At BlizzCon 2010, high-end gaming PC builder Digital Storm showed us a pair of machines powerful and attractive enough to make PC gamers' hearts sing... and their wallets cry for mercy.
One of the big differences between console and PC gaming is that you can't spend thousands of dollars for a more powerful Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. To be fair, you'll never have to spend thousands of dollars on a more powerful console; they all run the same software the same way. But to PC gamers their machines are a badge of honour, and their system specs are more impressive than any amount of gamerscore points.
Digital Storm tapped me on the shoulder via email when they found out I was going to attend BlizzCon 2010, so I figured I would stop by during a free moment to see what new machines they were showing off.
Digital Storm representative Robert Wall (known by many customers as the tech support guy) first presented me with the glowing green monstrosity you see at the top of this post.
It's huge. It's futuristic. My desk would likely cave under the pressure of this monstrous cube, and still I'd gladly suffer its weight. The roughly 0.5m x 0.5m cube is a completely customisable Mountain Mods chassis. Glowing green tubes filled with anti-static fluid cool it so completely that the air blowing out of it, even after a day running on the crowded show floor, would be a pleasant replacement for a room fan.
The system features a dual radiator setup, dual 6-core processors, four NVIDIA GTX 480's with 1.5 gigs of video memory each and 12 gigs of OCC 1600 RAM.
Now how much would you pay? Try between $US6800 and $US7500, with prices fluctuating based on your options. Should you overclock the system to 3.9GHz or 4.4GHz? This is a decision I will likely never have to make.
As we were talking an elderly woman wandered up and asked to look at Robert's Android phone. I took the opportunity to shoot a little video.
The other system Digital Storm wanted me to see was in front of a huge line of Blizzard fans, waiting for their chance to have a go at it. This was likely because the sexy computer was hooked up to a 52-inch television running World of Warcraft in 3D. Despite the blur from my lack of 3D glasses, I could see the game was running smoother than I'd ever seen it run.
I'll let Robert do the talking on this one.
Earlier in the show I was talking to a fan who said it was often depressing coming to gaming events and seeing the games running on these ultra-powerful computers, and then going home to suffer through the poor performance of his home PC.
That's just one of those strange things about PC gaming. Some despise the constant upgrades, while others see each new, more powerful system as a challenge to rise to.
As for me, I'll probably be rocking this monster for years to come.
Keep an eye on Digital Storm's website, where these two monster systems will be debuting soon.