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MaxForce Reviewed: 3-Way SLI and 4 GHz+

MaxForce Reviewed: 3-Way SLI and 4 GHz+
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It’s been almost a year since we reviewed a couple of PCs from Solaris Computer Systems—a company that has nothing to do with the Solaris operating system from Sun Microsystems, for the record. Those systems proved to offer strong performance at their respective price points. The company proved to be very accessible and willing to accommodate individual customers’ needs and requests. We concluded that the upstart Solaris Computer Systems might have a sunny future ahead as long as it could prove to be a reliable vendor in the long term.

Fast forward to today. Solaris Computer Systems is still doing what it was doing a year ago, but now it is doing it under another name: MaxForce PC. It seems likely that the folks at Solaris were tired of having their company confused with an OS, so the firm chose a clever twist on the first name of the firm’s founder, Max Feinstein.

The new name doesn’t reflect a fly-by-night company, as MaxForce continues to honor all warranties sold under the Solaris Computer Systems banner. In our original review last year, Solaris Computer Systems was having some teething troubles with its Web site. The new site at maxforcepc.com is much more put-together, although when this article was written the site’s online system configurator didn’t spit out accurate pricing—this is a pretty big chink in the armor, but Max let us know it was being changed.

On the plus side, Max let us know that MaxForce is upgrading its hardware warranty to three years instead of the original two, so all hardware is covered for a minimum of three years and labor is covered for each system’s lifetime. A little snooping around on the Web showed us that Max is building a reputation for excellent communication and customer support, so while we don’t have any personal experience with MaxForce warranty issues, we prefer stumbling across positive feedback versus lists of complaints.

Now that you have a little background on the company itself, let’s see if MaxForce can still offer a compelling system at a reasonable price.

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  • -1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , October 16, 2008 11:08 AM
    "xtras 1BG USB Flash Drive http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_drive , Assassin ’s Creed (game)" on page 2 - sure u don't mean 1GB?
  • 1 Hide
    wahdangun , October 16, 2008 11:16 AM
    "a GDDR3 motherboard, and no less than three of the fastest video cards money can buy"

    hmmm i think it have alot of typo in here
  • 0 Hide
    random1283 , October 16, 2008 12:00 PM
    OK maybe GDDR3 is a typo but GTX280s are the fastest SINGLE GPU video cards out there and I think thats what he meant
  • 2 Hide
    Pei-chen , October 16, 2008 12:33 PM
    3 years warranty and water cooling don't go together. Water cooling requires too much maintenance compare with high-end air cooling.

    The choice of 2GB memory and Vista 32 sounds like a joke. Think of telling your friends your $4000+ system is running 2GB and Vista 32. 4GB should be minimum and 8GB optional.
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , October 16, 2008 12:50 PM
    Good luck for MaxForce. Hopefully their customer service comes close to Flacon.
  • -3 Hide
    rubix_1011 , October 16, 2008 1:30 PM
    Are you kidding me? Offering 2GB of RAM and a 32 bit OS shouldn't even be a consideration when paying $4000+ for a performance machine. Give me a break: OEM builder Vista 64 is like $80 and I am sure you can get 'volume' discounts for boutique builders like these. Tossing in the other 2GB of DDR3 shouldn't set you back any more than $50 (again, volume purchase discounts).

    I say OS switch-out is negligible cost. You MIGHT see minor price increase due to 4GB RAM as opposed to 2Gb...but still 4GB should be the starting point in a system with this hardware.

    Running 3 280's? You are using over 1/2 your available system memory allocation due to GDDR. 64 bit only.
  • 0 Hide
    smyter_m , October 16, 2008 1:44 PM
    their website down? www.solaris-pc.com?
  • 2 Hide
    cleeve , October 16, 2008 2:22 PM
    rubix_1011Are you kidding me? Offering 2GB of RAM and a 32 bit OS shouldn't even be a consideration when paying $4000+ for a performance machine.


    Please tell me you're not serious. 2GB and Vista 32 is no good for a gaming machine? What are you guys smoking?

    If you guys can provide some evidence that Vista 32 can't stand up to Vista 64 when gaming, I'd be real interested in seeing it. 2 GB or not.

    It sounds to me like you gents are getting caught up in leetness without looking at the bottom line. Vista 64 and 8GB of RAM aren't going to supply higher framerates, gents.

    I thought we were about tangible performance, not bragging rights.
  • 1 Hide
    cleeve , October 16, 2008 2:23 PM
    smyter_mtheir website down? www.solaris-pc.com?


    The website is www.maxforcepc.com
  • 1 Hide
    cleeve , October 16, 2008 2:30 PM
    Pei-chen3 years warranty and water cooling don't go together. Water cooling requires too much maintenance compare with high-end air cooling.


    Falcon and HP managed to do it, admittedly with a slightly lower warranty. Frankly, chances are it will keep the CPU working longer.

    On a side note, MaxForce let me know that they will install custom kit like water cooling at the customer's request.
  • 1 Hide
    rubix_1011 , October 16, 2008 2:41 PM
    Quote:

    rubix_1011 :

    Are you kidding me? Offering 2GB of RAM and a 32 bit OS shouldn't even be a consideration when paying $4000+ for a performance machine.





    Please tell me you're not serious. 2GB and Vista 32 is no good for a gaming machine? What are you guys smoking?

    If you guys can provide some evidence that Vista 32 can't stand up to Vista 64 when gaming, I'd be real interested in seeing it. 2 GB or not.

    It sounds to me like you gents are getting caught up in leetness without looking at the bottom line. Vista 64 and 8GB of RAM aren't going to supply higher framerates, gents.

