Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Altech Computers Corsair Fatality Water Cooled P160
- Powerful, Watercooling preassembled
- Costly, No Monitor
If you've got the cash and lack the know how, Altech's Corsair gaming machine may be the perfect high end PC for you.
Price$ 6,000.00 (AUD)
As the video games industry continues to grow exponentially, the need for custom built gaming machines designed to cope with ever increasing system requirements will always be there. Altechs Fatality Water Cooled PC is an example of such a machine, sporting some of the best in computer hardware under the hood and placing it in a futuristic case which should be attractive to most gamers.
We did find the design to be a little over the top, but for those who like their machines full of bling this box will be right up your alley. The black case is filled with glowing blue LEDs which accentuate the watercooling tubes that run throughout the system. Generally blue LEDs can look a little cheesy, but combined with the water they really add a nice touch. The system also sports two fans in the front grill, which add some more colour, bathing all the internals in neon light. Overall it is a futuristic if slightly fancy looking system.
Of course what really matters with a PC is the grunt-factor; it could be housed in case of chocolate studded with diamonds, but if it didn't perform what good would it be (apart from as a valuable and delicious treat)? Altech's machine has no problems in this area. A little while ago it would have been the best setup money could buy. It sports an Athlon FX-57 processor, with two gigabytes of ram and two 7800 GTXs in SLI configuration. In recent months however a whole new series of hardware has been released, with the X1900 XTX and the 7900 GTX on the graphics card side of things and the FX-60 processor, all of which eclipses the Altech machine's setup. What does this ultimately mean? It is still damn fast, just not the fastest anymore.
Our benchmarks confirmed this. The machine churned out an impressive 13400 in 3Dmark05, which is a brilliant score considering that was at stock speeds. We tested it with a number of games and had no problem running any of them at our 19" LCD resolution 1280X960. Quake 4 looked stunning with proper anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled and even F.E.A.R managed to run smoothly, a feat not achieved on many pre-built PCs to date. As a gaming PC this unit will not disappoint; it can handle anything currently on the market, and handle it well.
With an inbuilt watercooling system however, why stop at merely excellent performance? Under extreme cooling conditions, people have managed to push their FX-57 chips (2.8ghz default speed) past the 4ghz mark. Whilst you won't go quite this far without some liquid nitrogen and a lot of patience, you should expect to be able to surpass the 3ghz limit with no problems. Water cooling is far more efficient than air cooling, and is a lot more fun to play with, but it is also a huge pain to setup and maintain. The fact that it comes preinstalled with all the bells and whistles on this system takes away one of the key problems of such a setup.
The one area that we found questionable was the price. The whole system clocks in at just under $6000, which is a lot of money to spend on a PC that doesn't even have a monitor. Furthermore, the prices are more in line with what the components cost individually a few months back. They have since dropped or been slightly superceded (the 7900GT for example costs $550 or so and performs similarly to the $700 7800 GTX) and so we'd like to see Altech bring the price down a little, to be more in line with modern levels. Still, as a prebuilt system it is hard to fault, for many people, putting together a PC is a prospect too daunting for words, so for those wanting some of the best performance around without any hassle, this system may be the right choice.
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