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Digital Storm's Enix Gaming System Reviewed
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Date: May 04, 2011
Section:Systems
Author: Joel Hruska
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Introduction

It's been a busy spring for OEMs, and Digital Storm is no exception. Earlier this year, Intel was forced to suspend shipments of Sandy Bridge's accompanying Cougar Point chipset while it fixed a design flaw. This, in turn, left both system OEMs and retail motherboard vendors no choice but to suspend/delay their own Sandy Bridge-based products. Now the market is awash with product refreshes, making it more difficult than ever for any one product to stand out from the crowd. Digital Storm's new Enix appears to pull it off nicely, however, at a (relatively) cheap price compared to many of the boutique systems we've reviewed in the past 18 months.

At $3300, our review system is actually an expensive version of the Enix. Digital Storm's basic Enix system starts off at $1125. After a few modifications (the base config pairs an SLI PSU with a non-SLI motherboard, a quad-core CPU), and opting to step up to a Radeon 6850 from a low-end GeForce GT 220 1GB. After these few upgrades, the system is $1306. While that's expensive compared to your average $500 Walmart special machine, it's reasonable for a boutique builder offering custom configurations of this type.

Digital Storm Enix
Specifications and Features (as tested)

Model

Enix

CPU

Intel Core i7-2600K

Motherboard

Asus P8P67-M

Memory

8GB DDR3-1600MHz Corsair Dominator DHX

Graphics

2x GTX 580 in SLI, 1.5GB RAM per GPU

Optical

BD-ROM / DVD writer

Storage

1x 128GB Corsair Performance 3 Series
1x 1TB WD Caviar Black (64MB cache)

Operating System

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium

Ethernet

1x Realtek 8111E Gigabit LAN

Ports
6x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0 rerouted), FireWire 1394a, eSATA, S/PDIF Out, 1x RJ45.
Sound

Integrated 8-channel Realtek ALC892

Power Supply

SilverStone 1kW Strider Gold (ST1000-G)

Cooling

Corsair H70 Liquid CPU Cooler
Overclocking

Yes, Overclock CPU To 4.7 - 5.2GHz
Dimensions
7.31" x 17.9" x 16.02" (WxDxH)
Warranty
Lifetime Customer Care / 3 Year Limited
Price
$3,355 (as configured)

In light of its specifications, the Enix is an excellent example of a "have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too" design. Digital Storm has packed the system with a 3.4GHz processor overclocked at 4.7GHz and a brace of GTX 580s, while simultaneously opting for an mATX tower designed to maximize airflow and accommodate high-end components. The case—SilverStone's FT03—minimizes chassis depth, thus creating a unique rectangular prism form factor.

With the Enix, Digital Storm set itself a very high hurdle. It's extremely difficult to balance ultra-high-end performance, equipment temperatures, and system noise. Heavy-handed overclocking makes it much harder to find that elusive sweet spot. All of the boutique builders that serve this rarefied market have struggled with this task at one time or another. In this case, we were concerned that Digital Storm might not have hit the mark. When we reviewed Digital Storm's Core i5-750 system 18 months ago, we were unhappy with both the decibel level and the frequency of the sound itself.

We'll tell you up front, the Enix fixes everything we didn't like about the older Core i5 system. While this particular Enix is far more expensive than the Core i5 we reviewed, it's possible to build an Enix that *is* within that system's price range. The downside here is that Digital Storm bit off a bit more than it should've when it tuned the Enix's performance. Details to follow.

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SilverStone FT03 / Enix chassis
  
The Digital Storm Enix in profile and front-and-center. SilverStone's vertically oriented FT03 makes the system quite unique. The central case fan (visible in the middle photo) is angled to draw air through the red panel on the left-hand side of the case. The CPU is cooled by Corsair's H70 unit with fans mounted on both sides.

SilverStone's FT03 shares its vertical orientation with with MainGear's custom Shift chassis that we reviewed about a year ago. Both cases orient the motherboard vertically and make use of internal fans to draw air from the bottom of the system, direct it across the motherboard, and exhaust it at the top.

From here, the two diverge. The FT03 is much smaller than the SHIFT, with half or less of its internal volume.  Despite this, the case can hold two double-wide video cards, up to three hard drives, and an SSD. Audio is strictly motherboard-only in the configuration we tested, though a non-SLI Enix could accomodate a sound card.

