Digital Storm unleashes Aventum II performance PC
Though the death knell seems to be sounding for PCs, they're still the system of choice for power users and gamers. It's precisely those users that boutique system maker Digital Storm is targeting as it opens the cage door and lets loose the Aventum II PC powerhouse. First unveiled at CES back in January, the top of the range pre-configured model features a six-core processor, generous memory and storage, and a liquid-cooling system that's as attractive as it is efficient, sporting copper piping, huge radiators and unique venting. Power and performance don't come cheap though, so you might want to sit down before jumping in for a closer look.
The Aventum II system features Digital Storm's own Aventum RGB LED lighting system, runs Windows 7 Pro and has eight hard drive bays, a removable front panel for ease of access, and can support two power supplies. The in-house steel chassis includes temperature probes for monitoring five key thermal zones to allow the system to automatically regulate the computer's 22 chassis fans, though users can get their cooling control hands dirty too, via specialized software.
Rather than route performance-sapping heat away from core components through radiators like other liquid-cooled systems, the Aventum II benefits from a proprietary isolated exhaust chamber design that channels hot air under the power supply and out through the rear vent. The performance computer does include radiators, three 420 mm monsters in fact, which help keep key components cool while users unlock the system's performance potential. On select configurations, the cooling system also sports hand-crafted custom nickel-plated copper pipes inspired by high-end automotive cooling systems, giving each model an air of uniqueness.
Pre-configured systems start at US$4,999. For that wad of cash you'll get an Intel Core i7 4770K processor, 16 GB of 1600 MHz RAM, two Nvidia GTX 780 GPUs, a 240 GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD spinning at 7200 RPM, and a DVD burner. This flavor comes with a 1050 W PSU supplying the power needed for all that computing oomph, but doesn't come with the copper piping.
The liquid-cooling system featuring those nickel-plated copper pipes is reserved for the Ultimate edition, which runs to $9,500. The top of the range Aventum II features a Core i7 3970X processor running at 3.5 GHz, 16 GB of 1866 MHz DDR3 RAM, three Nvidia GTX Titan GPUs, the same capacious storage as the starter model, but comes with a bigger power supply providing the juice.
Prior to shipping, each unit is put through a rigorous 72-hour stress test to make sure it meets the quality grade, and each purchase is backed by life-time US-based tech support.
Product page: Aventum II
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It is the world of cursor precision, large screen real estate, first person shooters, large storage capacities and brute force processing power.
Yes, an iPad hooked up to an external large monitor, a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and a cloud back-end for big storage and processing is virtually the same thing. But then you might as well call it a desktop PC with IOS7. And it wouldn't run Office or Photoshop, so what is the point.
In keeping with the main topic, I'm very familiar with current hardware prices having recently scoped something similar, and I can tell you this thing is well overpriced. Particularly the $9.5k variant.
In those price ranges out of the box you would at least have expected them to give you 5GHz overclocked on either CPU, and a PCI-X SSD like the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2,(Read 1500MB/s, Write 1225MB/s )
Agreed this PC is completely over priced, but it does look sweet with the piping laid out such as it is. (Ideas for my next custom :P)
Worth noting however that the Revodrives are very deceptive with the read write performances as that speed relates mainly to it max performance on huge file and only a few of them. There performance when moving through load of small to medium files is below par with high end SSD, also they are not renowned for reliabilty (then again neither are SSD's so....)
Computer cooling is one of the interests I greatly immerse myself into and building your custom water cooling loop is so satisfying. The cooling is better than when you buy it.
Seeing this product doesn't take much explaining that it is just too much money, too little value.
Granted I'm one step behind on the processor, I only have one graphics processor, and no watercoooling; but I only paid about $1500.
I think I could source the missing parts for less than $8K
Freddy, you are so right!
Regarding the Revodrives, the IOPS is faster then the SATAs, and the Max IOPS edition even more so, though quite highly priced. This pertains to small files in particular, and there are a number of reviews to support the claim. Won't pollute the post with long HTML references.
I do agree with you about the reliability of these units not being terribly high. I suspect this is a firmware issue, as they don't really get hot. This is ultimately why I went for the Samsung 840 Pro in the end with a 5yr warranty. Motherboard manufacturers also need to support PCI-X HDD vendors as there are still issues to this day where the BIOS tries to boot off SATA and ignore the PCI-X drive.
With my reference to the CPU overclocked out of the box I was referring to people who purchase one of these systems should be given a golden sample CPU, or best of a batch of CPUs tested for their top end, as they are not all created equal.
With external storage these days, I would reduce the amount of internal heat by going extra for storage. I think the days of needs lots of internal drive bays is becoming detrimental since it just simply adds too much heat requiring additional cooling. I would just off load all storage (other than internal SSD) to an external RAID box.
I think "the PC is dying" is a little extreme. It's still a market, the only problem is that the only way to make money selling them is by selling lots of high end models. since the low end is priced so there isn't much margin.