Digital Storm Custom Core i7 Gaming System

Article Index

Performance Analysis and Conclusion


Performance Summary: 
As we've referred to more than once in this product evaluation, in short, the Digital Storm 950Si Intel Core i7 gaming system that we've tested here today offers performance levels that are definitively equal to the sum of its individual components.  The system performed admirably in our entire battery of benchmarks and in almost every test posted benchmark numbers far exceeding our standard reference test systems as well as the less expensive and more moderately configured Velocity Micro system.  In our productivity, multimedia and encoding tests, its 3.79GHz factory overclocked and warranted processor put out scores that led the pack by a large margin.  

In our gaming tests, the system displayed a well-balanced high-end performance profile, offering perfectly fluid and in some cases killer-fast frame rates, within all the latest game engines we tested, even though we setup ultra high image quality and anti-aliasing settings in order to stress this product to its limits.


 
 

With all of the aforementioned accolades of this high end gaming system throughout our evaluation here, we've come to ask the question, "what's not to like about the Digital Storm 950Si with its top-shelf component selection and impeccable build quality?" To answer that question is more subjective rather than analytical in reality.  First, this product is what it is, so to speak.  The configuration we tested was setup almost with a "price is no object" approach, though certainly, as a prospective customer, you could elect for a more modest build-out.  Our processor, though it was a more mid-range Core i7 920, was also overclocked by selecting one of Digital Storm's "TwisterBoost" options in their system configuration menu (a $45 up-charge) along with a high-end CPU cooler to keep CPU thermals in check.  Beyond its power supply, optical drives, and graphics card, various other options were chosen with either moderate to top-shelf upgrade selections.

That said, one of the major points to consider is, for its $3265 price tag (after current discounts), do you get what you pay for?  We'd offer a "yes", but with a few major caveats, depending on your own personal needs.  First, you need to take significant stock in the fact that you're buying a heavily overclocked system with a full 3 year parts and labor warranty.  From this perspective, you're getting a processor clock speed and setup that actually handily outperforms Intel's fastest Core i7 Extreme 965 chip, which alone would set you back $1000 if you bought it retail yourself. And our system was very stable under our barrage of benchmark testing.  Then, factor in Digital Storm's policy for lifetime labor charge free upgrades of components, for what appears to be very competitive prices on the company's web site. From these two perspectives alone, the value profile of the product we tested improves significantly, though only serious computing enthusiasts and gamers that aren't planning a DIY approach need apply.

In addition, if you're a serious gamer and want every bit of performance from the components you've selected, you're likely going to have to make compromises in noise levels, unless you're not shy of stepping into the realm of liquid cooling.  As a result, though we weren't fond of that extra side panel fan cut into the case, nor the audible whine of the CoolerMaster V8 cooler at its max setting, it's sort of comes with the territory for an overclocked gaming rig like this - though we think a few tweaks in the configuration menu may have offered a little less racket and just about the same bang for our buck.  All told, we're more than confident in this type of gaming system product as delivered by Digital Storm.  You can't help but admire a well built killer gaming rig and the Digital Storm 950Si fits that bill to a tee.




 
  • Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.79GHz
  • Lots of upgrade options
  • Great Case Selection
  • Interior cable management clean as a whistle
  • Labor free upgrades at competitive component prices
  • 3 Year standard parts/labor warranty

 

 
  • A tad on the loud side for our taste
  • Side window cooling fan not necessary
  • Pricey

 



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