   

The top of the Enix (with the lid on and off) and the left-hand air port with the grill removed

The Enix's SilverStone FT03 case has several potential drawbacks. The optical drive slot is much lower than usual, while the front panel / top panel is minimalist by today's standards, particularly given the fact that the two USB 3.0 ports at the top of the system are connected to the two USB ports immediately adjacent to them.. As a result, the Enix configuration we were shipped can't accommodate more than six USB devices, total. 

That's precious few given the current plethora of USB devices. A user with a high-end keyboard that draws power from dual USB 2.0 ports, a USB mouse, external card reader, a phone / tablet that charges via USB, and a flash drive is out of space for anything else. 

SilverStone's decision to use front-mount USB 3.0 ports actually makes things worse. If the top USB ports weren't blue, Digital Storm could internally connect them to one of the motherboard's additional USB headers, and bring the total number of ports up to eight. 

   

The top-mounted power and reset buttons need to be recessed—even with the top cover on, the two buttons sit above the grate and are vulnerable to any sort of accidental tap. Normally we'd hail front-mount USB 3.0 ports as a fine thing, but they make little sense in a system with so few ports to begin with,

Our feelings are decidedly mixed. The FT03 has its strong points, and Digital Storm has outfitted it well, but we're not convinced the tradeoffs are worth it.
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Test Systems, SiSoft Sandra

For this review, we drew on comparative performance from several of the boutique systems we've reviewed over the past 18 months. In some cases we also included test results from our recent high-end video card revieweds. These tests are run on a Core i7 980X and are therefore reasonably comparable to our other included test results.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Performance Comparisons

Digital Storm Enix
Intel Core i7 2600K@4.7GHz
Asus P8P67M Pro
6GB Corsair DDR3-1333
2x GeForce GTX 580 SLI
1x 128GB Corsair P3Series
Win 7 Home Premium x64
Price: $ 3355.00 USD

Dell Alienware Area-51
Intel Core i7-980X 3.33GHz
Alienware X58 ATX
6GB Elpedia DDR3-1333
1x ATI HD 5970 Crossfire
2x 1TB Seagate HDD RAID 0
Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Price: $ 4,419.00 USD
Origin Genesis
Intel Core i7-920 @ 3.8GHz
EVGA X58 SLI Classified
6GB Corsair DDR3-1600
2x ATI Radeon 5970 Crossfire
2TB WD Caviar Black RAID 0
Win 7 Home Premium x64
Price: $4,999 USD
MAINGEAR SHIFT
Intel Core I7-98X @4.2GHz
Asus P6X58D
6GB Kingston DDR3-1600 RAM
2x GeForce GTX 480 SLI
1x Crucial C300 SSD
Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Price: $ 5740.00 USD


Take note of the Enix's price compared to all the other systems..Most of this difference is due to nothing more exotic than the price of system components. The Alienware and Maingear systems both used $1000 processors; the Origin rig used a relatively inexpensive Core i7-920—but compensated with $1400 dollars worth of video cards.The cost difference, notable as it is, is not unexpected.

There is, however, another angle to consider. The Enix's high clockspeed, advanced 32nm Sandy Bridge architecture, and second-generation Fermi cards raise tantalizing questions regarding the system's ability to outperform its competitors in terms of internal temperatures, overall power consumption, and noise levels. 

We don't expect the Enix to win every benchmark—it's bracketed by some of the highest-end systems of 2010—but we'll pay close to attention to the system's efficiency and general attractiveness.

SiSoft Sandra 2010 / 2011
Synthetic System Performance

We began testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA, which stands for System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. These are synthetic tests where we expect to see the Shift make the most of its extra cores and higher clockspeed. In the case, we ran both Sysmark 2010 and 2011 on the Enix, in order to measure performance differences while maintaining a degree of backward comparability.


