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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
ChassisSilverstone TJ-03 Aluminum
Power SupplySilverstone Zeus 850 W
Processor(s)Intel Core 2 Extreme Edition2.93 GHz @ 3.73 GHz, 1.066 GHz FSB, 4 MB L2 cache
MotherboardAsus P5N32-SLI DLX
RAMCorsair TwinX-2048-6400C44 x 1024 MB @ DDR666 (CL4.0-4-4-9)
Hard Drive2 x Western Digital Raptor, WD1500ADFD150 GB, 10,000 rpm, 16 MB cache, SATA150 (in RAID 0)1 x Seagate, ST3500641AS500 GB, 7,200 rpm, 16 MB cache, SATA150
Graphics CardsBFG GeForce 7950GX2 1 GB GDDR3570 MHz Core775 MHz Memory (1.55 GHz DDR)
Sound CardCreative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS 7.1 Channels PCI
NetworkingOn-Board nForce4 Gigabit EthernetOnboard Marvell Gigabit Ethernet
Optical DrivesSony 16x DVD-ROMPlextor 760A 16x DVD +/- RW Dual Layer
Floppy DriveMitsumi FA404 USB 2.0 Floppy Drive and 8-in-1 Card Reader
Mouse & KeyboardLogitech Cordless Desktop MX 5000 Laser
SpeakersLogitech Z-5450 Dolby 5.1 and THX Certified
DisplayApple Cinema Display 30" Dual Link DVI (2560x1600)
CPU CoolerSanyo Denki San Ace MC Liquid

Fire It Up !

System Hardware
Processor(s)AMD Athlon 64 FX-602.6 GHz, 1.0 GHz HT-Link, 1 MB L2 cache
PlatformNvidia : Asus AN832-SLI PremiumNVIDIA nForce4 SLI, BIOS version 1205Nvidia : Asus A8R32-MVP PremiumATI Xpress 3200 CrossFire, BIOS version 0404
RAMCorsair CMX1024-4400Pro2x 1024 MB @ DDR400 (CL3.0-4-4-8)
Hard DriveWestern Digital Raptor, WD1500ADFD150 GB, 10,000 rpm, 16 MB cache, SATA150
NetworkingOn-Board nForce4 Gigabit EthernetOnboard Marvell Gigabit Ethernet
Graphics CardsPowercolor Radeon X1900XTX 512 MB GDDR3650 MHz Core775 MHz Memory (1.55 GHz DDR)XFX GeForce 7950GX2 1 GB GDDR3570 MHz Core775 MHz Memory (1.55 GHz DDR)Nvidia GeForce 7900GTX 512 MB GDDR3675 MHz Core820 MHz Memory (1.64 GHz DDR)
Power SupplyPC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1,000W
System Software & Drivers
OSMicrosoft Windows XP Professional 5.10.2600, Service Pack 2
DirectX Version9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
Graphics Driver(s)ATI - Catalyst 6.6 WHQLNVIDIA - Forceware 84.21 WHQL