Dream Machine 2017: we build the ultimate $18,000 gaming PC

Summing up the concept of Dream Machine in a single sentence is difficult. It’s a labor of love for those who work on it, often taking months to source the parts, plan the build, and finally construct the beast. 

But, in a lot of ways, it’s impractical, implausible, and excessive in its ambition. We’d never, ever recommend you buy or build a system quite like it, because it’s just not a feasible investment. 

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That said, Dream Machine 2017 is a fantastic insight into what the very best of today’s hardware can achieve.

Over the past few years, we’ve looked ever deeper into liquid cooling as an avenue of thermal venting for these monster machines, because it offers multiple benefits. Whether it’s a reduction in noise, lower thermals, or higher overclocks, liquid cooling to this degree, for those who have the cash and the patience, is a no-brainer.

On top of that, in the office, we collectively feel that Dream Machine should be a challenge.

But performance is the kingpin that holds this concept together, and all the cooling in the world does little if you’re running a Pentium processor and an Nvidia GT 720. 

Luckily for us, then, Dream Machine 2017 comes rammed with the best hardware around.

Unsurprisingly, it demolished everything we threw at it. Whether that was processor or GPU-bound benchmarks, it destroyed our zeropoint entirely—in some cases by nearly 500%.

It did lose out in a few areas, though. Our PCIe SSD M.2 RAID 0 array was excruciatingly lackluster, presumedly because we’d saturated the DMI between the chipset and the processor with those GPUs and three PCIe M.2 SSDs. 

And single-core performance is still lacking compared to its high IPC Skylake competition.

As far as cooling goes, Intel is still scrimping on the thermal interface material between the processor die and the heatspreader, unfortunately. With 1.25V, you can see temps spike up to 80-90 C (still lower than a 240mm AIO), but as soon as the load drops, it’s almost instantaneously back to idle temps.

Overall, though, Dream Machine 2017 is one burly beast of destruction, filled to the brim with the best the world has to offer, and we’re exceptionally proud of it.

Temperature benchmarks

Overclock benchmarks

Benchmarks

1440p gaming benchmarks

4K gaming benchmarks

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