Origin Genesis: Core i7 920 @ 3.8GHz, Maingear Shift: Core i7 980X @ 4.2GHz

The performance delta we see here is intriguing. The Enix's Sandra 2010/2011 GFLOP score is the same--but it's GIPS score jumps a whopping 20 percent. (All of the systems in question used the same blend of SSE4.2 / SSE3 instructions). As a result, it wins this category. We insured the difference here wasn't caused by inherently higher performance in Sandra 2011 itself--the Nehalem-based Core i7-920 @ 3.8 GHz returned identical scores when retested in 2K10 and 2K11. FLOPS performance goes to the Shift, whose additional cores stand it in good stead.



Sandra 2011 measures multimedia performance differently and uses the Enix's AVX instructions. As a result, 2011 results are not remotely comparable. We therefore measured only in Sandra 2010.

Sandra's multimedia suite is designed to test the various SIMD capabilities of a processor. In the company's own words: The test involves the generation of Mandelbrot Set fractals that are used to realistically describe and generate natural objects such as mountains or clouds. By using various multi-media extensions better performance is achieved. Again, we see some interesting performance differences. The Enix is beaten by both the Shift and the Area-51, but it keeps up surprisingly well with both.


Origin Genesis: Core i7 920 @ 3.8GHz, Maingear Shift: Core i7 980X @ 4.2GHz
 
Finally, we've got Sandra's memory bandwidth analysis. There's a gap of some 30 percent between the Enix/Area-51 and the Genesis/Shift--but it has virtually no impact on benchmark results in any area. Latency matters far more than bandwidth in consumer products, which very much includes gaming.
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PCMark Vantage

Next, we ran the test systems through Futuremark’s  PCMark Vantage. This benchmark suite runs through a host of different usage scenarios to simulate different types of workloads including High Definition digital video playback and editing, gaming, image editing and manipulation, music compression, communications, and productivity. We like the fact that most of the tests are multi-threaded as well, in order to exploit the additional resources offered by multi-core processors. 

One thing to keep in mind when comparing PCMark Vantage results is that the benchmark's margin of error is fairly wide—we'd estimate 5-7 percent. Relevant factors include  whether or not the hard drive was defragmented immediately prior to the run and whether Vantage was run immediately following OS+driver installation, or only after a full suite of tests and other benchmarks had been run.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage
Simulated Application Performance



PCMark Vantage testing shows the Digital Storm Enix slightly ahead of the MainGear SHIFT as we tested it, and quite a bit faster than the Origin Genesis we originally tested. There are several reasons for this. Both the Maingear and the Enix used SSDs with faster controllers (Marvell and SandForce respectively). The Shift and the Enix each have their own particular strong points—the Enix is a quad-core Sandy Bridge processor with its performance improvements and a 4.7GHz clockspeed while the Shift ran at 4.2GHz, but with six cores instead of four.
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Cinebench R10 and R11.5
Cinebench R10
3D Rendering

Cinebench R10 is an OpenGL 3D rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation tool suite used by 3D animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others. It's very demanding of system processor resources and is an excellent gauge of pure computational throughput. Cinebench is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders a single 3D scene and tracks the length of the entire process. The rate at which each test system could render the entire scene is represented in the graph below.

This is the last time we'll include Cinebench 10 results; the benchmark scales very poorly with additional cores as evidenced by the Enix and Maingear Shift's similarities. The Enix's single-core scores are extremely impressive.

Now let's check Maxon's latest Cinebench 11.5. One of the reasons Maxon released the update was to address a problem in R10's scaling. One of the challenges of parallel programming is that it takes a non-zero amount of time to spin off and retire additional threads. In Cinebench R10's case, this purportedly had a negative impact on the program's scaling in multicore configurations. Cinebench 11.5 fixes the problem.

Cinebench R11.5 x64
Rendering Performance

Cinebench 11.5 is the latest update to Maxon's 3D rendering benchmark suite and the third major iteration of the Cinebench series. As with R10, CB11.5 includes a single-threaded, multi-threaded, and OpenGL test. We've focused on the first two tests as part of ourprocessor comparison; the OpenGL test is a GPU-specific benchmark and is meant to represent professional graphics performance. Scores between the two benchmarks are notdirectly comparable, although it is possible to render R10's workload using 11.5, should you feel inclined.



Again, the Enix's single-core performance is quite impressive. Consider the fact that the Enix is only clocked 12 percent faster than the Shift, but is 30 percent faster in single-threaded rendering. The Shift still wins out overall, which is what we'd expect from a six-core processor against a quad-core. At the same time, the gap between the two processors is much smaller than might be expected.

