Remember those “kids” in Little League who shaved and had college-age girlfriends yet their birth certificates said they were 14 years old? iBuypower’s LAN Warrior II is kind of like that.
What else can you say when the LAN Warrior II looks an awful lot like a small mid-tower case. Or maybe a mini-tower. We had a tough time actually figuring out whether the LAN Warrior II even qualified for our SFF roundup. In its defense, the actual volume of the case is roughly 2,000 cubic inches. That’s about the same as the Origin PC and the AVADirect, so any bias is strictly superficial.
Air blown directly onto the GPUs seems to tame the noise of the GTX 590 cards.
Like those other two rigs, the LAN Warrior II takes advantage of its volume by packing in the hardware. Its Core i7-2600K is overclocked to 4.6GHz, with Turbo Boost taking it to 4.9GHz for some workloads. In the GPU department, two GeForce GTX 590 cards push the frame rates through the roof, and two 120GB Intel 510 SSDs in RAID 0, a 3TB HDD, and Blu-ray burner fill in the gaps.
To keep the system cool, a massive fan and mesh side keep air moving over those hot-as-hell GTX 590 cards. Originally, we thought the LAN Warrior II’s acoustics were excessive when compared with the nearly silent CyberPower and Falcon systems, but actually, the noise level wasn’t bad. Noticeable, certainly, but probably only half as loud and half as annoying as the Origin and AVADirect boxes.
In performance, the LAN Warrior II does quite well. It’s a pinch behind the very fast Origin system, in most of the app tests and gaming. The LAN Warrior II’s lone win was an oddly fast score in our Lightroom test. Considering the similar clock speeds of the systems tested, the only thing that might explain that result is the storage subsystem and choice of SSDs.
It might look like a mini-tower, but the LAN Warrior II actually offers no more internal space than the AVADirect rig.
Frankly, the LAN Warrior II’s form factor and performance would have put it in second place to either the AVADirect or Origin machines, but with those two rigs’ intolerable acoustics, the LAN Warrior II leaps to the front of the line by easily clipping the Falcon’s wings in pure frame rates and app performance.
If you don’t mind the nontraditional SFF shape, the LAN Warrior II’s performance, stellar price, and configuration make it the contender to beat.
Quad SLI without the noise, and a pretty amazing price.
Does not resemble a small form factor as we know it.
Intel 3.4GHz Core i7-2600K (overclocked to 3.7GHz)
Asus P8P67-M Pro (Intel P67 chipset)
Two GeForce GTX 590 cards in SLI
Two 120GB Intel 510 SSDs in RAID 0, 3TB Western Digital 7,200rpm HDD
Optiarc Blu-ray burner
NZXT Vulcan / Corsair 1,200 watt
iBuyPower LAN Warrior II
Vegas Pro 9 (sec)
Lightroom 2.6 (sec)
ProShow 4 (sec)
Reference 1.6 (sec)
STALKER: CoP (fps)
Far Cry 2 (fps)
Our current desktop test bed consists of a quad-core 2.66GHz Core i7-920 overclocked to 3.5GHz, 6GB of Corsair DDR3/1333 overclocked to 1750MHz, on a Gigabyte X58 motherboard. We are running an ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics card, a 160GB Intel X25-M SSD, and the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate.