It's Time to Welcome Tom's $10,000 PC!

Under The Hood: Core 2 Extreme, 4 GB RAM, Quad SLI Graphics

The $10k system is a clean looking machine from the outside, but this pales in comparison to the work Falcon Northwest did on the inside. The cables are cleanly laid out like one would see in a show car with its hood open. Airflow is maximized, so there is no interference with the inflow from the front of the case to the back. A single 120 mm fan draws air in the bottom over the dual 150 GB Western Digital Raptor-X drives (configured in RAID 0 for maximum performance) and the 500 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200-10 drive as a data repository.

Air moves past the hard drives to the two BFG GeForce 7950GX2 graphics card connected together into a Quad SLI configuration. The cards expel hot air out the case via slots in the back plate of the cards.

Air that moves up the case flows across two matching pairs of Corsair TwinX-2048-6400C4 memory modules, providing 4 GB of RAM that operates at a base frequency of 333 MHz and at a latency timing of CL4-4-4-9 (CAS, RCD, RP, RAS). That air is then expelled from the case via two 80 mm fans located on the back of the case.

To make sure there is enough positive air pressure inside the case, the Sanyo Denki San Ace MC Liquid cooling solution for the CPU pulls air in from the top of the case and drives it over the radiator and down to the back side of the Sony 16X DVD ROM and Plextor 760A double-layer DVD burner. The special cooling solution allowed Falcon technicians to crank up the CPU clock speeds from 2.93 GHz to 3.73 GHz.

The spec sheet looks good, but the performance was even better. While the world’s best overclockers could have pulled out some incredible numbers, this is a configuration you could purchase with a three year warranty in case anything should go wrong. Normally, problems can be solved without the need to send the system back, but if the system does have to go back, Falcon Northwest will overnight the system back to its workshop and return it to the customer overnight. For year two and three the system will be shipped back overnight for free, but the owner would have to send the system themselves. As you can see, Falcon is serious about its systems, and provides a serious warranty.

We put the system through a quick set of tests to see what it could do. Full throttle this system pushed out the highest scores we have seen from a production system.

System Specifications

$10,000 PC Components
Chassis Silverstone TJ-03 Aluminum
Power Supply Silverstone Zeus 850 W
Processor(s) Intel Core 2 Extreme Edition
2.93 GHz @ 3.73 GHz, 1.066 GHz FSB, 4 MB L2 cache
Motherboard Asus P5N32-SLI DLX
RAM Corsair TwinX-2048-6400C4
4 x 1024 MB @ DDR666 (CL4.0-4-4-9)
Hard Drive 2 x Western Digital Raptor, WD1500ADFD
150 GB, 10,000 rpm, 16 MB cache, SATA150 (in RAID 0)
1 x Seagate, ST3500641AS
500 GB, 7,200 rpm, 16 MB cache, SATA150
Graphics Cards BFG GeForce 7950GX2 1 GB GDDR3
570 MHz Core
775 MHz Memory (1.55 GHz DDR)
Sound Card Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS 7.1 Channels PCI
Networking On-Board nForce4 Gigabit Ethernet
Onboard Marvell Gigabit Ethernet
Optical Drives Sony 16x DVD-ROM
Plextor 760A 16x DVD +/- RW Dual Layer
Floppy Drive Mitsumi FA404 USB 2.0 Floppy Drive and 8-in-1 Card Reader
Mouse & Keyboard Logitech Cordless Desktop MX 5000 Laser
Speakers Logitech Z-5450 Dolby 5.1 and THX Certified
Display Apple Cinema Display 30" Dual Link DVI (2560x1600)
CPU Cooler Sanyo Denki San Ace MC Liquid

Fire It Up !

System Hardware
Processor(s) AMD Athlon 64 FX-60
2.6 GHz, 1.0 GHz HT-Link, 1 MB L2 cache
Platform Nvidia : Asus AN832-SLI Premium
NVIDIA nForce4 SLI, BIOS version 1205
Nvidia : Asus A8R32-MVP Premium
ATI Xpress 3200 CrossFire, BIOS version 0404
RAM Corsair CMX1024-4400Pro
2x 1024 MB @ DDR400 (CL3.0-4-4-8)
Hard Drive Western Digital Raptor, WD1500ADFD
150 GB, 10,000 rpm, 16 MB cache, SATA150
Networking On-Board nForce4 Gigabit Ethernet
Onboard Marvell Gigabit Ethernet
Graphics Cards Powercolor Radeon X1900XTX 512 MB GDDR3
650 MHz Core
775 MHz Memory (1.55 GHz DDR)

XFX GeForce 7950GX2 1 GB GDDR3
570 MHz Core
775 MHz Memory (1.55 GHz DDR)

Nvidia GeForce 7900GTX 512 MB GDDR3
675 MHz Core
820 MHz Memory (1.64 GHz DDR)

Power Supply PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1,000W
System Software & Drivers
OS Microsoft Windows XP Professional 5.10.2600, Service Pack 2
DirectX Version 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
Graphics Driver(s) ATI - Catalyst 6.6 WHQL
NVIDIA - Forceware 84.21 WHQL

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