MaxForce Reviewed: 3-Way SLI and 4 GHz+

The Revolution GTX3, Continued

Graphics : 3x XFX GeForce GTX 280 (SLI)

This is the heart of the Revolution GTX3’s gaming potential : a triple threat of the fastest single-GPU cards money can buy. It will be interesting to see how these can deliver compared to a dual-GTX 280 and dual-4870 X2 machine. In the past, our experiences have been that you need a particularly powerful CPU in order to drive a dual-card configuration, much less a 3-way setup like this one.

Hard Drives : 1 Western Digital 300 GB Velociraptor, and 1 Western Digital 640 GB Caviar

Instead of using a RAID solution to boost hard drive transfer speed, MaxForce opted for a fast 10,000 RPM 300 GB Velociraptor for the system drive and a regular 640 GB Caviar for storage. It does the job without the data jeopardy of RAID 0 and the performance hit of RAID 1.

With that said, we’re still advocates of more secure arrays like RAID 5 and 0+1, especially on such a beefy machine. It’s also be interesting to see how the Revolution HTX3 would do with a couple of Intel’s SSDs.

Sound : Asus Xonar DX

The Asus Xonar has established itself as a high-end alternative to Creative’s Xi-Fi cards and is an excellent option in the high-end MaxForce rig. Check out this peek at the Xonar from our last System Builder Marathon.

Case : Antec Twelve Hundred

The Antec Twelve Hundred is an excellent case with a lot of space and superlative airflow, coupled with quiet operation—a fine choice for any high-end rig.

Power : Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W

Thermaltake’s Toughpower supplies a rated 1200 watts of power. It might be overkill, but those three GeForce 280 cards will be hungry and it’s never a good idea to skimp on the juice. Generally, our concerns about using heavy-duty PSUs like this once center on efficiency. But there’s a fair chance that the Toughpower in MaxForce’s Revolution will be operating within its optimal efficiency range for much of the time.

OS : Windows Vista Ultimate 32 bit

As we’ve mentioned earlier, 32-bit Vista can only make use of roughly 3 GB of RAM, so Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit is appropriate given MaxForce’s decision to arm our machine with 2 GB of DDR3. Folks who are looking to use apps that can take advantage of more RAM should be steering toward the 64-bit version of the operating system, and we’d most definitely recommend a higher-end memory configuration.

In addition to these main components, there are extras of course : an optical drive, a card reader, and a USB stick. MaxForce includes the OS and other driver disks and manuals in a binder with detailed parts and contact information.

  • neiroatopelcc
    "xtras 1BG USB Flash Drive , Assassin ’s Creed (game)" on page 2 - sure u don't mean 1GB?
  • 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
  • random1283
    OK maybe GDDR3 is a typo but GTX280s are the fastest SINGLE GPU video cards out there and I think thats what he meant
  • Pei-chen
    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.
  • Shadow703793
    Good luck for MaxForce. Hopefully their customer service comes close to Flacon.
  • 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. 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.
  • smyter_m
    their website down?
  • cleeve
    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.
  • cleeve
    smyter_mtheir website down?
    The website is
  • cleeve
    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.