Dream Machine 2013: Back to the Future

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defanged

Maybe this was pointed out already, but Geekbox is now very defunct (or maybe this is privileged info that only ego owners are deemed worthy of being personally informed... 'course our silence is assured as, now that Geekbox is as lame and dead as Alienware, none of us [referring to owners of Geekbox systems] want to admit how badly we'd been suckered).
Actually, that isn't even true. Nobody from Geekbox thought it might be a good idea to inform their former customers (who laid down a CRAP load of money for something that took over 4 months - after everything was already paid for - to actually arrive) that we no longer had tech support, viable warranties, or any way to contact Geekbox's former support team or their former CEO, Adrian Hunter.
Don't get me wrong - - I love this computer. I'm using it right now. Admittedly, it's more than a little out-dated at this point, but aside from the total catastrophic failure(s) that took months (and even more money)to be fixed, it is well-built and pretty to look at.
And let's not forget the $200-something Geekbox charged me, roughly a week before they became xidax (whatever it's called) PCs, for some damn cardboard crate they insisted I had to have in order to ship my dead computer back to Utah (from Manhattan) to be revived. I've tried to get some kind of refund, but it's basically just beating a dead horse (or a fried motherboard).
And whoever said those logo decals were cheesy as hell for machine coming in at over 7 grand... well, I guess you don't always get what you pay for.

My only consolation is that I stayed the hell away from Alienware and their pervasive evil...

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joel96

Lacks a sound card from any brand. No dedicated networking card with Infiniband, or even dual 10Gb. Uses onboard SSD controller. Is only a single-CPU board, restricting the number of PCIe lanes to below x16. Uses distilled water instead of refrigerant. Doesn't even have a TEC chiller in the cooling loop, let alone a two stage phase change system. Man, if I reviewed this the way MaximumPC reviews products, I'd give it a 5/10 and put it in the budget build category.

Oh, and you violated your own philosophy of looking backwards with new components by picking the original IBM M. Unicomp doesn't make "replicas," they make an upgraded version using buckling springs for the USB interface without all of the bulk. It's like if you went with a 486 for instead of just whatever the best Intel CPU manufactures. The point isn't to use the old tech, it's to reference it.

Should've gone with the $79 http://pckeyboard.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=PCK&Product_Code=UB40P4A Ultra Classic Black Buckling Spring USB - UB40P4A.

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yogalD

Sorry but it's not a dream machine without at least a 120hz display. High res monitors are great and all, but 60hz can't hold a candle to a good 120hz.

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Hey.That_Dude

*DROOL* The only things that could have made this better would be to use the new Ivy Bridge and the Cross Desk from Redharbinger.
I love FrozenCPU... I need to get more mod stuff from them.

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GMS_59

DM 2013 is frak'in awesome. If the USS Enterprise was being built as of this moment, DM 2013 should go into the starship and engage to warp 1. Might want to consider using plasma as a cooling agent though and or gel -like- the stuff in freezer paks.

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misterz100

Urrgg this thing is just too much, the power wont even be obsolete before the parts die on you after a long time. I rather get a PC where the hardware will be relevent untill it dies when it becomes unable to preform for the times applications.

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warptek2010

Now give it away, MaximumPC. Just... give it away.... yes, come to me.

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appleroxinhouston

Guys, remember this was on their magazine very early this year, so the EVOs and Ivy-Bridge-E hadn't come out yet. love the trademark on the Retinastic ™!

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Insula Gilliganis

The editors need to do a better job driving home the fact that some of the content put in the "latest articles" section of the home page is OLD content first published in the magazine. On the home page these reposted magazine articles have a small disclaimer that states "This article was taken from the ______ issue of Maximum PC magazine." but too many visitors to this website seem to miss that fact.

Why isn't a "This article was taken..." statement also listed by the article's title at the top of the linked paged. Clicking on the home page link takes you to the article's page but there is nothing at this new page that indicates it contains an OLD article first published in the magazine. Way too many readers on here, who probably don't read the magazine, are assuming every post on this site is just "newly written within the past day or so", not sometimes OLD recycled magazine material. Make the fact that OLD content is being displayed on here easier to spot.. would cut down dramatically on the "why didn't you all use the EVO?" type of comments that seem to permeate many of these OLD magazine reposts.

Written with love and affection!! :-)

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jimmthang

The article has a note about how it was taken from our September issue on the home page (before you click on the story), and it's the same size font as the regular text. :P (It's also highlited in italics as well)

In addition, when you get down to the part where we talk about the CPU choice, there is also a mention that the article was written before Ivy Bridge E came out. Finally, at the end of the article, there is also another reminder that the article was taken from the September issue.

