. I see 3 problems with this setup:

    Running 4 cooling blocks in series is going to create a ton of back pressure, and that particular pump on the Koolance, while quiet, is not a very powerful one.

    90 degree barbs are a big no-no for a watercooling setup, they create even more back pressure making the pump work harder.

    You never place a reservior at the bottom. It should be at the top of the case where it is the highest component in the water loop so as to minimize the formation of air bubbles in the other components.

    I don't know how well their setup runs, but I would be very surprised if it goes for a year without something breaking somewhere.
  • 2 Hide
    zedx , March 2, 2009 9:51 AM
    That's a little too much... It seems the person might be doing some highly parallel work with those 16 cores... I'm not sure but with OpenCL drivers coming and Larrabee, one might be able to have a similar performance with a next gen RV870 system for around $900 or at least in Cross Fire for around $1200. And the system would be quiet too. The storage and memory is a different thing though. I wonder why the person didn't pop some SSD's. And for a single socket CPU to overtake this, it would take about 6 years (assuming we have 10 core by then and the single threaded performance improves).
  • 2 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 2, 2009 9:51 AM
    Gee, for 16,000 one would think that anyone will go for more updated graphics solution...even a 4830.

    But other than that annoyance, this rig is just awesome! Run Crysis + encode video + run a scan + zip a huge file + burn DVD all at once!
  • -1 Hide
    rcarm , March 2, 2009 10:05 AM
    lol @ "Evertything" on page 20
  • -3 Hide
    christop , March 2, 2009 10:38 AM
    What is this for... I would love to know? Too much money and no brains?
  • 2 Hide
    clist , March 2, 2009 11:01 AM
    You can't help but wonder if he couldn't make this more quiet for less money and get better cooling by simply putting it in a specially built closet - or the basement - and having some long cables and an external DVD drive. I swear people work so hard to be able to keep their PCs near their desks as if they were trophies, when, IMHO, they're simply noisy eye-sores that would be better left in the basement (along with all of their AV equipment). You could easily put your PC 30' from your desk with high quality DVI cable and active USB extension cables, and even further with a DVI repeater box...

    Cheers,
    CList
  • -5 Hide
    palladin9479 , March 2, 2009 11:15 AM
    I would think a better method would be to use a MUCH better pump (possibly two) and run two parallel loops that dump into the save resevoir. You won't get the cool "all in one" gadget, but honestly... thats for a regular home PC and this ain't no home pc.
Display more comments