Digital Storm's Core i5 System Reviewed

Introduction and Specifications

When Intel introduced its LGA1166 Lynnfield processors earlier this fall, one of its goals was to introduce Nehalem's advanced technology at lower price points. To that end, Digital Storm has designed a high-end system around the P55 chipset and Core i5 processor. At a price of ~$1900, the customized system isn't what you'd call cheap, but it's still less expensive than some of the Core i7 PCs we've seen recently, several of which landed between $3100-$4000 dollars. At first glance, the 2.67GHz Core i5 might not seem to be capable competition for Core i7 processors running at 3.2GHz and above, but Digital Storm has a trick up its sleeve. The relatively pedestrian quad-core has, in this case, been punched up to 3.8GHz from the factory. DS claims that the processors it ships in this configuration have been certified to operate "100% Stability and Reliability." We'll test that claim later in the review. It's worth noting that the company doesn't actually guarantee any single clockspeed if you opt to have the processor factory overclocked. For $45, the company will overclock the CPU to 3.3-3.9GHz, while $199 buys you entry in the 4GHz+ club.

Digital Storm Gaming System
System Specifications

Intel Core i5-750 2.67GHz (base, 3.8GHz Factory OC)


EVGA P55 FTW Edition (SLI Supported)

Operating System
Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition SP1
Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade

4GB Mushkin Enhanced
DDR3-1600MHz 8-8-8-24

Graphics Cards

2x EVGA GeForce GTX 275 

CPU Cooling

Asetek Liquid CPU Cooler (120mm Radiator)



Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black (1TB, 7200RPM, 32MB Cache)

Optical Drive
DVD-R 20x / CD-RW 48x


Cooler Master HAF 932
Width: 9.0" (229mm)
Depth: 22.7" (577mm)

Height: 21.5" (546mm)
Weight: 29lbs (Empty) (13.22kg)

Power Supply
1000W Chieftec PSU

Available Expansion Slots
1x PCIe x16

1x PCIe x1

2x PCI

Front Panel I/O Ports

4 USB 2.0
1 FireWire 1394A

1x eSATA

1 Headset
1 Mic

Rear Panel I/O Ports
1 PS/2 keyboard

1 CMOS Reset

6 USB 2.0
2 RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet
1 IEEE 1394A
10-channel audio I/O
1 SPDIF Digital/Optical Output

Warranty and Support

3 year limited parts + labor

(4-5 year options available)

$1,996.00 USD (as tested)

Our test configuration is built around the Cooler Master HAF932,a fairly common high-end case these days. The system includes two GeForce GTX 275 cards (896MB of RAM), 4GB of DDR3-1600 (2x2GB), a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black hard drive, and a 1kW Chieftech power supply. Digital Storm offers a three year warranty on parts and labor, and will cover the cost of shipping the system there and back—provided it's within the first 30 days of ownership. The company ships an actual copy of Windows rather than relying on a recovery disc alone and includes lifetime telephone technical support with any system purchased.

The Warranty:
Digital Storm's baseline warranty is three years parts+labor on the system only. The company's website states that it "will cover all shipping costs (back and forth) as long as it's within the first 30 days of receiving your machine." Four and five-year coverage packages are also available for an additional fee.

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