Dream Machine 2012 - The Future Is Now (Part 2)

9/22/2012 1:08:28 AM

2X 512GB OCZ Vertex 4

Description: 512GB OCZ Vertex 4

1TB of SSD storage, at last

SSDs have come a long way since 2009, when we used our first SSD in a Dream Machine build. That SATA 3Gb/s 256GB unit cost $700. Today, we can get a 512GB OCZ Vertex U for roughly $600. Not bad.

For DM2012 we wanted 1TB of storage, so we tapped two Vertex 4 drives in RAID 0. With the X79 PCH set to RAID 0 and a stripe size of 128KB, we saw about 800MB/s reads and 1,000MB/s writes. That's Dreamy.

3X HGST Ultrastar 7K4000

Description: HGST Ultrastar 7K4000

We'll never go hungry for space

With a 32GB RAM disk and 1TB of SSD stor­age, we were just getting started. Despite all the bellyaching you've heard about me­chanical drives going away, they won't. Know why? We have way too much crap. So muchsothatwecanactuallyusethe12TBof storage we're packing into Dream Machine 2012. This bounty was achieved painlessly with three 4TB HGST Ultrastar drives.

2X EVGA Hydro Copper GeForce GTX 690

Description: EVGA Hydro Copper GeForce GTX 690

The most powerful GPUs on the planet, on liquid

There’s only one thing better than the most powerful graphics card on earth- two of them. And, yes, we did entertain the fantasy of four GTX 690 cards in octo-SLI but, sadly, the drivers don't ex­ist. Normally, running dual-GPU cards comes with a compromise, but the power and thermal efficiency of the new Kepler architecture means our quad-SLI setup is damn near the same as running four GeForce GTX 680 cards. We'll leave you for now with that tantalizing thought.

Silverstone TJ11

Description: Silverstone TJ11

Designed for modding and painting

Consumer desktops may be getting smaller, but our Dream Machine seems to be getting bigger. The Silverstone TJ11 is so big, in some states you have to get a zoning variance to bring it home. It's so big, it has a power switch on top and bottom for those who can't reach that high. Even better, the case is de­signed with modding in mind. Instead of pop rivets and glued-on plastic panels, the aluminum case is screwed together, allowing panels to be removed for easy modding or, in our case, painting. The modularity of the case allowed us to pull the hard drive racks – normally stowed away inside the bottom – to make room for a massive 560mm water-cooling radiator.

All dolled up: No mere paint job

When we say that Smooth Creations (    is probably the best paint shooter in the busi­ness, we say it having seen custom-painted high-end PCs from just about every bou­tique company in the country. Yeah, sure, invariably we'll get an email from someone saying the paint ain't that good: ‘Hell, I can do better in my garage with a rattle can of Rust-Oleum.’ From our own experience of being shade-tree case painters, we say, ‘Fat chance, Bubba!’ You can't touch these paint jobs. Smooth will shoot the outside of a case for a mere $300, and will do both inside and out for $700. In our book, that's a bargain for a case that makes a serious style statement.

Audioengine A5+

Description: Audioengine A5+

Subwoofer shmubwoofer

We've long been fans of Audioengine's A5 speakers, and the A5+ builds on that heritage with a few subtle improve­ments that make them even better. Want the full skinny

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