From the word go this beast had performance written all over it. We didn't think for a second the machine wasn't going to fly; it literally blitzed all our tests, including those game ones at 2560 x 1600.
Coming in at around $5900 AUD just for the box, it does carry a massive cost. But fortunately through the IBP Australia website you can configure a FragBox for significantly less whilst still having the same quality behind the system. If you're only using a monitor that supports up to 1920 x 1200, you could remove a HD 4870 X2, drop the two SSD drives, come down to 4GB of RAM and move to a standard DVD-ROM and still have a machine that absolutely flies.
What's amazing, though, is just how much power you can get out of something so small. But with that said, there are cons to come with it. When you put this much into such a small space, the system's going to run warm. Move from the micro-ATX case which gives you the option for a bigger cooler means you would get 4GHz out of the CPU. With that said, though, while it runs warm it still never missed a beat and ultimately that is the most important thing.
The only other con to the system would have to be the noise. Upon the word go it's pretty loud due to the HD 4870 X2 cards being on top of each other. Their fans tend to spin faster more often, increasing the dBs.
At the end of the day you can't have your cake and eat it. If you didn't want the noise you would either have to move to a bigger case or start to down grade the system and lose some of the power. Fortunately, moving to a configuration similar to what we mentioned above brings not only the price down, but also the noise while still offering some very impressive performance.
As far as service on the system goes, like all IBP Australia systems we have a three year warranty. The other good news is that the guys at IBP Australia aren't just sales monkeys who want to sell systems, but also gamers who have a passion for what they do. You can feel confident in the advice that they give you when it comes to asking questions about the configuration you want.
While the system might be a bit rich for some, a few key downgrades can help drop the price while still keeping performance up. You don't have to be going to LANs to want a small system; you simply might not have the space for something so big or you just want something that powers a monitor twice its size. I love the FragBox due to the plain fact I love small systems. It's just nice to know that we're able to get some real power out of one these days without going to town on the case with a dremel.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [The Outside]
- Page 3 [The Inside]
- Page 4 [Test System Setup and 3DMark06]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - 3DMark Vantage]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - World in Conflict]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 3]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - wPrime]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - EVEREST Ultimate Edition]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - HD Tune Pro]
- Page 14 [Power Consumption Tests]
- Page 15 [Final Thoughts]
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