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Wahoo P4 Stratagem System Review 323

Ian Bell writes "Buddhacon reviews the P4 stratagem system from Wahoo Computers. Could this be the most powerful home system on the market? With just about every option available including an overclocked Intel 2.9GHz CPU, Radeon 9700PRO, 1GB of memory and all the cooling features you can think of you would think a system like this would blow the competition away. Just goes to show that sometimes a fine tuned V6 can beat an over the top V8."
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Wahoo P4 Stratagem System Review

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  • go AMD (Score:5, Funny)

    by cdf12345 ( 412812 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @03:59AM (#5004735) Homepage Journal
    But how will it heat my house in the winter?

    sorry, I'll stick with an AMD
    • If you really wanted to heat your house in the winter you should find an old multi-CPU socket 7 board and go with a bunch of old Cyric PR266 CPUs. Now those were good processors...for overheating anyways.

      • If you really wanted to heat your house in the winter you should find an old multi-CPU socket 7 board and go with a bunch of old Cyric PR266 CPUs.

        Unfortunatly, they have no SMP support.
    • Re:go AMD (Score:2, Informative)

      by HFXPro ( 581079 )
      I will admit AMD chips usually run a higher base temperature, especially compared to a P4. However, P4's of about the same speed with the same heat sink will usually run hotter when loaded up beyond 50-60%. So if you want to heat your house, just let the P4 run a nice number crunching program such as seti@home. I have found this the case in several systems I have had the pleasure of observing.
    • by cdf12345 ( 412812 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @04:14AM (#5004773) Homepage Journal
      but then I have to calculate the cost of savings by going with AMD, vs a P4 and divide that into the supposed heat savings, and I'll probably end up not giving a damn by the end of the calculations....
      • If you calculate the whole thing using an old Pentium 90 chip you can probably save yourself millions.

        Hmmm, maybe they just forgot to upgrade the accountant PC's over at Enron and WorldCom...
    • Actually, the Thoroughbred core versions of the XP processors are *much* cooler than the Palomino. I have two 1700+ chips, one with each core, in identical (tiny) aluminum cases. The Palomino runs far hotter than the Tbred. Oddly, much hotter than seems to be accounted for by the 64 vs 49 watt power consumption they are respectively rated. The Palomino, btw, has now been upgraded with faster (and louder!) fans but the box still runs much hotter.

      Bottom line, a Tbred is only useful for heating a small room. For a whole house, specify 'Palomino core'.

      Send us your Linux Sysadmin [] articles!
  • wtf (Score:5, Funny)

    by CySurflex ( 564206 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @04:05AM (#5004750)
    reviews the P4 stratagem system from Wahoo

    Does anyone else think this sounds like Latin crossed with web-dotcom-buzzwords?

  • Christ people, this is starting to sicken me. I've got an iMac 333 G3, a couple P2 333 and an old P1 90. Unless you're doing something like heavy graphics editing, what the hell would you ever need something this powerful for? And over over six grand?

    People, stop trying to build the fastest box imaginable, and thing serious. Use what you need for the job. Save money. Reuse old machines. Don't spend six grand on something you'll never need (well, you will, but probably when it costs more like a thousand bucks). If you can justify having this much power, okay, but otherwise, stop wasting time and money, and killing perfectly usable old boxen.
    • Well, in my case, it ends up being for games.

      I can get an average of 40fps at 1024x768 in ut2k3 with everything turned on, and that makes me happy, and I'm running a fairly old system.