The Shift has 50 percent more cores than the Enix, but is only 16 percent faster. The different scaling rates in R10 vs. CB11.5 is an excellent illustration of how difficult it is to take full advantage of theoretical performance boosts in the multi-core era. It wasn't until Maxon revised the benchmark that anyone released the previous version had left 1-1.5 cores worth of performance lying on the table. The fact that the previous version of the benchmark was fully multiprocessor-aware is that much more evidence of the complexity of the problem.
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3DMark Vantage, 3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
Synthetic DirectX Gaming


3DMark Vantage

The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark Vantage, is specifically bound to Windows Vista-based systems because it uses some advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 10, which isn't available on previous versions of Windows.  3DMark Vantage isn't simply a port of 3DMark06 to DirectX 10 though.  With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, in addition to support for the latest PC hardware.  We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark Vantage's "High" and "Extreme" preset options which use increasing levels of detail (and higher resolutions). As always, tests were looped 3x.


The 'Performance' preset shows the Shift and the Enix within striking distance of each other.

We decided to compare both Performance and Extreme presets in both Vantage and 3DMark 11, in order to measure how various video cards match up at the two ends of the spectrum. We were particularly curious about the Genesis—it shipped with dual Radeon 5970s, or four GPUs total. The total available RAM, however, was just 1GB per GPU, which could hand a theoretical advantage to the NVIDIA cards. The Shift used two GTX 480s in SLI; the Enix features a pair of GTX 580s in the same configuration.

The Extreme setting tells a very different story. The Origin Genesis' quad GPUs are very nearly the match of the Enix's 580s, but not quite their equal.

Futuremark 3DMark 11
Synthetic DirectX 11 Gaming


3DMark Vantage

The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark11, is specifically bound to Windows Vista and 7-based systems because it uses the advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 11, which isn't available on previous versions of Windows.  3DMark11 isn't simply a port of 3DMark Vantage to DirectX 11, though.  With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated four new graphics tests, a physics tests, and a new combined test.  We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark11's Extreme preset option, which uses a resolution of 1920x1080 with 4x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering.

We incorporated results from recent GPU reviews to offer more than a comparison between the Enix and the Genesis. The Genesis easily outpaces a single GTX 580, but the Enix's performance is outstanding. At this preset, however, CPU performance is weighed more heavily—the Enix's 4.8GHz quad-core is extremely potent.

Processor speed accounts for just five percent of the 3DMark 11 score at Extreme settings, making this a purer test of GPU performance. The gap between the Origin and the Enix is noticeably smaller here, falling from 27 percent in the performance test to 17 percent here.  The Enix with its dual GTX 580s still takes top honors overall, however, even when compared against AMD's brand-new Radeon HD 6990.

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Far Cry 2

FarCry 2
DirectX Gaming Performance


FarCry 2

Like the original, FarCry 2 is one of the more visually impressive games to be released on the PC to date. Courtesy of the Dunia game engine developed by Ubisoft, FarCry 2's game-play is enhanced by advanced environment physics, destructible terrain, high resolution textures, complex shaders, realistic dynamic lighting, and motion-captured animations.  We benchmarked the graphics cards in this article with a fully patched version of FarCry 2, using the built-in Ranch (Short) demo.




The Enix takes the top spot again, though only by a hair. It scarcely matters--the game is fast enough with these cards that it doesn't present itself as being particularly CPU or GPU bound. 

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Battlefield: BC2 and Just Cause 2

Battlefield Bad Company 2
DirectX 11 Gaming Performance


Bad Company 2

Bad Company 2 is a wildly popular first person shooter that is the latest game in the Battlefield series. Gameplay is best summarized by the game's original working title:  If At First It Won't Explode, Find A Bigger Gun. The vast majority of the buildings, doors, and vehicles in BBC2 can (and emphatically will) blow apart, fall down, or disintegrate, often with no warning beyond the split-second shriek of incoming munitions fire.

Our actual benchmark is taken from the "Cold War" mission in which players are tasked with recovering a Russian military vehicle. The last segment of the mission has the player riding in the rear of the Russian truck fending off would-be attackers. Because this segment of the game takes place on a rail, it's an easy test to repeat across multiple cards and settings.


