Smooth Creations LANShark Extreme Gaming Rig

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Intro, Specifications and Features

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Since you are here, reading this and potentially some other articles and news about PC hardware, you've probably attended or at least heard of LAN parties. The main point of LAN parties is, of course, to play video games with your peers on networked PCs. Another fun aspect of LAN parties, especially big events like QuakeCon, is that you get to see all the cool, unique hardware that party goers bring. We're sure some people really get a kick out of showing up the competition with awesome mods and paint jobs.

Not everyone has the desire to mod or paint their own systems, though. That's where a company like Smooth Creations comes in to help you impress everyone who lays eyes upon your rig. Smooth Creations sells all types of custom PCs, including desktops and notebooks. As you may have gathered by now, we are going to focus on the company's LAN gaming system -- the LANShark.

Smooth Creations offers three different base configuration levels of the LANShark: Standard, Pro and Extreme. We received the LANShark Extreme for analysis in our labs. The "Extreme" configured LANShark is the most tricked out LANShark offered by Smooth Creations. It is without a doubt an extremely impressive looking system, complemented by equally impressive hardware components, including an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 processor, a Western Digital Velociraptor hard drive, a Diamond Radeon HD 4870 X2 video card, 8GB of Kingston HyperX memory, and a complete watercooling system.

Smooth Creations LANShark Extreme Gaming System

As you can tell from the paint job, Smooth Creations wants the LANShark Extreme to look intimidating. If dark, ominous skulls aren't your thing, then you can choose from other options. We think the skulls and the red watercooling tubes make for a perfect combo. It's a safe bet that this system would turn heads at any LAN party. Keep reading to see if the performance of this system matches its great looks.

Smooth Creations LANShark Extreme
Specifications & Features - As Reviewed
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 (3GHz @ 3.33GHz, 12MB L2 Cache)

Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

8GB Kingston HyperX DDR2 800MHz (4 x 2GB DIMM)

Graphics Card
Diamond Radeon HD 4870 X2 2048MB

Motherboard / Chipset
Intel P45 Express
 - Socket LGA 775
 - Supports CrossFire
 - Micro ATX Form Factor

Danger Den Watercooling GPU/CPU block and Cooler Master radiator

Integrated Gigabit Ethernet LAN


Integrated Realtek 7.1 Channel Hi-Definition Audio Controller

Expansion Slots
2 x PCIe x16 Gen2 slot
1 x PCIe x1 slot
1 x PCI slot

Rear Panel I/O
1 mini-DIN-6 PS/2 mouse port
1 mini-DIN-6 PS/2 keyboard port
1 optical S/PDIF-out port

1 coaxial RCA S/PDIF-out port
6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 RJ45 LAN port
Center/subwoofer, rear R/L and side R/L jacks
Line-in, line-out (front R/L) and mic-in jacks

Hard Drive
300GB Western Digital Velociraptor 10,000RPM SATA Hard Drive

Optical Drive
Lite On Blu Ray Burner w/ Lightscribe

Danger Den Tower 16 (acrylic)
 - 1 x 3.5" Internal Mount Position
 - 1 x 5.25" External Bays

Color Option
LANShark Extreme Skulls paint job
(Note: Many other styles are available.)

Power Supply
900W Thermaltake Power Supply

Physical Dimensions

Width: 7.75"
Height: 16"
Depth: 16"

Included Accessories and Extras
Recovery DVDs
FREE Custom Painted Logitech Mouse
FREE Custom Painted Logitech Keyboard
FREE Custom Painted Box
Far Cry 2

Warranty And Support
Free Lifetime Technical Support
1-year Parts and Labor
(3-year extended warranty is also available)

Price: $3,700 USD (as configured here)

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In many ways, the LANShark is definitely a niche product. While its specs and design are top notch, its flexibility and expandability are limited due to its size. This is not a bad thing if you consider the target audience (LAN party gamers). You don't really want a full-size system with tons of extra room and weight when you are dragging it to a bunch of LAN parties. Compact and practical is more appealing than expandability in this situation.

With that said, we could see people who don't even attend LAN parties checking out the LANShark systems. If you want a dedicated and unique gaming rig that will impress your friends, and you only want what is essential in your rig, then the LANShark might interest you.

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