      MSI k7tTurbo2 (kt133a Chipset)
      512MB SDRAM (pc133)
      Geforce3 ti200
      • I can get an average of about 50fps at 1024x768 32-bit colour with everything up full on my PC with 256mb (ECC DDR) and a GeForce 2mx on Linux. Looking at the difference in memory speed there, it goes to show that your quicker graphics card makes a huge difference. When my PC starts to feel slow though, I'll spend about £120 and throw in another AMD 1600+ MP chip. Who needs overclocking (or central heating) ;-)
    • by MrBoombasticfantasti ( 593721 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @04:21AM (#5004791)
      I disagree with your viewpoint. I'm one of those people that upgrades (or rather buy new) their machines as soon as something faster comes round. Why do I do it, as my old machine is obviously fast enough for any normal purpose? Well, a couple of reasons: 1) Games! I play a lot of graphics intensive games that can really use all the oomph you can wring out of the hardware. Call me shallow, and I shall ignore you! ;-) 2) I recycle my old machine to neighbours, friends and charity. Two weeks ago, I gave away my XP2400+/512Mb/180Gb/GnuLinux system to a local organisation that works with handicapped children. 3) I like to build machines from parts I get from all over the place. I usually lead the local stores in performance by at least half a year. Again, I know this is a weird thing but I enjoy that. Anyway, while I don't *need* to upgrade, I frequently do: about every three months. Ciao!
    • I think it's absolutely STUPID to say that a P2 333 is 'fast enough' for home use. Granted, 3GHz might be overkill at the moment *only* because of how expensive it is, but there are definitely reasons to have a fast machine.

      Hell, even if you disregard every single cool application that either runs better or needs a fast machine to run, it's worth getting a fast machine simply for how responsive it is.

      • I think it's absolutely STUPID to say that a P2 333 is 'fast enough' for home use.

        All depends on what you're using, doesn't it?

        XP is pretty awful on something like that, but Linux is more than happy on a system of that caliber.
      • "Stupid" would be saying its not fast enough without giving a reason why.

        Most people browse the web and check their email. Its only fairly recently that even our office computers have got faster than 333mhz. We still run one on a P133 and up to a few months ago another P133 was hosting a database and some software (running NT) and it was fast enough.
    • I pretty agree with you but, where do you find old boxes ? The whole computer market is overclocked overheated and overmoneyed ! I got my AMD 550MHz since three years now, and wouldn't give it away, but even that is too much for the use I have : wife's reading and sending mail, sister surfing on the Internet, myself got not enough time to really appreciat the power. But now there are 2GHz and more, cool yeah, but does it really enhance working speed ?? It allows you to faster kill in Quake3 (or alike), but that's pretty all it does !
    • by cdf12345 ( 412812 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @04:42AM (#5004846) Homepage Journal
      Really, I swear!
    • by craigtay ( 638170 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @04:46AM (#5004857) Journal
      the reason I would buy the thing is because my penis is small. That machine will make others believe otherwise. Plus it has an AWESOME DVD burner, in blue no less!
      • the reason I would buy the thing is because my penis is small. That machine will make others believe otherwise.

        I find spending a couple of hours with PhotoShop provides much clearer proof for the doubters.

        • I find that instead of buying the latest smookeeng processor, just double the amount of RAM in the machine. This works (at the moment) at least as long as you currently have less than 512MB.

          Less swapping means a lot more speed. Yes, and this holds true with Photoshop as well.
    • Most people don't need a Porsche either, but I sure as hell enjoy mine.

      Consider this a "luxery PC" and the market for these items is generally small, but profitable.
    • Hey, I have a great idea. How about you not telling us what we should spend our money on.

      I'm not trying to be harsh, but every time an article is posted about a faster chip, bigger hard drive, or overclocking, you mofos come out of the woodwork and tell us we are stupid. It just gets really old.

      I personally have a K6-500 that I use as a file server. I have used it to surf the internet, but with new software (Mozilla, KDE, WinXP, etc...) it really bogs. I could probably use an older version of Windows or KDE and swap out Mozilla for lynx, but I don't want to. I want to use the latest, bug ridden software. And I want to have a fast computer.