Here, the Origin Genesis takes a lead, but the Enix's performance is still excellent (and significantly outperforms the Maingear Shift's dual GTX 480s). 

Just Cause 2
DX10.1 Gaming Performance


Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2 was released in March 2010, from developers Avalanche Studios and Eidos Interactive. The game makes use of the Avalanche Engine 2.0, an updated version of the similarly named original. It is set on the fictional island of Panau in southeast Asia, and you play the role of Rico Rodriquez. We benchmarked the graphics cards in this article using one of the built-in demo runs called Desert Sunrise. The test results shown here were run at various resolutions and settings. This game also supports a few CUDA-enabled features, but they were left disabled to keep the playing field level. 



The Enix takes the second spot, trailing the 6990 in this test but competes well overall. We expected to see the game scale better in SLI mode; the performance benefit of adding the second GTX 580 is much less than we've seen from this title in other reviews.
 

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DiRT 2 and F1 2010

Dirt 2
DirectX 11 Gaming Performance


Dirt 2

Dirt 2 is a racing game released in September 2009, and is the sequel to Colin McRae: Dirt.  Codemasters delayed the PC version of Dirt 2 so that they could enhance their Ego engine with DirectX 11 effects. The engine displays certain bleeding-edge rendering technologies like hardware-driven tessellation, which is used for a more detailed audience, tessellated clot as well as a more realistic water that has lifelike ripples, waves and splash effects. DX11 also affords the game more impressive post-rendering motion blur, filtered soft shadows and lighting effects.  Dirt 2 is also a solid benchmark for multi-core processors since DX11 is designed to take advantage of multi-threaded system architectures.


The game files directory for DiRT 2 contains information on how to construct and command the game to perform a custom benchmark series. We ordered the game to test a race at Battersea with eight other cars on the track. The benchmark guide notes that running tests with other cars could result in slight performance variability, so we looped our test sequence a number of times, cranked every single detail option up as high as it could go, and recorded the results. 



DiRT 2 is a full-out win for the Digital Storm team. The Enix outstrips all of its competitors—no slouches themselves.
 

F1 2010
DirectX 11 Gaming Performance


F1 2010

Though Codemasters still continues to torture us with their ridiculously complicated labyrinth of game menus, we’ve found ourselves coming back to one of their titles for a taste of bleeding-edge DX11 benchmarking. F1 2010 is their latest racing simulation and like Dirt 2, it sports impressive visuals with DX11 support. “Ultra” settings for shadow effects and post processing elements like depth of field then become available to the gamer and in turn, crank up the workload on the graphics subsystem. The game engine also makes use of multi-core processors for higher performance on top-end systems.



The Digital Storm Enix and the Radeon 6990 are neck and neck, but the diminutive Digital Storm maintains a lead on its competitors and scales fairly well with SLI.
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Power Consumption, Thermals, Stability

Power consumption was measured at the wall using a Kill-A-Watt power meter; the numbers given are indicative of the system's total power draw. We measure four specific states:

  • Idle: The system is booted and left with no background tasks running for 15 minutes.
     
  • Load:  This state models real-world power consumption when the machine is being used for computationally intensive tasks, including 3D gaming, rendering, or data analysis. The applications we use to determine an accurate value for load power can vary depending on the component or components being tested. In this case, we measured power consumption while playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2. 
     
  • Peak: Peak power consumption is the maximum amount of power we were able to draw at the wall. Unlike idle and load measurements, peak power should not be treated as a realistic measure of a system's normal power consumption. 
Up to now, we've simulated the Peak state by combining Prime95 with Furmark. This has recently become more problematic, particularly when testing multi-GPU configurations. Both AMD and NVIDIA have created driver blacklists that disable multi-GPU mode when Furmark is detected; an issue that can only be overcome by renaming the executable and, in NVIDIA's case, specifying AFR 1. 

