If you've been reading Maximum PC for any length of time, then you're probably familiar with Digital Storm, one of a handful of remaining boutique system builders that hasn't been gobbled up by a bulk OEM. Just don't tell the folks at Digital Storm they're simply a bunch of system builders, it turns out they have a knack for designing computer cases, too. Meet the Aventum, a new system housed inside a patent pending chassis "designed by Digital Storm engineers from the inside out."
We get to test a lot of unusual laptops—overclocked, oversize, over-dimensional, and just altogether overdone. Digital Storm’s x17, from first impression to Lab testing to real-world evaluation, is just a normal 17-inch laptop. It has high-end components that make it an extremely fast 17-inch laptop, but we’re not sure that’s enough to justify its high price.
We’ll be the first to admit that system benchmarking has gotten downright boring in the last couple of years. It’s been a solid year and a half of Core i7-980X/990X procs followed by a year of Core i7-2600K rigs. Yawn, seen it.
We certainly can’t say that about Digital Storm’s latest Black Ops HailStorm. It’s the first machine to grace our Lab with Intel’s Core i7-3960X, so we were anxious to see if the new chip could actually walk the walk. We know from our testing of the chip in a controlled environment that it’s a bad mother, but what about when it’s in a high-end system and it’s being run against a slew of other super-fast rigs?
With the launch of Intel's Core i7 3930K six-core Sandy Bridge-E processor, companies we haven't heard from in awhile are coming out of the woodwork to announce products built around or for Intel's X79 chipset. One of the those companies is Digital Storm, a boutique system builder that now offers a pre-configured Level 4 gaming PC that's about as no-compromise as we've ever seen in a pre-assembled system.
Having your name laser etched on the side of your system might make it a little harder to sell on down the line, but it's certainly cool. Digital Storm tells us they're now laser marking text and graphics on new builds, and according to the company's YouTube video, anything is fair game -- you're free to "say anything you want or show anything you want." Oh really?
Boutique outfit Digital Storm is once again dipping its system building fingers into sub-zero territory with the launch of its Cryo-TEC Cooling System. This chilly cooler is essentially a redesigned version of Digital Storm's Sub-Zero Liquid Chilled system and is now smaller and more powerful than before by way of direct contact heat dissipation technology.
Just how much power can you stuff into a small form factor rig? Ask that question of Digital Storm and the company will likely lay its fabulous Black Ops Enix on you.
Using Silverstone’s wickedly cool Fortress FT03 case, the Enix is like your typical small form factor lunch-box design, turned on its head. This gives it a couple of big advantages. The most obvious one is as clear as a skyscraper: a footprint that’s little larger than a piece of binder paper. The second advantage is thermals. Heat likes to rise, and with the GPUs’ exhaust ports pointed straight up, hot air quickly passes through the system.
Boutique system builder Digital Storm says you can throw overclocking caution to the wind with its new pint-sized Enix system built around Intel's Sandy Bridge platform.
"By disregarding the common wisdom that bigger is better, the Enix's small profile takes full advantage of the Micro ATX format," Digital Storms says. "Overclocks of 4.7GHz and above are easily achieved thanks to the Enix's vertically cooled chassis and Intel's new powerful Sandy Bridge architecture."
Further helping your overclocking adventures, Digital Storm says the motherboard is rotated 90 degrees, aiding heat's natural tendency to rise.
"Enix's design is a dramatic departure from any system we've ever built in the past. By rethinking conventional PC design the Enix provides our customers with every imaginable advantage over other machines," said Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storm's Director of Product Development. "Accessibility to all the components is unparalleled and the vertically designed chassis keeps everything cool and quiet. Couple that with an outrageously overclocked Sandy Bridge chip and you have one of the most efficient and powerful machines on the market."
Pricing starts out at $1,132 and includes an Intel Core i3 2100 (3.10GHz), 4GB DDR3-1600 RAM, Asus P8P67-M motherboard, 750W power supply, 1TB 7200RPM hard drive, DVD writer, GeForce GT 220 graphics, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Digital Storm also says it will overclock the processor to between 3.6GHz and 3.9GHz at no charge, between 4.0GHz and 4.7GHz for $49 (cooling upgraded recommended), and between 4.7GHz to 5.2GHz for $99 (liquid cooling upgrade recommended).
Digital Storm on Monday announced a "new breed of affordable laptops" the company pegs as ideal for a variety of multimedia apps and high performance gaming, all while intelligently sipping power.
The new xm15 line utilizes Nvidia's Optimus Hybrid technology, which as you now by know is an effective way to extend battery life without any user intervention. Nvidia's Optimus technology auto-switches between the integrated and discrete graphics chipsets based on what the task calls for, giving users a performance boost when needed.
A baseline config starts out at $1,000 and includes an Intel Core i5 520M processor, 4GB of DDR3-1066 memory, 320GB hard drive, Nvidia GT 425M GPU, and a DVD burner.
There are three other starting points to choose from, including the "Level 4: Ultimate" for $1,400. This one comes standard with a Core i7 640M processor, 8GB of DDR3-1066 RAM, 500GB hard drive, and a 6X Blu-ray reader. Other features include built-in eSATA and USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, 802.11n Wi-Fi.