      Stop telling us that our hobbies sicken you. Stop telling us where our money is best spent. Let us have our fun.
    • cd linux*
      make xconfig
      make dep
      make bzImage

      Try doing that on one of them pokey computers and then realizing you forgot to include the module for your sound card after you reboot the new kernel. Back to the drawing board. Of course, a $200 microtel pc from Walmart would probably do the trick, but if these kids wanna inflate the economy, I ain't stopping them.
      • why even bother posting?

        ok you didnt even make modules or make modules_install, but then you talk about forgetting a module? and even if you do forget a module, you can go back, select it, and compile it (only it), and install it, very quickly. and xconfig is lame.

        and people posting stupid comments shouldn't refer to others as "kids".
    • heavy graphics editing doesnt even need this... Hell, non linear video editing doesnt need this.

      I edit on a Dual P-III 866 and a 10 minute short with lots of work in it take less than 20 minutes to render (Dv video source Dv video out or mpeg2) The AVID's at work use Pentium-II 550's single processor and they are the top of the line PROFESSIONAL video editing stations not toys.

      The only thing I can think of that explains why people are building ultra-fast machines is that they are preparing for either the next Windows release or the next Gnome or KDE release.

      (Yes, I am bitter that Gnome and KDE are as slow as the Microsoft operating systems on their own. time to stop or remove "features" and start making it faster.)
    • what the hell would you ever need something this powerful for?

      "I'll take trolls that got modded up for $100, Alex."

      Oh, I don't know... I swear, these people buying these new-fangled computer things are out of their mindes. They've obviously never seen the kick ass integer benchmarks of my abacus.
    • Well, 6 grand *is* a bit of overkill considering you can build something that is about 90% as fast for right about $1000.

      But really, its all about image quality. Sure your 2 year old computer will run Unreal Tournament just fine at a framerate thats fast enough that you can't tell the difference if it were higher ... but can it do that and run 4x FSAA at the same time?
    • Obviously not played UT2K3 then? Or even JKII? My current games machine is a 1.2Ghz Athlon on an Asus m/b with 256Mb DDR ram, and a GeForce 256 DDR and UT2K3 is just about playable at 800x600, but with most of the prettiness turned off. Now obviously, I don't need half of the junk in that $6K box (the flashing lights for example - how many extra FPS do I get for blue glow in the dark lighting?) but I do need more rendering power - and more ram, and then of course, to feed my shiny new 9700pro, I need an 8x AGP port, and a faster CPU, so better get a new m/b too! This will all probably need more power, and generate more heat, so more fans, bigger or more PSU's...

      Serious gaming doesn't happen on a Playstation - they may have optimised architecture for video gaming, but this cripples them for everything else - and you need masses of storage, and a general purpose OS for serious multiplayer games.

      iMacs are fine machines, but I would be unhappy about the lack of upgrade options.

      Games aside, you make some very valid points though - I recently retired my Slackware 3.6 box that I've had on my network for 6 years (internet/mail/news gateway) - and then only as it had no PCI slots - and I needed one for my ISDN ta when I finally threw out the modem I was using for Internet access.. It gathered dust in the corner with no monitor or keyboard for those 6 years. My games machine on the other hand has had almost all parts upgraded at some point though - online gaming is incredibly competitive in certain circles, and players who can afford to avail themselves of the latest kit will always have an advantage. Besides - I'd hate to think I'd spent £40 on a game but my ancient video hardware makes it look like Quake in software mode :)
  • Amazing. That's just about the same specs that Maximum PC put in their Dream Machine 2002.

    Of course, that was dead tree form, and 2 months ago, so Slashdot is amazed by this computer because it's advertised online.

    All these componants are available, and have been for a while. If you want to make one of these, go for it. Grab a ThermalTake case or a VapoChill, an Intel board and 1GB of PC1066 with a 2.8/2.whatever, and go to town. Overclock your 9700 pro.

    It's not special. It's just special to slashdot.
    Or, if you prefer:

    Old and busted... New hotness.

  • we SAID 'Meh' (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by zephc ( 225327 )
    I'd like the alienware Area51 laptop [] more

    up to 3 GHz p4, even if it IS a desktop P4 and not a laptop one... that's what AC adaptors are for
    • You realise that a desktop P4 3.06Ghz can kick out around 100w of heat when going 100% on something... right?..

