The Dream Machine Revealed--Part One of Three!


Are you ready?  Every year, Maximum PC builds the de-facto, pants-shattering, best-system-ever.  We crown this stunning achievement of manufacturing gusto the Dream Machine .  This is its eleventh incarnation, and perhaps its most controversial: the equipment, the enclosure, the build--not a single part of this year's rig was without debate.

In this epic three-part series, we're going to give you a first-look at exactly what's going in this holiest of rigs.  And we're also going to walk you through its actual construction--coolant leaks and all--in one of the most demanding chassis we've ever slapped a machine into. Let's begin.

The Keyboard

Microsoft's Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is our typing instrument of choice for the many games we'll be playing on said awesome Dream Machine 2008.  It feels as great as it looks, the ergonomic split of the keys soothing our fingertips for hours upon hours' worth of crazy Team Fortress 2 action. But don't take our word for it--take our official word for it by checking out the March 2006 review of this little beast.

The Mouse

Logitech's G5 Revision 2 mouse is as good-looking as it is good-using.  Good to use.  Whatever.  This mouse rocks.  It's supreme comfort is matched by its slick gliding action, which you're free to set to your leisure.  You can customize the on-screen translation of the mouse's speedy movements by using the two sensitivity buttons below the scroll wheel.  These, along with two back/forward thumb-toggle buttons, are as helpful for fragging your friends as they are useful for advanced application work, like Photoshop painting.  And if that wasn't enough, you can even stick weights into the G5's guts to better match your real-world movement sensitivities to your on-screen performance.  Now move your mouse over to our full review of this awesome accessory.

The Display

If you've been following Maximum PC for any length of time, this should be a no-brainer.  We have yet to review a monitor as delightful as Gateway's 30-inch XHD3000.  It's picture is clear, vivid, and glitch-free: the trifecta of achievements that separates lesser monitors from the upper-echelon Dream Machine contenders.  The display has enough connection options to fit right in your living room, although we'd think that you would want this touch-button display smack-dab in the middle of your desk.  If you have room, that is.  Multitask by reading our full review of the display while you shuffle your papers and trinkets around.

The Hard Drive(s)

For the speediest, largest-capacity performance you can get your hands on, look no further than Samsung's HD103UJ terabyte hard drive.  This is the fastest terabyte drive we've reviewed , so it only makes perfect sense to lock three of them in a RAID 5 array for a maximum combination of redundancy, speed, and storage.  We were tempted to go for the gusto with RAID 0, but given the sheer amount of data we'll be slapping on these three beauties, the last thing we want to happen is for one drive oopsie to nuke the array.  We'll trade away one terabyte of storage for two protected terabytes any day of the week.

As for the HD103UJ's little friend.  Well.  How to put this delicately.  The other drives we're using in the Dream Machine are so new, so fresh, so undisclosed... that we can't talk about them yet.  Nope.  It took many vows of silence, the sacrifice of one intern, and limitless amounts of begging for us to be able to get our hands on these models.  Check back with us mid-July for a full review of this big secret, but feel free to speculate what we're up to until then: solid-state storage?  An enterprise-class drive? A tiberium-powered disk ?

Check back next Monday for the second part of our Dream Machine reveal. Until then, post your thoughts and predictions in the comments section below!

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