MaxForce Reviewed: 3-Way SLI and 4 GHz+

Test Systems & Configurations

First of all, we wanted to compare the MaxForce to the high-end machine from our last System Builder Marathon in March. Then, that machine retailed for $3,400 ; today the retail price is more like $2970 with two comparable GeForce 9800 GTX+ cards instead of obsolete 8800 GTXs and Windows Vista Ultimate for a fair price comparison.

To be fair, according to MaxForce’s Web site, the Revolution would only cost $3,144 if it sported a pair of GeForce 9800 GTX+ cards, so the pricing of the MaxForce looks very fair for a pre-overclocked machine with a good warranty.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CPUIntel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 o/c to 4.35 GHz
CPU CoolerSwiftech H20—120 Compact Cooler Kit
MotherboardAsus Striker II Formula
RAMCrucial Ballistix DDR2 800 PC2-6400—4 GB
Graphics2x Gigabyte GeForce 8800GTX—GV-NX88X768H-RH
Hard Drives2x Western Digital Caviar WD7500AAKS
SoundAsus SupremeFX II Riser Card
CaseSilverstone Temjin TJ09BW
PowerCoolermaster RS850-EMBA 850W
OpticalToshiba Samsung Storage Technology SH-203B
OSWindows Vista Professional 32 bit

The only real beef we have with the Revolution GTX3 compared to our System Builder Marathon machine is that MaxForce does not offer an option for liquid cooling. In our opinion, air cooling is stretching it when you’re running quad-core CPUs at 4 GHz, even with an excellent cooler like the Tuniq Tower 120. We have reservations about the long-term effects of running these CPUs at 4 GHz on air, but with the warranty MaxForce offers, it’s the firm’s prerogative we suppose.

Because the graphics world has moved on since the last System Builder Marathon, it’s unfair to compare the MaxForce against the high-end SBM machine when it comes to gaming, so we’re going to limit its comparison to synthetic and application benchmarks.

For the game benchmarks, we’ll compare the MaxForce PC against some current high-end gaming rigs : The first is HP’s Blackbird 002 LC with two GeForce GTX 280 cards in SLI. Comparing against this machine will give us an opportunity to see the advantage of running three GeForce GTX 280 cards instead of two. We will also compare the triple-SLI MaxForce against the Falcon Northwest Mach 5 system, which sports a pair of Radeon 4870 X2 cards. This will let us see how quad-CrossFire compares against 3-way SLI.

Since all of these systems have quad-core CPUs clocked in the 4 GHz range, this should make for an interesting comparison. Do note, however, that both the HP and Falcon Northwest systems use liquid cooling to tame the CPU heat—Asetek’s LCLC system.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
SystemHP Blackbird 002 LCFalcon Northwest Mach 5
CPUIntel Core 2 Extreme QX97703.20 GHz, FSB-1600, 12 MB CacheOverclocked to 3.60 GHz, Stock FSBIntel Core 2 Quad Q96503.00 GHz, FSB-1333, 12 MB CacheOverclocked to 4.00 GHz, FSB-1776
CPU CoolerAsetek LCLC with Dual 120 mm FansAsetek LCLC with Single 120 mm Fan
MotherboardEVGA nForce 790i Ultra SLI790i Ultra SLI, BIOS P05 (05/16/2008)Asus P5E3 Premium WiFi-APIntel X48, BIOS 0505 (06/11/2008)
RAM4x Corsair CM3X1G1600C8D44x 1024 MB, DDR3-1600, CL 8-8-8-24Underclocked to DDR3-1333 9-9-9-244x Kingston KHX14400D3/1 G4x 1024 MB, DDR3-1800, CL 8-8-8-24Underclocked to DDR3-1333 6-6-6-15
Graphics2x EVGA 01G-P3-1282-AR (SLI)Nvidia GTX-280 GPU (621 MHz)1024 MB GDDR3-2268 (Per Card)2x Radeon HD 4870 X2 (Crossfire)2x ATI 4870 GPU (Per Card) 750 MHz2x 1024 MB GDDR5-3600 (Per Card)
Hard DrivesWestern Digital Raptor WD1600ADFS160 GB, 10000 RPM, 16 MB Cache2x WD WD3000GLFS (RAID 0)300 GB, 10000 RPM, 16 MB Cache
SoundIntegrated Realtek ALC888S CodecIntegrated ADI 1988B Codec
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit NetworkingIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerTopower 1100W ModularizedSilverstone SST-ST1200 Modularized
KeyboardNot Included (Optional)Not Included (Optional)
MouseNot Included (Optional)Not Included (Optional)
OSWindows Vista Ultimate 64 bitWindows Vista Ultimate 64 bit
WarrantyOne YearThree Years (One Year Overnight Ship)
SupportOne YearLifetime
  • 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.