Smooth Creations LANShark Extreme Gaming Rig

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Smooth Creations Logo

Smooth Creations LANShark Extreme
Presentation, Design & Build Quality

When we found the LANShark Extreme package in our entryway a while back, we were quite surprised by the size of the box. Once we opened the box, though, we discovered why Smooth Creations used such a big box. Inside the large cardboard box, we found a plywood box and a lot of bubble wrap and peanuts protecting everything. Needless to say, the plywood box shocked us at first. Apparently, Smooth Creations protects all of its acrylic systems with plywood boxes during shipping. We opened one side of the plywood box and saw that the LANShark was protected by a soft, white cloth and foam on all sides (see the image below). As you may know, acrylic is much easier to damage than metal, so we appreciate the extra level of care that Smooth Creations takes with these systems.

Smooth Creations LANShark packaging, plywood box

Once we finally got the LANShark completely unboxed and unwrapped, we were immediately impressed by the excellent airbrush work that covers the entire system. The skull design will definitely make your competition do a double take. The shading and details in the design create an overall menacing feel. Maybe you can even convince your rival LAN gamers that those are the skulls of former competitors.

Smooth Creations LANShark outside, left side Smooth Creations LANShark outside, right side Smooth Creations LANShark outside, close-up of paint job, skulls

We were happy to see that Smooth Creations left a "window" on the left side of the system, so that people can take a peek at the system in all its glory. The black motherboard fits the paint job perfectly, and the red tubes make us think we are looking at the bloody guts of a mean machine. As you can see in the first image above, the airbrushing even covers the power supply and other visible flat surfaces within the system. Kudos to Smooth Creations for taking the theme and paint work that far!

Smooth Creations LANShark front, close-up of logo

The front of the LANShark Extreme features a single external 5.25" bay, and our evaluation unit included a Blu-Ray drive. Below it, you can see the power button, the Smooth Creations LANShark logo, and a couple of fan holes. The Smooth Creations team masterfully cut out an "SC" logo in front of each fan. Sure, this doesn't offer much protection to prevent fingers or objects from entering the LANShark, but they look very cool. When we turn the LANShark around, you can see that even the back of the system is airbrushed with skulls. You can also see the four expansion slots and the rear I/O panel. Additionally, there are rather large slits cut out for ventilation.

Smooth Creations LANShark front Smooth Creations LANShark rear

You probably noticed the lack of front ports, which is one of our few gripes about the LANShark Extreme. Any time you want to plug something in, you'll have to use the ports in the back. The rear I/O panel includes the following ports: 1 PS/2 mouse port, 1 PS/2 keyboard port, 1 optical S/PDIF-out port, 1 coaxial RCA S/PDIF-out port, 6 USB 2.0 ports, 1 RJ45 LAN port, and 6 audio jacks (center/subwoofer, rear R/L, side R/L jacks, line-in, line-out (front R/L), and mic-in).

Smooth Creations LANShark rear ports

Overall, our initial impressions of the LANShark Extreme's design and build quality were quite high. We didn't notice any major problems with the paint or acrylic. The only concern we had was when we were lifting and moving the system. Since it is built from acrylic, you can feel it flex and give a little more than a steel or aluminum case. That's not a ding against Smooth Creations; it's just the nature of acrylic. It's not as rigid as metal. Because of the slight give, we noticed ourselves being a little more cautious when lifting this system than we are normally. We point this out only so our readers realize that they need to take more care when working with, and in, this or any acrylic system.

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What an awesome-looking rig! If only I could afford one...Sad

 

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Very nice indeed

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Definately a nice rig nice components including the raptor, 4870s, and ram!!

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Actually just ordered one of their LANShark Standards.  i7-920, DFI LanParty Jr X58, Radeon 4870 1GB (had to call for this, it is only $34 over the 512MB card), 6GB of DDR3 1333, Silverstone 750w PSU, 1TB WD HDD, ASUS DVD+R 20x Lightscript, Painted Logitech MX5500 Keyboard/Mouse, watercooling and a fully custom paintjob.  I'm getting a custom version of this, Randy is going to tell them to go wild.

http://www.smoothcreations.com/gallery.asp?specific=33

Price?  $1955, which is not much more then I could build the system for without the paintjob (All parts without paintjob come out to ~$1,800 without cables, case fans, and other small items).  I really like this company and will post up a review when it comes in.  Oh yea, and it is going to be feeding a HP w2408h monitor and some Logitech G51 speakers.  I iz Big Smile

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Must have pics!!

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Mmm...PICS....Stick out tongue

 

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Relax guys, it is going to take a little while.  They just started cutting my case yesterday.  Then they have to paint it.  All in all, I was told it takes about 2 weeks for cutting, painting, building, and burn in.  I will actually have the desk all setup before it even gets here.

*Edit*
I did look at the case and mobo some more.  Guess I'll be ordering me another 6GB of DDR3-1333 ram (since it can handle 24GB) when I get the exact type they used (email sent) since that is only $120~$140.  I'm going to add a Logisys cold cathoid tube or two (blue or UV) to really bring out the paint job [since that is something from the artical that it lacked].  Finally, if possible I am thinking about sticking another HDD or two in there.  I just happen to have a G.Skill Titan 128GB sitting around (don't ask, I won't tell) and can get a second one pretty cheap.

What do you guys think, glowing blue, packing 12GB of Ram, 128GB (possibly 256GB RAID 0) [Note: these are internally two RAID0 64GB drives with dual controllers]  of SSD w/ 1TB of HDD Storage, a 1GB 4870, Coolit Pure on the CPU, OC'ed as far as reasonable, feeding a 24" LCD (maybe a second one, since I got several slightly smaller ones laying around), and getting sound out of a Logitech G51 speaker set.

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awesome looking computer, and case (as always). though, i think smooth creations should offer some variety for the video card.... some nvidia options? and some choice of the video card brand... some people dont have the best experiences with certain video cards *cough* *cough* offering 2 or 3 brands will be good, so some customers arent alienated.

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