Specifications, Pricing and Availability
You will be surprised to find that the Smooth Creations LAN Shark is more than just a pretty case. The LAN Shark is like a super model with a double major degree. Obviously with Smooth Creations you know that the paint is top notch, degree one. As a system builder, the company and their R&D staff have come up with a pretty impressive list of must-have items for their tricked out system. Let's have a look at the bill of materials.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 @ 3.0 GHz
Motherboard: DFI LANPARTY Jr. P45-T2RS
Memory: Kingston 2x 2GB DDRII 800 @ 900 MHz
Graphics Card: Diamond HD 4870 1GB
Power Supply: Tagan BZ Series 750 Watt
Hard Disk: Western Digital Raptor 150GB
Optical Disk 1: Asus 20X DVD RW
Chassis: Smooth Creations Custom "LAN Shark"
Cooling: Zalman CNPS9700 NT
Keyboard: Custom Logitech G15
Mouse: Custom Logitech G5 Laser
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Ultimate 32-bit
It will be difficult for Smooth Creations to move past the stigmatism of a 'paint company', but putting out systems like this is a good way to start. Right off the bat the company went with the Intel Core2 Quad and overclocked it to 3.0 GHz. These processors have a broad range of successful overclocks by enthusiasts and going to 3.0 is considered a minimal OC. This will leave a lot of room for consumers to explore once they feel the time is right and the DFI LAN Party Jr will give them that option.
Moving down the component list, the Diamond HD 4870 1GB graphics card was a great choice for this system that is designed to be a performer without breaking the bank. The benchmarks will be the ultimate judge, but I will go ahead and let you in on the secret now; Crysis at 1920 x 1200 with over 35 FPS on average.
The rest of the system components are of no surprise and are considered to be of high quality amongst those in the industry. My only real complaint with the sample we received is with the memory and operating system. I would have liked to have seen the system come with 4GB and a 64-bit OS, but I am a bit of a progressive on such things. We have yet to see more than a handful of programs that take advantage of the advanced 64-bit OS and in reality it breaks more programs than it benefits.
The real stand out from the list is the custom case, keyboard and mouse. Smooth Creations does remarkable work in this area and you can see another example in my article of the Cooler Master CSX Medusa. The keyboard, mouse and case all arrived at our U.S. test lab in the Pyro theme. Flame on; the work is beautiful, as you will soon see.
The Smooth Creations LAN Shark is available at three price points on their website; Affordable, Pro and Extreme. I would recommend calling the company and working with one of their sales associates and going over the options and paint theme. This will allow you to get the most out of your new system. To be honest, I could write up an entire five page article just about the options list. But just to mention a few of the extras Smooth Creations offers, some highlights include total custom paint work, "Gamer Tag" name on the case, game artwork and really just about anything you can come up with to be painted. Most of these options are included in the price of the system.
The cost of an entry system is $1,343.75 or around 400 Dollars more than where most of the Cooler Master CSX cases are offered at. It doesn't really take much to figure out where the better value is.