      Do you have ANY idea what that would do to your lap? :)
      • Do you have ANY idea what that would do to your lap?

        Yeah, burn my penis off. Been there, done that, got the bandages. It could be worse. A woman could cut off your penis while you're sleeping and toss it out the window of a moving car.

    • I thought X3D was a trademark of the x3D graphics technology:'s little shockwave on their website thing doesn't look at all 3D on my monitor, so is kinda pointless.
  • by Unoriginal Nick ( 620805 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @04:16AM (#5004776)
    Who, in their right mind, would buy one of these for $6536? You could easily build a faster system for 1/3 the price. It seems like a company that just doesn't know how to build computers. It comes with water cooling, but could only be overclock to 2.9GHz before it started becoming unstable. What? Why does it have a Zip drive if it comes with a CD and DVD burner? Why RAID-0 WD1200JB hard drives, and not a Cheetah 15k.3 for a boot drive? And most importantly, they don't seem to know how to ship a computer:
    "Due to inadequate mounting procedures, the Radeon 9700's core was ripped from the card during shipping."
  • NOT WORTH IT (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chuu ( 307073 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @04:21AM (#5004787)
    I have been building my own systems for quite a while. This system is a nice one . . . but $6500 jesus christ! And it's not even top of the line -- for some reason they are using a P4 2.5ghz @ 3.0ghz, instead of a true 3.0 with hyperthreading. This leads me to believe it was an old review. Anyways, back to the price issue, if I was to put an equivalent to that system (i.e. top of the line now, instead of top of the line then) into a decent case:

    Equivalent watercooling System: $300

    Enermax 550W Quiet Power Supply: $180

    Case Fans: $20 (They're using panaflo L1A's for everything, an excellent choice for a watercooled system, but yes they really are this cheap)

    Babybus: $40

    Pentium4 3.0ghz /w HT gaurenteed to overclock nicely: $700 (note this is about $400 more then the CPU they are using)

    2x HDD Cooler: $25

    Top of the line Granite Bay Motherboard: $200 (includes intel 10/100/1000 ethernet)

    2x Sticks of 512mb Insane DDR of a brand of your choice : $400

    Radeon 9700 pro : $270

    Sound Blaster Live! Audigy Platnium : $200 (To anyone considering this -- DO NOT BUY IT -- go with terratek if you truly care about sound!)

    2x WD1200JB Hard Drives: $280

    Plextor CD-RW + HP DVD+RW Drives : $450

    Zip Disk + Floppy: $35

    Hardware Modem: $50

    WinXP Pro: $170

    Total: $3662

    That is a FREEGING HUGE PRICE DIFFERENCE. Your paying about $3000 for the case plus them putting it together. I mean, I know that there are people willing to pay quite a premium for a well built system they don't have the time to research -- but jesus chrirst $3000 is nuts. This article is just more free advertising for some random company.

    • Re:NOT WORTH IT (Score:5, Insightful)

      by darkov ( 261309 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @04:49AM (#5004861)
      The problem is that the people with enough money to buy this sort of stuff most often have the least knowledge or time to put one together. And the time factor is substatial. When it starts flaking out on you intermitently you can't just dump it on the vendor. You have to pull out or replace each bit until you find out whats going on. Ror your average nerd this is no problem since they have lots of time on their hands -pesky things like girlfriends or lives don't sap their tinker time, but for most people they have better things to do.

