Behind-the-Scenes: How We Built the 2008 Dream Machine!

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erolsipar

Where is the dream machine? What are we waiting for?

The HD 4870 X2 well they are already out.

But... Maybe the 7200.11 1.5 TB Barracuda Seagate Hard Drive.

I dont know but Im building a dream machine too.

 

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HDD: 1 TB Samsung 32 mb Cache X2 ( 2TB RAID 0) 16K STRIPE.

CPU: Q9650 3.0G 12mb L2 Cache.

GPU: Sapphire HD 4870 X2 Crossfire.

Mobo: ASUS P5E3 Premium/Wifi AP Edition X48 Chipset.

RAM: OCZ PC3-12800 Intel Extreme Edition.

Case: Antec 1200.

HSF: Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme.

Mouse: Logitech G5.

PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W.

FLOPY: Ultra Internal Media Drive w/floppy Black

DVD RW: SAMSUNG TRUDIRECT 20X INT. LIGHT SCRIBE (SE-S203S/BEBN).

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The Q9650 has nothing to touch than other cpus because of a software detected VID so the Q9650 doesnt need luck to overclock it, just a good motherbaord. ( I have talked to an Intel Help Representative and said the Q9650 is a different processor and the VID is not programed by any range, it has a specific voltage around 0.85-1.3625 and is controled by software specific. The E8600 VID is programed by hardware and used by software. It's different techonology on the E0 Revision of the new Q9650. My goal is 4 Ghz and is enough for me to use the Q9650 not like an QX series due to lack of using liquid nitrogen or Dry Ice. The Q9550 already hits the 4Ghz range so does the Q9450 but a bit harder or luck for a good low VID and not like the Q9650. Some software still use core sensing and due to this, it reads wrong VID. And on new Intel Cpu's the right sensing recognizing for the program to read is actually die sensing for new cpu's.

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brokenmoth08

You are builing one with the case that I feel should have been used.

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9985

I enjoyed the Dream Machine article, but I just don't get the $5K chrome job.  I suppose MPC could have commissioned a famous artist to hand-paint the case for $1 million, would add exactly the same amount of performance. Might as well add on another $1million remodeling of the home office since this is where the dream machine will sit.  

With an unlimited budget, I wonder why some SSDs  weren't considered for boo drive- perhaps not ready for primetime, but they have bee available for some time- wasn't even discussed as an option that was opted out of due to stability, didn't fit into the case, whatever.   

There are other silly/cool gaming gadgets that would be better use of the $5K in terms of bragging rights that a "work-of-art" case:

 - Art. Lebedev Studio Optimus Maximus ($1600 custom OLED keyboard - rediculous, but nifty)

- Killer M1 NIC ($280, maybe gets a few ms response time faster in online games)

- CH Products HOTAS flight controller ($300 joystick/throttle for flight sim fans- could probably find even more expensive ones if you know where to look)

- how about adding in the cost of the top 10 games (from any of the many articles in PC Gamer & other places) of all time pre-installed?

-a custom/psychopathic liquid nitrogen cooling kits to break world records in benchmarking scores for months to come?

 etc etc- there are lots of ways to get real gamer "oooh-ahhh" factor vice the parrot-like fascination with a shiny object. 

 (end rant.)

 

 

 

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Keith E. Whisman

Green Machine update.

I sold my gas sipping Kia Sephia in favor of a used Ford Explorer. It gets about 13mpg and it pumps out a record amount of carbon emissions every day.

My goal is to save up and build a machine with only the most power hungry components and be super fast. This means fan cooling and lots of fans suck lots of power.

Call it a redneck machine.

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RSpears

Max PC=Performance! However, I do agree that higher efficiency will lead to higher performance. Untill then my plans involve more power, not less.

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RSpears

OCZ Core Series OCZSSD2-1C64G 2.5" 64GB SATA II Internal Solid state disk (SSD)

or

OCZ Core Series OCZSSD2-1C128G 2.5" 128GB SATA II Internal Solid state disk (SSD)

Due 8/5/08

 

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RSpears

I didn't know the 2 weeks were up yet. So busy working havn't had time to read the mag.

From what I've read SSDs need a little more time to kickass on HDDs.

The next Dream Machine will most likly have SSDs for the boot drives.

 

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webgrunt

Huh?

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sirphunkee

He just got here a little late, didn't realize that this party's candles had already been blown out

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TheUltimateGamer2006

This is purely a work of art, even if the nikel plating did cost 5 G's.

 

It is the Dream Machine though, so I guess that's a moot point.

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kato4174

Amazing Dream Machine!!!!

 

NOW HOW DO I PERSUADE YOU TO GIVE ME (POOR BUT PROUD) THAT KICKASS RIG????

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webgrunt

First off, I'd like to thank the staff at MaximumPC for building an exceptionally beautiful DM this year.

Every year, the DM gets more extravagant, and each year, I have to argue with myself to just let go and enjoy the sheer abandon with which its builders spend someone else's money to build "the ultimate" rather than my natural tendency to think "Gee, they could have saved a thousand bucks there with no noticeable performance difference" or "when will they ever even use that piece of equipment?"  It's not easy, but how else will I enjoy it?

However, I have to say something about the nickel plating. Five thousand dollars to nickel-plate the case?  What's up with that?  For that kind of money, couldn't you have gotten it plated in gold or platinum?

It's a rhetorical question, though.  I'm sure nickel is much more durable.  But you could have at least said it was platinum-plated, and most of us would have believed you.

Ah, that's right--"Minimum BS".  Well, I guess even that has its downside once in a while.

 Party on.

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mjjordan001

IF DM didn't cost as much as my crappy Gas Guzzler car, I would be like a fat kid in a candy store.

 The Dual Quads are a bit to much but its always good to look ahead. By the time those quads would be put to use, I should be able to afford the DM.

cost assuming now roughly 18,000, 6 months 9,000, 1 year 3000, 2 year 500 bucks and thats when ill have the prize DM

 

 

The un-PC PC Engineer

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Strongbad536

hey dave, do you think when you guys do the final post that you could show us a full suite of benchmarks instead of just the usual 5 you do in reviews?  I thought that what Gordon did with his Core 2 chipset roundup was very good.  That would be awesome.  : )

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pellier

norm doesnt lick this   =(

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TheDuck

I edited this comment to nothing... Someone beat me to finding the mystry drives...

The VelociRaptor 10,000 RPM Revision B.

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hifiaudio2

edit:  nevermind..  newer comments didnt show up until i posted an old comment...

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brokenmoth08

then I guessed the mystery drives! YEEPEE! I hope for a autographed picture of Will Smith, or the Murph, or at least Norm (possibly of him licking the Dream Machine)

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Malagant

Have you guy's seen the new Biohazard rapture skulltrail edition PC.
I'm sure it is faster then this, as the cpu's (QX9775) are OC to 4.8 ghz and they offer 2 GeForce GTX 280 1GB DDR3 in SLI. Seam strange why you can't get SLI when another company can. Don't get me wrong but this is still an awesome pc but not the fastest.

""Computing is no longer a game for pussies. It's a full-contact, balls-out, game for Spartans only. My computer cools itself by pumping my own blood through it's hottest zones. And I cool myself down by DRINKING FREON, MOTHERFUCKERS!””

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Budgetperson

Well - Their CPU OC is definetly better - but two 4870x2's will definetly outperform 2 gtx 280s.

 

www.upbeatpc.com

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Budgetperson

Well that is really sad. But it's not a deal breaker. I don't see why so many people are critisizing so much, it's just that obviously Maximum PC values the CPU over GPU. 

 If they wanted better graphics, then they could've put in a x48 motherboard with 3 GTX 280s. That would proably give more performance then 2 4870x2's.

 Also - if you look at the $2500 build - they include a $1000 processor and a $285 video card. No crossfire even? I'm okay with the lack of a gtx 260 but cmon- a $1000 proc in a $2500 buid?/

Just my opinion - Budgetperson

 www.upbeatpc.com

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TheDuck

I have to talk to a dozen people about this: ATI BEAT NVIDIA THIS TIME!!!!

Why is no one positive about this...maybe they bought GTX 280s and are trying to defend
their purchase. MPC does not value the CPU over the GPU or GPU over CPU! Neither do I!

They (and I) don't participate in this war! Gah!

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Techrocket9

The Velociraptors are revision B. The only change is placement of the ports so that they work in hot-swappable drive bays. It says so in the mag. Rev. A is being phased out.

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jwalch.hawk

I'm not bashing MaxPC's choice on that or anything, but... Yippee?  I mean, Western Digital was all NDA-paranoid about THAT?  My God, who do they think they are, the NSA or something?  Seriously...  If all they did was move the damn ports...  It's not that big a deal.  I mean, handy, yes.  But groundbreaking?  Hell no.

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Keith E. Whisman

These Velociraptors have to be special in some way. Perhaps they have a capacity in excess of 500gb? Perhaps they are new hybrids with on board flash memory? What makes these guys so special that MaxPC has to stay hushed about them by the manufacturer? Perhaps they spin at 15K RPMs? They make better peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches?

