The Making of the Dream Machine


Come behind the scenes for the making of DM2004!

Even though we've built a Dream Machine every year since the magazine was founded (back in the Boot days), readers have never seen the Dream Machine in anything other than its final, photo-ready state--until now. We hope you enjoy this little photo essay we put together documenting the creation of DM2004, and if you have any feedback please send it to . Thanks for reading!

Benchmarking begins on a hastily assembled Dream Machine. Not all the parts had arrived yet, but Gordo dove anyway to get a head start on the grueling benchmarking process. Note the four-drive Raptor array, which we ditched in favor of a two-drive setup.

The ATI X800XT Platinum Edition card arrives, and gaming benchmarks ensue.

Editor Jones checks up on the Dream Machine's progress. So far it's smooth sailing.

It's not the prettiest site, but Gordon kept ample airflow running across the Dream Machine's innards with his special $5 plastic fan.

The Earth LCD arrives and Technical Editor Will Smith has it up and running on his bench in no time.

Everything is brought down to photography, interrupting the benchmarking process for a day or so. Since we hadn't settled on a videocard yet (it was an extremely close call), we decide to shoot both the nVidia and ATI cards just to be safe.

Staff photographer Samantha Berg gets busy with the photography. Even though we had sent a Silverstone Nimiz case to Smooth Creations for a custom paint job, somehow this stock unit ended up in the pile and Sam dutifully shot it.

A few days before the Dream Machine's final deadline, our Nimiz case arrives with its custom paint job from Smooth Creations. As expected, it looks exactly like our prototype sketches and is stunning to behold.

With photography complete, benchmarking resumes. Most of the parts have been decided up on, but we're still benchmarking videocards to see which is faster. The clock is ticking.

Here we see Gordon Mah Ung's patent pending "PDA on top of PCI cards" retention device.

Construction of the Dream Machine begins. Benchmarks are finished and all components have been finalized.

The Nimiz case's slide-out motherboard tray makes assembling a PC with this many parts a lot easier.

Hard drives are installed, optical drives are in place, and the PC Power and Cooling power supply is ready to roll.

The motherboard tray is cautiously slipped into place and all drives are connected.

Once it's up and running, it's back to the photo studio for the cover shot. Editor Jones is on hand to make sure things go smoothly.

The Dream Machine is ready for its close up. All we have to do now is get the LCD touchscreen working.

With the touchscreen operational, Gordon makes sure the machine is using it as the primary display for the purposes of the photo shoot.

And finally, the cover shot! Note that the bezel door had to be photoshopped out of the picture for the cover image.

This concludes our photo essay. We hope you enjoyed it!


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