      So yes, you're right, but there is obviously a market for this sort of stuff.
      • When it starts flaking out on you intermitently you can't just dump it on the vendor.
        You've obviously never shopped at frys! They just re-shrinkwrap whatever gets returned in the hope that some sucker loses his reciept!
      • I do agree with you, but the thing is there are comporable companies that are charging nowhere near the 100% markup. Alienware is the most popular name on the list, I've done quick tallies on them and come up with markups of ~10-30% on average, which is very reasonable considering the included support package and software (this $6500 machine comes bare). The number one draw on this overpriced monster is the case -- and I swear i've seen it somewhere before on a high end case website for ~$300 or so. I just have a viseral reaction when I see just blatent rip-off's like this. Hense the reason I try to avoid stores like Microcenter like the plague.
      • I had this problem with two of my dual processor machines when I first got them. I had built them myself and neither of them worked quite right for the first month. I had a long list of strange things happening with just about every component. Would have been very nice to just ship them both back to whoever and ordered new ones but I swapped each piece into another machine and eventually figured out what my troubles were.
        My Voodoo 3 card (a bit lame in a dual AMD box but I couldn't afford to upgrade it after buying all of the other parts) didn't work in either of the new boxes. It worked fine in an older box however. So I replaced that. Moved a network card to a different slot, and swapped the processors around to level the voltage. After much googling I had found an article where a guy had a similar problem and he noticed that the voltage to each processor was not anywhere near the same, so he swapped them and it leveled out and his machine quite crashing. I checked my voltages and on one of the machines I had the same problem he described. Swapped the processors and problem was gone.
        Since that initial 3 or so weeks that I spent getting them in working order, they have been very stable and I haven't had a single problem, plus I saved a great deal of money by building them myself. Of course, I ended up spending a great deal more time than I had expected and would have probably came out ahead by buying them from someone else at a premium and spending those hours working but it's only money right?
    • by jsse ( 254124 )
      The extra $3000 for each box sold is to make up for the loss in recovering meltdowned servers as a result of slashdot effect.

      That cost you to attempt to advertise in Slashdot. :)
  • Ok, was it just me, or did the "forum links" on the side bar read like a troll's wetdream?

    Orgasms from around the world by dang
    - International Music by dang
    - From Russia, with lots of tongue by twitch
    - Whoa, girls come here!? by twitch
    - Kung Fu Stick fighting, episode 3! by Kernobi
    - Man To Get 3 Years in Prison for Pretending to be Will Smith by Kernobi
    - Eew! Urine skincare products by Kernobi
    - What is a girls favorite sexual position? by Kernobi
    - Girlfriends and video games do they mix? by Kernobi
    - OMG look at these boobs by Kernobi
  • And in the 1970's, they thought that digital watches were the coolest thing. Sure, this machine almost fast enough to divx my library of DVDs before I die, but that's not real computing. What I'm waiting for is a machine powerful enough to calculate the DNA sequences for artificial life. Now that's hard work. Another 20 years or so of Moore's law, and we'll be there. Then I can just scan and clone myself, with a few improvements.
  • Multiple CPUs? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tgrotvedt ( 542393 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @04:31AM (#5004817) Journal
    For that price, you could build a dual CPU box with 2 PIII class chips. You could match the RAM, video/sound cards, HDD etc. A system that could do almost everything this one can could have been built 12 months ago.

    Before people say that this is different because it's a desktop (unmodified), do I need to point out that the average user won't need this much power? The people that buy this will be rich techies, or businesses. Alot of techies prefer dual CPU stuff for the value, so this has no real market. Too new, too expensive.

    • LOL....

      No for that price you can build a QUAD p-III XEON box.

      I have All dual P-III machines here you cant buy a dual p-III motherboard that takes anything but pc133 ram so you're maxed at 2 gig of ram on the better boards. and if you use SCSI instead of the lame IDE for your raid/drive array's you still come out cheaper...

      my SCSI machine.... 4 36gig U160 SCSI drives in a raid 5 array off of a slow 29160 U160 scsi controller, 2 gig pc133 ram, 2 P-III 1ghz processors, Geforce 4 dual head, and a "alienware" case (actually an antec but the same case that alienware uses) with dual 21 inch monitors cost LESS than $1400.00 over 1/2 the cost in drives that wont fail like the ide junk will.

      no for that price they quoted I can make a beowulf cluster of dual P-III computers.
  • I'm confused (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Andorion ( 526481 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @04:32AM (#5004820)
    "Most powerful home system"? 3.06GHz P4s are available, I don't understand why this system has a 2.8 overclocked to 2.9?

