Received my September 2012 Dream Machine issue yesterday (July 24th) and just got around reading it today (July 25th but unfortunately NOT on the toilet like I was hoping). Just thought I would put down for my own edification how accurate or inaccurate I was with my predictions, as well as other general thoughts about the 2012 Dream Machine article.
Concerning the comments made about my three GTX 690s prediction, have to say I have never run more than a single video card thus I have a certain ignorance on this subject. So when I read that the EVGA Classified SR-X had "4-Way SLI Support", I assumed it could run four 690s as I simply ignored the fact that a dual video card was already running in SLI mode, and thus counts as 2 video cards. So when nVidia says that you can have the GTX 690 in "quad SLI" configuration, I naturally thought this meant four physical 690 cards, not 2, thus my goof. But.. MaximumPC did mention that the staff thought about running four GTX 690s in DM2012 but only driver issues stopped them from doing this (pg. 30), so perhaps running three or four 690s is possible if there were driver support. The motherboard on the DM2012 also has "four-way SLI" support (pg. 26) just like the Classified SR-X has so "potentially" it could run more than two GTX 690s.
On to the actual DM2012 components..
-As already mentioned above, I didn't accurately predict the motherboard
-I did get the CPU correctly (Intel 3.1GHz Xeon E5-2687W), just that I thought two would be used.
-RAM was maxed out on the motherboard like I thought they would do but, since wrong amount since a different motherboard was used
-Correct on the GPU and vendor but, again, overshot on how many would be used. Also predicted the GPUs would be water cooled. This EVGA model is very new, only showing up on Newegg starting on July 13 after I had made my predictions
-Correct that two 512GB SSDs using RAID 0 would be the C drive (but wrong model & vendor) as well as three HGST 4GB hard drives would be used, although these were not in RAID 5 form. I failed with predicting VelociRaptors would also be used.
-I failed on predicting the correct case but did think a brand name would be used (unlike kleinkinstein's case prediction), and also thought it would be painted (which is kind of a no brainer since most of the recent cases have been)
-I gambled and failed predicting Creative's new sound card would make the cut but. like last year, the Dream Machine went with on-board sound (Realtek ALC898
-Failed predicting the size and vendor of the PSU
-Failed predicting the liquid cooling used
-I didn't predict WHICH optical drive, monitors, speakers, keyboard and mouse would be used but did think headphones, a Blu-ray writer and three monitors would be selected. DM2012 has no optical drive nor headphone, and only two monitors
-Also thought dual booting of Win7 Pro 64-bit and Win8 64-bit Release preview would occur but only Win7 Pro was used
My general impression of DM2012 is that.. well.. DM2012 is definitely a Dream Machine level rig (with a couple of exceptions) but I believe my setup would have been better but perhaps not as practical. Certainly a heck of a lot more expensive with an extra GTX 690 , Xeon E5-2687W, more RAM, hard drives, and more liquid cooling plumbing needed for the additional parts. Some of the new core-limited benchmarks might not have been much different with my setup so perhaps that is why DM2012 didn't get as wild as my configuration.. just not enough "bang-for-the-buck".. spending more money without getting much real world benefit. But I never thought the Dream Machine was suppose to be a "practical" machine.. it is suppose to be "over the top", insane in the membrane!
So I understand about the CPU, GPU, mobo and hard drive choices.. but no optical drive? Only two monitors? So are we just suppose to assume we have an external optical drive we can use when needed? And.. really.. only two monitors? Was the 3rd monitor a victim of DM2012 already being around $1,600 more than DM2011? And I still like using a dedicated sound card instead of on-board sound.
A few final points..
1) Thought Maximum PC missed a chance to run some Win7 Pro vs Win8 benchmarks.. would have been interesting to see if there were any differences.
2) Was hoping DM2012 would be benchmarked against DM2011 like DM2011 was against DM2010. I understand new benchmarks were just added but Gordon still couldn't break out the old benchmarks one last time? I understand the new benchmark rig is probably faster than DM2011 but I like seeing how fast each Dream Machine is compared to it's predecessor.
3) I have always wondered why the DM isn't the "benchmark rig"? That would keep the benchmarks of faster rigs months down the road from maxing out the graphs as Gordon only rebuilds the benchmark rig every two years or so.. using the DM instead mean the benchmarks would get updated every year thus keeping future faster rigs from maxing out the benchmarks so fast.
4) It was written that a 32GB RAM disk was created but no mentioned of it being used on any benchmarks.. so does this mean that "only" 32GB of main memory was available during the benchmark tests? I wonder how using all 64GB of RAM would have changed any benchmarks.. and how the RAM disk was used, if it was used at all.
Overall, good job Maximum PC staff!! But it needs more "The Murph"! And as for my own predictions.. I did better than last year when I predicted that DM2011 would be an overclocked iPad 2 http://beta.maximumpc.com/article/editor_blogs/photo_awesome_29_gordon_mah_ung_uses_ipad?page=1
(have to scroll down to find it)