This machine is beautiful. Hardly a sentence you could start most reviews with, but in this instance it's certainly true. It's in all honesty one of the best examples of system building that we've ever had, and from a purely personal level the most finely crafted machine I've ever had the joy to review.
It looks superb, performs brilliantly and has enough raw power to last you a good couple of years at the very least. There's a problem though (there's always a problem) and that's the price. It's the kind of price that means that only a select few will ever be able to experience the joy of owning such a well-crafted machine.
As you would expect from a machine boasting such a lofty price tag, there's a lot of big name gear on display in here. At its heart you'll find Intel's Quad-Core Q6600 trying to break a sweat at 2.93GHz. We say trying because the beautifully lit water-cooling keeps everything ticking along without the chip ever getting hot under the collar.
Admittedly, only the processor is cooled by red-glowing water, but the other high-end components are all kept cool by a proliferation of silent fans and because of this it's one of the quietest high- performance rigs you'll ever sit next to as well.
Beast Computers' constraint in the graphics department is to be admired. Instead of going down the hang-the-cost alley of SLI, it has instead sensibly empowered the machine with the single fastest graphics card around - the 8800 Ultra.
SLI would provide more raw grunt to be sure, but in practical terms there's very little available that can use such power. Sadly, the Intel-powered mobo doesn't support SLI, so if you do want to upgrade later, it will be costly.
Not that you'd need to - this is one of the fastest machines we've ever seen, knocking out 31fps in World in Conflict at the highest DX10 settings, and tapping gently on the door of 13,000 marks in 3DMark06.
That price is a problem, and the introduction of Penryn (see page 106) only contrives to make matters worse. But, this is exactly the kind of rig you can tailor to your own spec, and with build quality like this, we recommend you do.