  • 2.5ghz? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by phreak03 ( 621876 )
    Sheesh, i overclocked my 1.8 p4 to that without watercooling even. antek server case, and thermaltake dragon cpu fan. While I understand the built in tempreture sensors in a P4 chip that prevent overheating, what is there to stop you from frying your nice radeon 9700 and haveing a first class door stop? correct me if i'm wrong but isn't the latest ddr fastaer anyways? throw in the fact that this thing is useing a PCI card for a raid controller (i don't care if the motherboard has gigabit, get one with a raid controller, like the nice ABIT) the only articles i'd want to see would either be on what the heck these "duel bios" motherboard are all about, and why the heck hasn't their been more fanfair over abits "legacy free" motherboards (screw ps2 and serial and the endless irq conflicts)
  • You mean you can get people to pay an extra $2000 for a computer just by painting the case *blue*?

    ...jeez, I'm in the wrong line of work.

  • by UserChrisCanter4 ( 464072 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @05:14AM (#5004914)
    I go to college in a small town, and thus I pay my college bills by working for Best Buy. We carry Alienware systems (well, carry is the wrong word, since they're ordered through our store but there are no pre-built systems kicking around). As I walk by our demo unit, I often ponder the market for systems like Alienware, Falcon Northwest, and these Wahoo Fellas. These guys are all using standard component parts, (in the case of Alienware, readily available cases from Chieftec and standard off-the-shelf boards components). In the case of companies like Wahoo and Falcon Northwest, they even tell you the actual Mobo, RAM, Hard disk, etc. manufacturers. So honestly, where is their market?

    Retail Boxed PCs have the ignorant consumer who knows the brand name. Screwdriver shops have the slightly more informed consumer looking to save a buck or get more standardized parts (or the geek who doesn't feel like spending his day off building a PC). But these companies seem to charge an extreme premium for their products, given that most screwdriver shops would sell you the exact same parts and assemble them in the same manner (maybe not this watercooling business, but I know of a couple shops that would probably do that). The best I can figure is heavily spoiled 14 year-old boys who know that the Radeon 9700 is good because they saw it on PlanetQuake, but you can't build a computer company on the whims of 14 year-old boys (can you?!?). So seriously, I'd like some input here. Does anyone own, for example, an Alienware or similar system? Do you know someone who owns one? What was the motivation for the purchase? Since it's the only item I can really quantify that they might offer beyond the local shop, do these "premium" PC companies have tech support that's really that much better (or honestly, necessary) than the screwdriver shop that'll sell you the same PC, built with the same parts, for $500 less?
    • ". . . but you can't build a computer company on the whims of 14 year-old boys (can you?!?)."
      One word -- Nintendo.
    • They're both friends of my younger brother. Other than the fact that they're 18, you're right - they're boys whose parents have too much money. They go for the PC's like Alienware because they heard that Alienware makes the best computers for gaming, but they really don't know jack/shit about what makes a computer good for gaming.

      Coincidentally, most of the kids in this same crowd also have Honda Civics and the like with just about every sort of "racing mod" (their word) imaginable except the ones that would improve a car's performance or handling very much - $400 performance clutches w/ aluminum flywheels on a car that still has the original 1.2L engine and the like.
      • They go for the PC's like Alienware because they heard that Alienware makes the best computers for gaming, but they really don't know jack/shit about what makes a computer good for gaming.

        Hah, my roommate is definitely one of those kids. He paid big bucks to get a top-of-the-line Alienware computer, but for the first six months of using it, somehow he managed to have his CPU underclocked - the bus was set to 100 mhz instead of the 133 his Athlon is meant to use, but the multiplier was unchanged, meaning his 1.4 ghz cpu was running at about 1 ghz. Ooops.