If you need more notes than that, well, I don't know what to say. :P

Written with love and affection!! :)
Jimmy 

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Insula Gilliganis

Oh Jimmy.. I am feeling the love!! Thanks for responding to my, apparently, weak criticism.. or at least weak argument. I did make a cardinal sin before writing my comment.. I didn't read the article!! I already read it a few times in the magazine so didn't peruse it for any updates that may have added to it. If I had read the article, perhaps I wouldn't have written what I wrote. But I do still stand by my original argument that a little bit better job could be done to alert readers that this material is from the magazine, thus might be a few months old. I do applaud the efforts of the editors to update the material when needed to reflect any significant changes that might have taken place between the time the article was published in the magazine and on this site.

This article does do a good job of alerting readers it is a reposted article, but a few readers still made comments that, apparently, were written not knowing this fact. I did reviewed several past "magazine reposts" on here and they don't include an "end of article reminder", just the home page reminder. Perhaps more readers would not miss the "Note: This review was originally featured.." reminder if it was placed at the beginning AND end of each such article along with having the "reminder" listed on the home page. Doing this really will have all your bases covered.

Just a suggestion from the peanut gallery.. thanks for listening!! Perhaps I need my vision checked.. the italics makes the type look small to my 52 year old eyes!!

Written at 12:30am when I should be sleeping.. sorry for any incoherent thoughts.. ZZzzzzzzzzzz

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Hungbunny

So where can I find that white Sensei? Thats all I really want to know!

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tom_m

Smooth Creations custom-painted the mouse as well as the case.

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legionera

What's the dvd drive needed for?

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Nukelear

IBM model M Killed it!

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aarcane

I like how in the screenshot there on the last page you even got it to run Windows 3.1 :D

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tony2tonez

Only one monitor?

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Sparx10

Some other site tried triple 4K gaming on 4 Titans, didn't go too well if I remember correctly.

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AFDozerman

Should have gone AMD. Microsoft got it working perfectly with a pair of 7970s.

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tony2tonez

I dont care for the gaming perspective, but spend that kinda of money and only 1 monitor seems weird. At least two for.multi task

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Sparx10

Personally I would have went with 4 Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSDs in RAID 0. 840 EVOs beat M500s hands down and in most benchmarks the 840 EVO either matches or beats the 840 Pros. There's a few situations where the 840 EVO is slightly below the 840 Pro but I doubt it would be very noticeable in real-world applications. By going half and half with the choice of SSDs, the total performance was negatively impacted. Depending on the applications, 2 arrays at 2x read/write performance would be optimal, but the current setup eliminates the possibility of 1 array at 4x read/write performance

Edit: Here's some links to back up my claims
840 EVO vs M500
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/962?vs=805
840 EVO vs 840 Pro
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/962?vs=743

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Nukelear

Benchmark speeds that you wont notice in real world performance, i would still choose MLC over TLC for reliability and longevity.

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Sparx10

It is noticeable, check out those disk busy times. The EVO takes half the time of the M500 to perform their huge storage test operations.

Hardware Info did a longevity test of TLC drives, they're just as reliable as MLC drives
http://us.hardware.info/reviews/4178/10/hardwareinfo-tests-lifespan-of-samsung-ssd-840-250gb-tlc-ssd-updated-with-final-conclusion-final-update-20-6-2013

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joshnorem

The EVO had not been announced when this PC was constructed.

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Sparx10

Ah, my mistake. I knew Ivy Bridge-E was too recent for Dream Machine. I guess I was about a month off for the EVO release date

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Weo

I was just wondering about the use of SSD's in the RAID 0 setup. I haven't brushed up on new setup strategies for the latest SSD tech, but thought that there were issues with TRIM or similar functions with a RAID O SSD setup unless using certain newer Intel boards?

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joshnorem

It's kind of a gray area. Traditionally Trim isn't supported in RAID, but some of the newer Intel boards do support it. Theoretically, the drives all have garbage collection built-in, so they should be fine without Trim. Either way, for this build it's one of those things where it only lives for a short period of time so maximum speed was our only concern, not longevity. That said, we are pretty confident SSDs in RAID 0 would be fine over time, but we have not tested it ourselves.

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TheMissingPiece

I had giggled more girly giggles than I care to admit when I received this issue. 4 Titans? Yes. 5GHz overclock? Oh yeah! 3 TERABTYTES IN SSDS? WHAT?! That's amazing! I gotta admit, the overclock and storage were my favorite parts of the build.

I feel like in around 5 years, I'll be looking back, thinking, "wow, I can't believe that I was excited about 1TB SSDs." :P

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AFDozerman

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131817

I still wish you had gone with dual CPU.

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iplayoneasy

Dream Machine 2010 still has more CPU power. Sad.

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Burner27

15 Second boot?

When does the timing start? When you hit the power button or after post?

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Engelsstaub

If I had a bit more discretionary income (a/k/a money falling out of my ass) I would totally do something like this. Srs.