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TheDuck

Nope... 300 GB

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warpfold

Since Velociraptors don't fit in a standard hot swap configuration,  and Techrocket9 states that they are just Velociraptors. Then I would assume WD repositioned the connections for hot swapping.  Which would make it easier to integrate them with my system.  I hope my assumption is correct.

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Techrocket9

I got my issue. For anyone who doesn't subscribe, the "Mystery Drives" are just Velociraptors.

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TheDuck

They are Revision B! I have to go through all of the comments saying this ???!!! It drives me mad!

 

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Stephenh1984

Why when you click on "nuclear powered", it sends you to YouTube showing a C&C video showing off its nukes.

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pellier

rnotflmao

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dinotrex

Just imagine in about 5 years or less, we'll be laughing our a%$ off reading this article. We'll all wonder what were we thinking...water cooled computers? Multiple spinning disks? Dual CPU and GPU? Let alone the back breaking heft of a case...

The future dream machine will probably be no bigger than a Mac-mini, use a minimal amount of electricity and CPU and GPU performance hundreds of time better than what we have today. Storage will be in the highend Tera bytes, the size of 2.5" disk. I think the keyboard and mouse will be about the same size but monitors will be 30" or bigger.

Well, this is just some wishful thinking on my part. I do have to chuckle when I see the monstrosity of computer systems I saw at a tech museum in Mountain View...those mainframes had less computing power than my laptop.

JD

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TheMurph

For that matter, the future dream machine just very well might be a Mac-mini.

Eh?  Ehhhhh?

; )

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TheDuck

How come MPC did not choose 2 Intel Xeons or Opterons for the Dream Machine?

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TheDuck

Meh.

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Keith E. Whisman

The Murph I just puked all over my keyboard after reading your remark. I hope your happy now.

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TheDuck

Then how are you typing...

If you have the 'Spill' Resistant MS Keyboards (I do!), your OK, just put it in the dishwasher (see MPC Spring '07 issue).

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HoldenMai

This may be totally off the mark but I would like to guess that the hard drives that you will be booting from use the racetrack memory that IBM has been making a fuss about.

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Keith E. Whisman

I've been a computer enthusiast since I was a wee little boy. Now I'm 36 or am I 37? I lost track.  Anyhow just what does pwn mean? or woot! mean? Is there a class around? I've never been one to hang out in chat rooms and for me playing a first person shooter only requires the gg or nice shot every once in a great while. Where has all this lingo came from?

And what of all these assholes that used to beat us up? The jocks. Why is it we consume technology and these jock aholes get rich off of our hobby. I say it should be made by nerds for nerds and completely owned by nerds. No jocks allowed unless they carry an appology certificate that has been notorized at all times.

Onto the story.

I have the Cosmos 1000 case and it's awsome with cable routing on the right side as well. But with just a few cables it puts pressure on the right side case panel. The right side case panel does'nt quite seal like it did befor I stuffed my hardware in it. I wish CoolerMaster would've used screws on the right panel as well. Awsome build though. It's still a rather hot topic on your choices of video cards and case though. Did you guys realize how upset people were going to get with your choices when you finalized what was going in your case?

And besides why use watercooling anyhow? It's still rather dangerous and there are plenty of air coolers that cool just as well if not better. I wonder if two Thermaltake V1 hsf's would've fit in your case?

Did you use water cooling on the video cards? These days I can see the benefits of small single slot water blocks on video cards though. The cpu's are already cool. The GPU's need the water though. If it opens up other PCIe and PCI slots then I can live with it.

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JPmatt6

Is that an iMac in the background of the "Gordon considering the motherboard" picture?

Seriously guys, subliminal advertising doesn't work on us. :D

My guess is a feature sometime in the future, "Mac vs PC Desktops" after your recent notebook comparison.

__________________________________________________

JPmatt6

 

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willsmith

Actually, Mac|Life has a bench in the lab. They keep an iMac down there.

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TheDuck

Why include a issue that covers PC Desktop vs. Mac Pro, Mac Mini, and iMac?

Or DeathMatch Windows Mobile and the iPhone.

That would be great if you would include it!

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JPmatt6

 Sure...

That was actually my second thought, but I had a hard time believing Gordon would build the Dream Machine within 100ft of a Mac unless he absolutely had to (or got a bonus). But he has been open minded lately. (Not that I care, I'm with him on that.. the only good Apple product is the MBP when it's running Windows)

 

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pellier

why is ther a vertical line in MaclLife

 

 

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TheMurph

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pellier

their mac heads its understandable

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sirphunkee

well then who does that gargantuan CRT belong to...PC Nostalgist Quarterly?

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dreamreality

Interns get stuck with 400mhz compaqs and CRTs

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