We’ve never—ever—seen a PC like Hardcore Computer’s Reactor. Who the hell, after all, would dunk a CPU, GPUs, SSDs, a proprietary motherboard, and a power supply in non-conductive oil? We’ve seen submerged PC projects since as early as 1998, but they’ve always looked like a PC that ran Titanic-style into an iceberg, with half the components sinking to the bottom of the tank.
The Reactor, however, feels solid. It’s made of fabricated heavy-duty aluminum and is so stunningly gorgeous that it could easily be dropped onto a movie set as a nuclear-powered PC from 2112.
Heck, there are even some hardware exclusives here. The Reactor is the first machine to have a full, real EAX5-capable X-Fi chip in it. And in another first, Hardcore somehow managed to use three of Samsung’s new 256GB SSD drives—that’s 768GB of fast solid state storage, kiddies. In graphics, we didn’t get Nvidia’s latest GTX 295s, but Hardcore does manage to stuff in three GTX 280 cards. All this was fitted to the custom nForce 790i SLI board with Intel’s pre-viously top-of-the-line 3.2GHz Core 2 Extreme Edition at 4GHz. And, of course, almost all of it was sunk in heat-conductive oil.
Stop. You had us at oil submersed motherboard, CPU and GPUs. You didn’t even have to dunk the SSDs, PSU or create a custom motherboard and bullet resistant tank too to convince us that you’re really hard core, umm, Hardcore.
Of course, if you stare too hard at the tank, you’ll miss all the heavenly glory that the Hardcore PC truly is. From its beautiful aluminum case, to its top port routing and the easy to access hard drives, every centimeter of the machine oozes custom computing. And we can honestly say that after tinkering with the most exotic PCs available on Earth for a decade now. What Hardcore is trying to do is so over the top that no one has ever tried it before on a production machine.
But before Hardcore can ascend to take its place among the top performance PC makers, there are an awful lot of questions to answer. Like can they really make and sell these babies for how much the company claims it can? Does it really work? To find the answer to that read on.