I need a fast desktop for development and was at the dell website when I came across the following link.
These guys do “high performance PC’s”. I clicked on the fastest looking offering they had and the total price for the basic package is £3008 (I kid you not). For that price I get an odd looking case (see pic on right). The case looks like it was designed as a bottle for mens aftershave (pimp my pc). You also get the following.
Alien Case (see pic on right)
Intel® Core™ i7-940 Performance 2.93GHz 8MB Cache
1GB NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 280
1000 Watt Alienware® Approved Multi-GPU Power Supply
3GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz – 3 x 1024MB
Alienware® Approved Intel® X-58 Chipset Motherboard- Socket 1366 Core i7 Ready, Triple Channel DDR3 Memory
Windows Vista® Home Premium 64-bit with Service Pack 1
1.0 TB SATA 3Gb/s 7200 RPM (2 x 500GB)
20X Dual Layer DVD±RW/CD-RW Writer
High-Definition 7.1 Performance Audio – Standard
Logitech® Classic Keyboard UK – Space Black
Standard Optical 3-Button Mouse with Scroll Wheel
To say I am woefully unimpressed with the above is a bit of an understatement. I have not looked overly hard at the rest of the details but those are the main parts.
I decided to put my old hat on and go shopping to see how much it would cost me if I was prepared to build it and this is what I was able to ruffle up in a few minutes.
|Intel® Core™ i7-940 Performance 2.93GHz 8MB Cache||440|
|1GB NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 280||300|
|1000 Watt Power Supply (multi GPU)||150|
|3GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz – 3 x 1024MB (Corsair)||91|
|Intel® X-58 Chipset Motherboard- Socket 1366 Core i7 Ready, Triple Channel DDR3 Memory||270|
|Windows Vista® Home Premium 64-bit with Service Pack 1||100|
|1.0 TB SATA 3Gb/s 7200 RPM (2 x 500GB)||100|
|20X Dual Layer DVD±RW/CD-RW Writer||50|
|High-Definition 7.1 Performance Audio||85|
|Classic Keyboard UK||12|
|Standard Optical 3-Button Mouse with Scroll Wheel||12|
I’ll add another £400 in case I have missed something or made an obvious mistake. So we can save £1000, I don”t know about you but thats a lot of money. I probably get some warranty with the Alien machine and it comes packaged etc but it’s not worth £1000. Seasoned Gamers can knock a machine up in a morning so I’d be surprised if many seasoned gamers are using these machines. I bet I could build a significantly faster machine for £3000 than the one above. It might look like shit but it’d be fast as hell.
The following paragraph is most likely way off the mark on what would constitute a good gaming machine. There are various reasons for this, for instance, ensuring the graphics cards work with server hardware, could the game take advantage of 4 CPU’s with a total of 16 Cores, does the vista license allow us to have 4 sockets.
I could fit a rack in the attic or if I was close enough to the garage I could run a monitor cable etc through the roof, floor or wall to the PC. Add a power switch and a mini itx server with shared peripherals and then you can start looking at 4/5U machines with multiple CPU’s with multiple cores. You can pick up some serious hardware on ebay with SCSI and hardware raid built in. Have a look on ebay.com for v40z or Add some decent graphics cards and things would be looking quite fast.
If I was gaming in the states from the UK I would also look at tunneling my traffic to the states from the UK over a compressed line. You can get dedicated servers in the states very cheaply that would make excellent end points for the tunnel. The closer you can get to the server in the states that you are playing your games on the better.
I’m off to look at desktops now.