    I thought we were about tangible performance, not bragging rights.


    Do you even understand the limitations of a 32 bit OS and how RAM and video memory come to factor...? That's not even beginning to say that Vista really needs 2GB minimum to perform well enough to be considered 'performance' anything. Start running CPU and GPU intensive software, which cut into that, and you see some real issues.

    I never said that Vista 32 wasn't capable for gaming...but when you are paying $4000 for a PERFORMANCE machine, 32 bit OS shouldn't even be an option and 4GB RAM should be the baseline. We aren't talking about frugality and DIY on a budget. We are speaking of high-performance boutique PCs being limited by an OS due to memory allocation.
  • -1 Hide
    cleeve , October 16, 2008 2:52 PM
    rubix_1011Do you even understand the limitations of a 32 bit OS and how RAM and video memory come to factor...?


    Vague questions about what I understand is not proof that Vista 64 and 4 GB is faster, Rubix.

    I've yet to see proof that it is. If I'm wrong, I'd love to see some evidence of this. From what I've seen so far tho, more RAM rarely means increased game performance, it usually means quicker loading times at best when it comes to a gaming machine.

    Then again, instead of complaining how it's so deficient, let's look at the benchmarks: the MaxForce manages to school it's HP and Falcon competitors is Crysis like they're standing still... even though those competitors have Vista 64 and 4GB of RAM.

    If it's me whose having trouble understanding the limitations, I invite you to provide proof that I'm so off base...
  • 1 Hide
    rubix_1011 , October 16, 2008 2:59 PM
    Forget it, my argument was against using a 32 bit OS in a high performance machine costing $4000+ when a 64bit OS offers the ability to use more RAM for more performance...not only in gaming, but in applications in general. I don't see the purpose when these builds are meant to offer high quantities of system memory to be allocated and used by the system. I guess if you want to drum 32 bit, feel free. I think you and I are attempting to validate different points.
  • 0 Hide
    cleeve , October 16, 2008 3:05 PM
    I don't know if we're attempting to validate diffrent points as much as we're disagreeing on the impact 4GB and a 64-bit OS makes in 95% of applications.

    I don't think you'd see a diffrence in most things - in fact, Vista 64 is still a bit slower when it comes to gaming, so Vista 32 is a solid choice for a gaming rig.

    If you want a workstation, and use apps that can take advantage of a 64-bit OS and gobs of RAM, then just order the machine with Vista-64 and 8GB. Great!

    But does that invalidate Vista-32 as a good choice for a high-end gaming machine? Hell no. Certainly not to the extent that you guys are slamming it so vocally.
  • -3 Hide
    jorgisven , October 16, 2008 3:22 PM
    wahdangun"a GDDR3 motherboard, and no less than three of the fastest video cards money can buy"hmmm i think it have alot of typo in here

    I agree. Also -"2GB (2x 1GB) Supertalent GDDR3-1800 CL7-7-7" That's not Gddr3. That's just DDR3.

    Also, in reference to going to 4GB. I agree that 2GB is insufficient. However, remembering that it is DDR3, it may add a few hundred in cost, actually. Possibly 2-300, even. DDR3 is still not cheap, particularly the high quality high speed stuff. On newegg, the RAM listed above goes for $189 for the kit. A lower clocked kit (12800, instead of 14400) goes for 329. A higher clocked version, if it were available would be at least an additional $200 more. While I agree a 5% price increase for more memory would give you more than a 5% performance increase, it's nothing to sneeze at. I definitely think 2GB is laughable in a machine like this. But a RAM upgrade would not be cheap if you bought this system.
  • 0 Hide
    stridervm , October 16, 2008 3:24 PM
    It's kinda wierd that you are worrying about the MaxForce only using air cooling when you don't even measure it's temperatures. Just a thought.
  • 3 Hide
    scook9 , October 16, 2008 3:31 PM
    You keep talking about air cooling and how it is going to kill the CPU over time, here is an idea, show some CPU temps! Numbers speak louder than words, and dont have opinions. That being said, a high end air cooling rig can woop a $100-$150 watercooling rig as well as save you the maintanence and risks. water cooling is still limited to the ambient air temperature in the room, so it really doesnt have much to offer that air cooling doesn't. With the new TRUE copper coming out, i'd go for that in a heartbeat over a similarly priced watercooling rig (Swiftech 120). Especially in a high airflow case like the Antec 1200 (which is dam near silent with all fans on high I'll add).Copper TRUE with 2 Scythe S-Flex's in push-pull, and for about $140, you got an air cooling rig that is really gonna beat or be on par with ANY water cooling (not including TEC of course) and NO risk to other components or maintanence. So if you are going to continue making the statement that air cooling will kill the cpu over time, please, just back it up, show us some temps from the mentioned systems, we aren't stupid, let us decide.
  • 0 Hide
    wavebossa , October 16, 2008 3:38 PM
    Jorgisven


    Did you read the article?
    Did you read the comments above?

    Nothing previously stated backs up your claim. Now if this were a server computer than i would agree with you.

    But this is a GAMING computer and it excels at GAMING with 2gb of ram and vista 32.

    End of discussion.
  • 0 Hide
    wavebossa , October 16, 2008 3:39 PM
    Page 6 first line typo. MHz needs to be changed to GHz
  • 0 Hide
    cleeve , October 16, 2008 3:59 PM
    scook9We aren't stupid, let us decide.


    I never said anyone was stupid. I simply stated my opinion that watercooling is better than air cooling for a quad-core CPU at 4 GHz.

    If you don't like my opinion, then it's certainly your perogative to disagree. :) 
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