So, as members of the crosshatch mostly know, I am now about a week into my new 'puter which I purchased after christmas in a rush of blood to the head from www.komplett.co.uk so I thought I'd blog it up.
Erstwhile clan-leader, bread-product misclassifier and twin-worrier Slim had recommended Komplett as a kit site who have decided as their USP to offer said parts but to also offer their compilation into a working pc for basically nowt extra. How the economics work is up to them but I thought I'd give it a whirl rather than try to once again bribe / con / blackmail previously condusive clannies such as The Lurker and Mugwum into making me up stuff from parts at my gaff.
Given where we are in the big scheme of things, which is to say about 13 billion years into the whole gig or 6,419 years for those of you watching in The Truth Vision (hey! how are you? how are my favourite totally fucking mad people?) or more pertinently just a handful of months since Intel handed AMD their arse in a sling with the launch of the Core 2 Duo, I had one of those - the mid placed E6600. Other kit, to get it out the way, included 2 gigs of Corsair matched DDR2 ram, an Abit AW9-Max mobo, a couple of 320 gig barracudas, dvd drive and an XFX 8800 GTX gpu card. The latter, obviously a bit of a mental purchase but with being on the cusp of DX10 and Vista I decided that it was better to do this than purchase a pretty good card now for say 250 quid (you just *don't* buy a new puter and get a shit card do you? Do you??) and then post dx10 another pretty good card for the same when I could get an 8800 in now and save about a hundred quid. Wrapped it up in a fairly nice Coolermaster Wave case which I can't be arsed to take a pic of since you can look it up on the net and all my clannies will see it at LurkAn fairly soon. Tasteful blue LED stuff which somehow manages to be tasteful without suggesting that you are just one pubescence away from attacking the side of your case with a dremmel and installing neon cabling.
So a week in there's a couple of things worth mentioning. Obviously the Core 2 Duo spanks like nothing else as writ up by The Lurker on this here site. Oh lord is it fast. The 8800 is frankly just fucking mental. Games like Vegas, Oblivion and Company of Heroes have taken on a different quality due to the sheer pig-slaying framerate of the vid card. Vegas in particular is a fantastically atmospheric and enticing game with this sort of horsepower. Also worth a mention is that the normal desktop and photo quality of the imagery on this card is absolutely superb. Feel good about what's to come is my summary.
More than that though there are a couple of really cool things that I'd say about the sys. First off, Komplett themselves did a good job. The online site allows for multiple configurations (about 20 vid card selections for instance and about 6 mobo manufacturers with different mobos). I specced out a machine pretty much EXACTLY how I wanted it and the order tracking and delivery status through DHL Europe (shipped out of Holland) was excellent. Construction is good (especially considering the 8800 is literally the size of a video case and actually overhangs the hard drives) on what is acknowledged to be somewhat of a tight board. The slide out mobo tray on the CoolerMaster helps here. Only minor gripe is that they don't offer different cpu cooler options so it's stock all the way. I imagine this is a liability issue for them - why fit something exotic if, particularly, extra weight and stuff could cause damage in shipping - but big deal really; if you want something different get it in afterwards.
Big-cool thing - the Abit AW9-Max board. Dual gigabit lan, firewire, more usb 2 than you can shake an auditor at and a sexy top-of-the-case door which allows you to plug in headies and mic and some usb stuff too. It's also Quad Core compatible for that CPU upgrade in 18-24 months or so. More than that it has an Windows based utility called uGuru which allows you to overclock and adjust fan settings from within errr Windows without having to fuck with the Bios. 3 default profiles and 3 user profiles allow you to set things up just how you want. After a bit of experimentation and getting slightly annoyed with the cpu fan auto-throttling up and down like someone doing a scale on a demented (but quiet) bumble bee, I discovered that you can reduce the polling-time of the fan checking system to 10 seconds which makes it absolutely tolerable. More than that, for normal desktop work I have set one profile at a slight under-clock allowing for a very quiet working environment with the fan tooling around at about 800rpm (3000 max). For games, I experimented with an air-cooled totally standard fan clock from the standard 2.4ghz up to errr 3.1 ghz without the system appearing to have a care in the world. I haven't pushed it anymore because frankly it seems pointless. But these things just absolutely love it up 'em and don't blink. Fan is still only at about 2200 rpm out of 3.
And so it's a cracking system which I have to say comes in at a considerable saving. Obviously premium fast gaming pc sites are weighing in at high 2 thousands for a system like this. Mesh and Dell specc'd me up something with not such desireable elements in them for about 2,200. Komplett came in at 1,500 (bearing in mind always that the vid card is a big splash in this particular pond at 420 quid). So really it's a very good arrangement. You have to load the OS and all drivers and stuff yourself, so this is not for Retail Johnny but if I can do it, I suspect it holds no terrors for anyone who actually knows the difference between the pieces of kit I've mentioned. I finished off the pile with a G15 keyboard and a G7 mouse both of which have been absolutely great additions.
So end of report; Komplett are on the win for this and for one small temporary blissful period I have bragging rights. It never lasts long of course but I have to say, just for now, it's pretty damn sweet. I hope that Komplett can keep the economics compelling for them as this has been a great find. Now....now that that's done, come here and let me put a trilinear 16xFSAA 120fps bullet in your testicles.....