We recognize that both ATI and NV have a valid interest in protecting users from melting their video cards when they fail to heed the various all-capital warnings that convey the benchmark's nature. Nevertheless, Furmark is a very useful product for reviewers. It allows us to verify the efficacy of GPU cooling solutions in worst-case scenarios, Equally vital, it allows us to simulate the presence of dust, inadequate ventilation, or fans spinning slower than they should be. Components in such a system can easily run 10-15'C hotter. Toss in an ambient temperature of 75-80'F instead of the 60-65'F we test at, and systems that were stable in the lab when brand new can turn unstable in the field 12-18 months later. 

Because we were able to get Furmark 1.9.0 to properly run in SLI mode, we tested as we have before. This may change with future reviews, however.



A power consumption level of 995W at peak isn't going to win any efficiency awards, but it's 12% less than the Genesis and a whopping 30 percent less than the Shift. 

Idle power, meanwhile, is downright impressive; the Enix draws just 45 percent as much electricity in Idle mode as the Shift or the Genesis. 

CPU Temperatures: 



We were very happy with the Enix's power consumption, but our hopes that we'd see subsequently lower temperatures were dashed. Boutique builders continue to push processors to the absolute limits of their thermal design. 

Stability: 

Of the three systems we've discussed here, only the Origin Genesis has been capable of running both Furmark and Prime95 simultaneously for more than eight hours straight. The Shift managed an hour--not a result we were thrilled with, but an acceptable one. 

The Enix manages 17 minutes. Even that's only thanks to NV's enhanced hardware throttling that automatically reduced the second GTX 580's workload to ~50 percent of what it was when the test began. 

Concerned, we next tested a gaming scenario in which two CPU cores have been left running a task in the background (Prime95 in this case) while the other two cores were occupied playing Left 4 Dead 2. It took the system longer to crash--about 35 minutes—but it did. 

What's so bothersome here is that $3000 - $5000 systems carry an implicit guarantee of greater stability, higher-quality components, and hardened design. Indeed they often offer such at stock speeds--but then carve away at the margin of error until it's the thickness of a razor blade. This is not unique to Digital Storm, but we're increasingly unhappy with this tendency. There's no reason a user shouldn't be able to run a program like Prime95 or Folding@Home in the background, while blowing the crap out of zombies simultaneously. 
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Conclusion

Performance Summary:  The Enix is a great performer. It's right at the the top of our gaming benchmarks and it offers a fabulous price / performance ratio compared to the previous boutique systems we've examined. The Shift, with it's overclocked Gulftown 6-Core CPU is ,generally speaking, the fastest we've ever tested—but the four-core Sandy Bridge is surprisingly close behind it. We've got nothing but praise for this aspect of the system.

The Enix's greatest strength is that it offers simmilar and sometimes more performance, more quietly, more efficiently, and for a fraction of the price. It's impossible not to like those elements, but the SilverStone FT03 chassis is only going to suit a certain kind of user. While it's a unique, attractive case, the number of available USB ports (six) is lacking in a high-end chassis; the problem is only exacerbated by SilverStone's decision to mount USB 3.0 ports at the top instead of USB 2.0.

Because putting devices on top of the top grate interferes with cooling, any buyer with a significant number of USB devices connected by wire will have an aesthetically displeasing number of cables and gear lying around it--likely on multiple sides. If you're a minimalist when it comes to USB devices, however, you may quite like the case.

We continue to have concerns about the way boutique builders are trying to balance on the very razor edge of acoustics, performance, and thermals. Consumers may be enticed by such marketing, but we believe they are served better by more durable products that can withstand sustained heavy workloads, dust buildup, AC failures and the like—even if all three become an issue at the same time. This trend, however, is not unique to Digital Storm.

The Enix is a great system for a consumer who had no issue with any of the FT03's limitations, but we'd recommend a more conservative configuration than the one the company shipped us. Specifically, we'd drop the CPU speed—Digital Storm offers free tuning up to 3.9 GHz, and Sandy Bridge has performance to spare. Less demanding GPUs might also improve system thermals and save a few bucks as well if you don't need an ultra powerful GPU setup. Here, Digital Storm doesn't disappoint--there's a vast array of GTX 570 cards available in SLI, as well as numerous midrange combinations.

  • Unique Form Factor
  • Great price / performance ratio
  • Great performance, period
  • Dramatically reduced power
  • consumption compared to 2010 systems.
  • SilverStone FT03 chassis not without flaws
  • Overclocked temperatures and high clock speeds threaten system stability under sustained load



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