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Firey

i will/need it, but it cost to much :-(
1600 is ok but 10x so much, is too much for me :'-(
i dream for it ;-)

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briansun1

ok I give up where are you now on the leader boards?

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Upyourbucket

Any chance there will be a free raffle for the dream machine? I've been looking at a nice piece of desk real estate where the dream machine would comfortably fit. One can only hope. *sob* *gets a tissue*

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jimmthang

Yea, in your dreams... :P

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Insula Gilliganis

Such dreams did come true for at least one person. The 1998 Dream Machine was given away via an online giveaway. Can view the details on pg 64 of the September 1998 magazine (or seen here.. maximumpc.com/article/features/old_school_monday_dream_machine_1998 ) Wonder what happened to that Dream Machine? I think all the others eventually got disassembled.. hence why the 2000 Dream Machine was pictured in a state of disrepair in the November 2000 issue, and why Nathan was able to find and reuse the empty HP Blackbird case used for 2008 Dream Machine.

Are the Dream Machines still signed? The 2000 Dream Machine had all the editor's signatures on a panel.. can view Gordon signing his John Hancock on DM2000 here.. books.google.com/books?id=5gEAAAAAMBAJ&pg=PT42&lpg=PT99 .. Josh's signature can also be seen!

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Upyourbucket

Wow,nice find! In that issue you see advertising for the AMD thunderbird processor and that black Alienware case. I am using both of those components as I type, as my mule computer right now. STILL RUNNING lol I have the silver version of that case. And yeah they did have a dream machine giveaway that year :) I graduated highschool that year.. Man do I feel old now .. ;p

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Insula Gilliganis

I know that "old" feeling very well.. my first son was three in 1998.. he just started college last month!! I really felt old when paying his tuition and room & board!!

In 1998 I was still using my Gateway 2000 486/33MHz that I paid $2200 during Christmas 1993. My wife and I debated for like a week on whether to get the 486 DX or SX version.. she is a scientist so thought it was wise to pay the $200 EXTRA for the DX. I also paid an extra $100 for the tower case (which I still have) and another $100 to upgrade from a 14 inch to a 15 inch monitor!! Another upgrade was getting the dual 5.25 & 3.5 inch TEAC floppy drive (also still have). I also paid extra for upgraded RAM but can't remember if it was for going from 4MB to 8MB, or 8MB to 16MB. And it shipped Windows 3.11 on floppies. The rig came without a CD-ROM or sound card.. spent like $600 the next year to get the Sound Blaster AWE 32, Altec Lansing clamshell speakers and a 2X CD-ROM. When I started downloading MP3s in 1999, found the 486/33 wasn't powerful enough to play them well.. used the ZIF socket to pop in a 486/100 DX4 which helped that problem. Motherboard gave up the ghost and magic puff of smoke in 2000 while putting an add-in card in. Started building my own machines after that starting with the Celeron 300A Slot One on a baby AT (so I could reuse my tower case)!!

Enough reminiscing.. where is my wheelchair??

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lifeboat

"Dream Machine Super Comuter 20 Years Ago"

Should be "Dream Machine Super Computer 20 Years Ago"

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dragonfang18

to add to cost maybe you guys should have used 3M's Novec 7000 instead of distilled water haha.

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glpeter90

I want that keyboard !!!

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tom_m

We found a bunch available on eBay. The things are built like tanks, so they're always floating around. Or you could buy a new replica from Unicomp, who owns the patent to buckling spring keys.

Just make sure you get at least the AT version. The XT version isn't compatible with modern signalling technology, even with adapters.

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Insula Gilliganis

IBM keyboards (and typewriters) were all being used in the US Government offices that I worked in as a clerk/typist in DC and Rockville, MD during my summer & winters vacations from college in the mid 1980s. Unfortunately, these keyboards still look funny to me to this day unless it has a WordPerfect 4.2 template above or around it's function keys!! I do remember one office I worked in having a word processing machine and green monitor (not a computer, just a word processor) made by EXXON!!

As for being "built like tanks", all early computing equipment was build that way. I especially remember the early IBM desktop cases weighing a ton!! Around 1990 the company I worked at was throwing away an empty IBM XT case so I took it, thinking I would rebuild it. But 1990 wasn't the same for a home builder/DIYer as 2000 would be when I built my first rig, and I never did anything with the case so eventually threw it away. :-(

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eastbayrae

I never understood why they didn't use phase change coolers on these DM boxes.

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joshnorem

Honestly, it's not something we've even seen in years so it's not really on our radar. It's fallen out of favor and is not easy to implement.

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aferrara50

absolutely not true. The Little Devil V10 has phase change built in and ready to go for the cpu and has enough open space for radiators to cool the Titans and mobo.

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The Mac

LD Cooling, who makes that case, also makes installable kits as well.

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Innomasta

Dayamm

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AFDozerman

Finally. Been waiting to comment on this for awhile now. Now if ii could only remember what it was I was going to write...