    • by archivis ( 100368 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @08:32AM (#5005271) Journal
      Why did I buy alienware? Summer before last my computer began to break down - CD burner and monitor both died about a week apart, and the main hard drive started misbehaving - and since it was a 4 year old box I started looking at my replacement options...

      I originally looked at purchasing parts and assembling a system piecemeal. I discovered that living where I did (middle of nowhere town in NEw Brunswick, Canada) I'd have to have everything shipped - most of it from the states. After I totaled up the cost of shipping and customs duties for the parts, and then factored in the time required for me to assemble it, I realized it would be about the same cost as buying what I wanted, pre=assembled and warrentied, from Alienware (w/free shipping). Free shipping really helped - as well as the fact that when my nice big Alienware box crossed the border the customs official informed me that as an international student residing temporarily in Canada I wasn't required to pay duty (something I wouldn't have discovered if I had made a bunch of small purchases not requiring me to speak on the phone with customs).

      As for what they offer as added value, the support people that I talked to when I had problems with my box were first-rate. The ONLY help desk people I've ever spoken with who didn't treat me like a moron and actually listened to me.
  • I'm confused... (Score:4, Informative)

    by thryllkill ( 52874 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @05:45AM (#5004970) Homepage Journal might just be me, but I swear the first page says it has a 2.8 P4 overclocked to 2.9, but the last pages says a 2.53 and no mention of overclocking.

    I would hate to pay $6500 and be slighted 370 mhz of performance...
  • by Insanity ( 26758 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @06:05AM (#5005007)
    It doesn't matter if this computer is a good deal or a bad one, if the components are well chosen or not, if the construction quality is amazing or if the whole thing just looks cheesy, the real question is this: how is this news?

    Someone throws standard retail components into a custom-designed case, sells it for way more than it's worth, and somehow we care?

    Computers are not cars, there is no art to tweaking them at the hardware level. Put prefabricated components together in the right way, and you have a computer. There are many hardware sites dedicated to this; let this kind of article be posted there.

    This whole case-modding culture is a joke if you think about it. It's the computer equivalent of bored rich kids paying someone to put the world's largest spoiler on a civic.

  • V6 engines normally outperform a V8 with the same size - the V6 has less rotary momentum to worry about, and so has a faster rev increase. V8s have a higher rotary momentum (more pistons), and so will be slower to rev.

    Just a little side-piece...
    • I'll stick to my factory-tuned H4 thank you very much.

      I'm on my third car, never had more than 4 cylinders. I've had an I4, V4, and H4. The I4 is the easiest to work on, but the H4 is a much sweeter engine. I also have a motorcycle with an I4. I think 4 is the magic number when it comes to non-rotary engines.
    • So... you're saying that a V6 can outperform a V8 with the same MHZ rating? ;-)
  • Oh great.

    Striped array with no parity is exactly what I want to use on consumer grade IDE HDs. </sarcasm>

    For that price, I'd expect RAID5.
  • Piece of Crap (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cybergibbons ( 554352 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @08:09AM (#5005229) Homepage

    No, this is a long way from the best system I have ever seen. I'm going to be harsh and say why...

    What's with the shitty toggle switch "baybus" fan controllers? The site reports that the fans don't even start on the lowest speed. That isn't good engineering, and they shouldn't really ship a product like that. I would expect all the fans to be intelligently controlled by a microprocessor independant of the motherboard. This would include fan failure detection, CPU throttling etc.

    They've put a live drive behind a door... erm, isn't that a little stupid? Now you're going to have to leave the door open all the time, or hack a hole in it, or not use the live drive.. oh well/

    Raid 0 with no proper backup? I don't think so. I've seen far too many people lose data on raid 0 now to ever use it. At this kind of price, it would be nice to see two very fast and small scsi drives raided for a boot drive. Then larger IDE drives for data. But still no raid 0.

    There seems to be some confusion about SCSI and IDE. People suddenly thought that IDE drives were better, especially in RAIDs... and it's plain wrong. SCSI is more reliable (the drives are built far better), it is faster, the bus is quicker. When you are doing things like photo or video editing, then having a fast page file and scratch disk is very important. SCSI has lower access and seek times, and the difference notices a hell of a lot.

    The paint job looks pretty shite as well.

    I just don't believe they are charging that much for this system. It's not amazing or anything.

    Something that beats it? Go to The Overclocking Store [] and take a look at their Advance Micronics systems. Refigerator based cooling, complete systems, which are better configured and specced. You get an LCD and bluetooth mouse and keyboard for less than the system in the slashdot story. But...

  • With the growing capabilities of clustering even workstations no one really needs one single ultra powered workstation. The bragging value may be high but its not worth the money. No computer have ever got a nerd laid to my knowledge.

    A friend of mine bought a high end state-of-the art system for about 5000$ and now its worth nothing, only two years later. The only thing worth anything is the monitor, the rest is now history.

    when software comes that requires this kind of CPU power in a single workstation (Windows 2010?) the computers will jump up in spead rather fast. until then the people paying 6000$ for something they dont really need or have use for are as fooled as those who buys Porches.

    PS. Atleast a Porche draws chicks, computers dont. DS
  • I agree with many of the comments so far. This really isn't anything special. There are plenty of vendors out there that sell better systems for less money.

    This box is nothing more than an overstuffed behmoth. If you want to see some really cool systems, look to the [H]ard|Forum [] and you'll be blown away at what a bunch of [H]ardcore [H]ardware geeks can do in their garages.

    And if you really want someone else to build it for you, look around, there are much better deals out there.
  • Now, solitaire won't frame anymore and I can keep my beer cool right inside my cabinet so I don't have to make frequent trips to the fridge while playing!!

  • Obsolete already (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Danborg ( 62420 )
    It just cracks me up that this overpriced machine is already behind the technology curve. The motherboard they chose does not support the new 8x AGP standard, so for that reason they are not getting full use of their Radeon 9700 card. (It will sync to 4x AGP.)

    And too bad they didn't choose the 3.06 Ghz P4 with Hyperthreading -- yet another new feature this machine of yesterday does not support.

    And what about Serial ATA (SATA) hard drives? A year from now, when pretty much every drive sold is SATA, the owner of this dinosaur will be sorry they didn't have the foresight to include support for this technology.

    Several other posters seem enamored with the DVD+RW drive that is included, but a better choice would be the new Sony drive that supports DVD+RW, DVD+R as well as DVD-RW and DVD-R. (Yes, those dashes and plus signs mean different things folks!)

    I could build a more modern machine that supports all of the important technologies listed above for half the price, without all the punk-ass neon light shit.
  • This sure seems like an ad to me. It's definetly not "news for nerds" or even "stuff that matters".

    Is Slashdot selling out quietly?
  • by Zerelli ( 579376 )
    The people who do not understand why this system is so expensive have not had experience selling to people with lots of money. That sounds a little strange so let me give you an example (a strange one but it works). A few years back I used to raise and show rabbits (pedigreed fancy rabbits, look up the American Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Club or American Rabbit Breeders Association for more info). We would occasionally sell stock at some of the shows. One of the places we sold lots of rabbits was the State Fair. While watching the crowd go buy and talking to people interested in buying, I ran across some horse people (there was a very large Quarter Horse show at this fair). I had some pet quality stock there that I would have sold at a flea market for $10 to $20. For the fair the price was slightly higher, say $20 to $30. The horse people remarked that my rabbits were a lot cheaper than the guy whom they had just spoken to. I explained that we do not try to make money off of stock just to cover feed costs, I also pointed out that the stock I had was from more prestigious blood lines. They bought the most expensive and lower quality animals. Their reason? They said they didn't want a cheap rabbit, they wanted and expensive one. The price tag is a prestige item more than what they are buying. That is why this company will make money. People with money don't really care $6k to someone willing to pay $6k for a computer is peanuts.

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain