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My new Digital Storm HAF X - Feedback and Review

Post Date: 2010-08-01

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parallox View Drop Down
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  Quote parallox Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: My new Digital Storm HAF X - Feedback and Review
    Posted: 01 Aug 2010 at 10:18pm
I placed my order with Digital Storm on 7/2/2010 an recieved my system on 7/22/2010. I have been planning my upgrade for probably about a year and a half, and their sales team was extremely helpful, and I am really happy with the PC I have chosen. Below are some of the specific points:  
 
1) Pre Sales/Sales - As I had said, I have been shopping for about a year and a half, called them numberous times with questions. Sarah was particularly helpful. The nice thing about them is that if you want a specific item not in their list of selections, you can still request the item and they will accomodate you.  
 
2) Price Point - I have looked at a number of system builders, including ********, Falcon NW, Origin, and others. DigitalStorm has the best price point I could find, and often include special offers. I could not find better.  
 
3) Order Tracking/Build/Shipping - As the system goes thru it's build process, you get an email telling you exactly where it was at in the build process. At one point there was a few days delay in the performance testing phase, but called and found out it was in queue with a large amount of orders. When it did ship, I got an email with the tracking number, and it was on time. The system is well packaged, and and was shipped without a scratch (unlike some of systems I have ordered from other vendors). Overall, the system was built pretty quick, granted I did not order too complex a build such as custom water cooling, which probably would have made it a bit longer. My last system from VoodooPC took almost 2 months before they shipped it, and had numerous and obvious build mistakes, so this was really a delight.  
 
4) Performance - One of my biggest concerns with this system was getting a quiet system. I have a dB reader, and I thought my previous VoodooPC was prety quiet. It typically operated around 51-55 dB during normal operation. When I tested my DigitalStorm HAF X system, it didn't even register on the dB reader, which means it's below 50 dB, most likely low to mid 40s, and is really quiet, even during gaming (and it has a nvidia 480, supposidly loud). And performance wise, playing Starcraft 2 on my Samsung 32" 6500 LED 1080p HDTV/monitor was TOTAL EYE CANDY! My jaw literally dropped during cut scenes. The USB 3.0 ports are extremely fast. I moved 100 GB in 15 minutes to my new system, using USB 2.0 it takes 50-60 minutes.  
 
5) Tech Support / Post Sales - Honestly, I have not had any really siginficant tech support issues. I had maybe 3 minor issues. One was WesternDigital drives having a sticky power button issue, but I had this when I connected my old PC and laptop, so not related to DigitalStorm. The second was the resolution on the HDTV monitor. The nvidia driver will let you scale down the resolution, but it made the screen look odd, particularly text. Samsung advised me to change the 16:9 to Screen Fix in the TV settings, and now I am at 1080p, also not a DigitalStorm issue. And the last was issues with sound when I installed Starcraft 2. Blizzard support page had me adjust settings but that didn't fix it. I had to go to Realtek to get an updated sound driver which helped a bit (stereo sound).  The first patch from Blizzard fixed the sound issues with 7.1 sounds systems, and now it works just fine, also not a DigitalStorm issue.  
The only suggestion I could make to Digital Storm would be to find a way to include in in-drive digital media reader without disabling front USB ports.  That and hide the USB 3.0 cabling leading from the back tot the front.
 
Overall, it has been a really pleasant experience. DigitalStorm listened to my needs and demonstrated a real commitment to quality and service. If VoodooPC had 1/10th of DigitalStorm's commitment to quality and service, they might still be in business. I would recommend DigitalStorm in a heartbeat! I would definately recommend them for your next PC.  
Awesome
 
 


Edited by parallox - 02 Aug 2010 at 1:40am
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  Quote parallox Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 01 Aug 2010 at 10:21pm
I also wanted to include a couple pictures of my system and layout.
 
System pictures:
 
 
System layout (the booze on the top left is medicinal, and that is a real light saber on the top right):
 
 
USB 3.0 cables running from back to front (a little chessy)
 
 
Here are the specs for those asking for it:
 
Specifications:
Chassis Model: Special Deal Hot Seller - Cooler Master 942 HAF X
Exterior Finish: - Standard Factory Finish
Trim Accents: - Standard Factory Finish
Processor: Intel Core i7 960 3.2GHz (Quad Core)
Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D Premium SLI (Intel X58 Chipset) (Features USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s)
System Memory: 6GB DDR3 1600MHz Digital Storm Certified Performance Series  (Highly Recommended) (Hand Tested)
Power Supply: 1000W Digital Storm Certified (Dual/Triple/Quad SLI Compatible) (Silent Edition Highly Recommended) 
Expansion Bay: - No Thanks
Hard Drive Set 1: Operating System: 1x (128GB Solid State Crutial SATA 6 GB) SPECIAL ORDER
Hard Drive Set 2: Multimedia\Data: 1x (1TB Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX  (7200 RPM) (64MB Cache) (SATA) (Extreme Speed)
Hard Drive Set 3: Backup\Misc.: - No Thanks
Optical Drive 1: Blu-Ray Player/DVD Writer (Play Blu-Ray and Burn DVDs)
Optical Drive 2: - No Thanks
Internet Access: High Speed Network Port (Supports High-Speed Cable / DSL / Network Connections)
Video Card: 1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 1.5GB (Includes PhysX Technology)
Add-on Card: - No Thanks
Sound Card: Integrated Motherboard Audio
Extreme Cooling: H20: Stage 2: Asetek Liquid CPU Cooler (240mm Radiator) (High-Performance Edition)
H20 Tube Color:- Not Applicable, I do not have a FrostChill or Sub-Zero LCS Cooling System Selected
Chassis Airflow: Standard Factory Chassis Fans
Internal Lighting: - No Thanks
Enhancements: - No Thanks
Chassis Mods: - No Thanks
Noise Reduction: Noise Suppression Package (Optimized Airflow & Fan Speeds with Noise Dampening Material)
Boost Processor: - No Thanks, Please do not overclock my processor
Boost Video Card: - No Thanks, Please do not overclock my video card(s)
Boost Memory: - No Thanks, Please do not overclock my memory
Boost OS: - No Thanks, Please do not tweak the services on the operating system
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-Bit Edition)
Restore Kit: Digital Storm Specialized Recovery System (DVD Image Based)
Virus Protection: - No Thanks
Office: - No Thanks
Benchmarking: - No Thanks
Install/Test Game: FREE: Hot-selling game with a NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 or above graphics card
Display: - No Thanks
Surge Shield: - No Thanks
Speakers: - No Thanks
Keyboard: - No Thanks
Mouse: - No Thanks
External Storage: - No Thanks
Exclusive T-Shirt: FREE: Digital Storm T-Shirt - Black (Large)
Priority Build: - No Thanks, Ship Within 5-15 Business Days After Order Is Successfully Processed
Warranty: FREE PROMO: Life-time Expert Customer Care with 3 Year Hassle-free Hardware Service


Edited by parallox - 03 Aug 2010 at 12:13pm
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  Quote SemperFuzz Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 02 Aug 2010 at 8:17am
What are your build specs?  Is the USB cable in the back due to the internal front card reader?  I may forgoe that option as it does look "cheese-Tastic"  unless DS has another option to hide it.
 
 
When you have time post some internal close ups please.  Great news on the noise being so low.  It looks like you might have a liquid cooled CPU?
 
Thanks
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  Quote rholyrag Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 02 Aug 2010 at 8:39am
Thanks for sharing your review Excited!  As SemperFuzz asked, what are your specs and can we get pics of the internals?
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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 02 Aug 2010 at 8:45am
Originally posted by SemperFuzz

What are your build specs?  Is the USB cable in the back due to the internal front card reader?  I may forgoe that option as it does look "cheese-Tastic"  unless DS has another option to hide it.
 
 
When you have time post some internal close ups please.  Great news on the noise being so low.  It looks like you might have a liquid cooled CPU?
 
Thanks


The HAF X has USB 3.0 ports in the front. However, as of now, a USB 3.0 fan header does not exist in reality. Therefore, the only way to connect that USB 3.0 front port is to use a standard USB 3.0 cable threaded all the way from the motherboard's USB 3.0 port in back to a jack behind the front port. Unfortunately, the case was designed exactly to do that, no way of hiding that cable, ehehe.

Looking at a shot of his internals, I think he....went....for the Asetek...(dun-dun-DUNNNN)


Edited by ablahblah - 02 Aug 2010 at 8:46am
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  Quote SemperFuzz Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 02 Aug 2010 at 10:51pm
Thanks AB and what benefit does the USB 3.0 do for you i assume it enables the front USB ports to be 3.0?  whats a fan header?  sorry, learning....
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  Quote parallox Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 03 Aug 2010 at 12:14pm
Hey guys, I updated my post to include the specs.  Sorry for the delay, didn't have this setup to log replies.
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  Quote SemperFuzz Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Aug 2010 at 4:05pm
Full size pics with Internals please?  Where did they mount the radiator at?  It looks like the tubes go to the back to the 140 mike mike fan.  I guess that Asstek is a double thick 20mm Rad.  What kind of temps are you getting on CPU when full gaming?
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  Quote Jinkar Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Aug 2010 at 5:54am
Hey Parallox.

I'm curious to know the noise level of your Liquid Cooling setup.

Extreme Cooling: H20: Stage 2: Asetek Liquid CPU Cooler (240mm Radiator) (High-Performance Edition)

The noise level when it is idle and under load.  Does the 2x 120mm produce a lot of noise as well as will you hear the sucking noise of the hose when it transferring water?
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  Quote parallox Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 11:10pm
Originally posted by SemperFuzz

Full size pics with Internals please?  Where did they mount the radiator at?  It looks like the tubes go to the back to the 140 mike mike fan.  I guess that Asstek is a double thick 20mm Rad.  What kind of temps are you getting on CPU when full gaming?
 
Sorry, but I don't have any internal shots of the system.  I might pull it out of the alcove to run some new sound cables.   The old ones give me a little grief with side speakers.  Maybe then I will post some pictures of the case, probably in a week or two if I am inclined to take a break form Starcraft 2.
 
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  Quote parallox Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 11:16pm
Originally posted by Jinkar

Hey Parallox.

I'm curious to know the noise level of your Liquid Cooling setup.

Extreme Cooling: H20: Stage 2: Asetek Liquid CPU Cooler (240mm Radiator) (High-Performance Edition)

The noise level when it is idle and under load.  Does the 2x 120mm produce a lot of noise as well as will you hear the sucking noise of the hose when it transferring water?
 
I did a bit of research, a lot of resellers use the Asetek Cooler.  From what I have heard, the black tubing used is very good at condensation and leak prevention, especially since it is an enclosed system.  The fans are mounted at the top of the case inside.  during idle and even while playing games, I really don't gear it.  I think the case fans make more noise, and it is a LOT quieter than my last water cooled system, but that had a water pump and water cooled video cards. I gave some dB readings, and it definately ~10 dBs quieter, which is a lot at that level.
 
I know about the sucking sound you are talking about.  It was REALLY bad on my old system.  Especially in the begining because I discovered VoodooPC mounted the resevoir backwards.  But so far, no noice from cavitation or bubles, and I don't think I every will cause it is completely self sealed.
 
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  Quote parallox Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Jan 2014 at 11:27am
Hey All,

Just figure I give you some feedback after some more use. This system has been TOTALLY ROCK SOLID. I haven't run into any software or hardware issues, and it's been totally stable. Game performance has been great, and haven't really had any need to upgrade components yet. The ventilation system on this box is really great, very quiet, and CLEAN. I opened the case up just to clean out dust bunnies, and there weren't ANY to be found. Looks like the filters on the front and sides do a really good job of keeping out dust, and the fans push it all though.

HANDS DOWN, BEST SYSTEM I HAVE EVER OWNED!!! THANK YOU DIGITAL STORM!!!

11 stars!

Edited by parallox - 11 Jan 2014 at 11:31am
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Jan 2014 at 1:46pm
Great to hear.    Thanks for the update.
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Jan 2014 at 4:05pm
Thanks for updating your review! Strong

Gotta love the HAF-X Awesome
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  Quote Nav Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Jan 2014 at 6:44pm
Originally posted by parallox

Hey All,

Just figure I give you some feedback after some more use. This system has been TOTALLY ROCK SOLID. I haven't run into any software or hardware issues, and it's been totally stable. Game performance has been great, and haven't really had any need to upgrade components yet. The ventilation system on this box is really great, very quiet, and CLEAN. I opened the case up just to clean out dust bunnies, and there weren't ANY to be found. Looks like the filters on the front and sides do a really good job of keeping out dust, and the fans push it all though.

HANDS DOWN, BEST SYSTEM I HAVE EVER OWNED!!! THANK YOU DIGITAL STORM!!!

11 stars!


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  Quote fstcvc Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Jan 2014 at 10:08pm
HailStorm II
i7 4770K @ 4.5GHz
Asus Maximus VI Extreme
16GB Corsair Dominator Platinum
3xSLI EVGA SuperClocked GTX TITAN
Samsung 840Pro SSD 256GB+512GB
HydroLux+XSPC CPU/MoBo/GPU Liquid Cooling
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  Quote Seafoam Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Jun 2014 at 1:57pm
Originally posted by fstcvc



PC SPECS:

- Intel Core i7 4930k 3.4Ghz
- ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition
- 16 GB DDR3 1866MHz Corsair Vengeance Pro
- 750W Corsair
- Samsung 250 GB SSD
- 1TB Storage
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3 GB
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  Quote parallox Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 15 Dec 2014 at 5:27pm
Hey guys, I finally have a little down time around the holidays, wanted to give yet another update.

Back in July of 2014, I finally had a hardware problem. I fried the GTX 480 video card. After 4 years, I feel that is still a dam good track record. The GTX 480 were not the best engineered video cards, so not surprised that it went. The main contributing factor was not the card itself I think, but the power in my home. I actually had a badly wired outlet, and had a couple of UPS(es) go bad on me (Protip: DO NOT BUY A CYBERPOWER UPS) But I got those power issues resolved with a little home rewiring (and thanks to a new high end APC UPS) and upgraded the video card to a new GTX 770. I also pulled the old ram and doubled my ram. I also upgraded my SSD to a Samsung EVO, which I highly recommend (fast and cheap!) I figured maybe in a year or so more I will go for a new desktop at some point, and I will buy digital storm.

Also, I had to get a new laptop, and got a digital storm. I am really impressed with the performance of it, I might do a separate review for it soon. Only complaint is the mouse pad sensitivity is just weird, but it doesn't bother me much as I use a USB wireless laptop mouse when I game and create music.

Anyway... Thanks digital storm for making the best PC I ever owned!


Edited by parallox - 15 Dec 2014 at 5:36pm
"Wrath of GOD incoming!!!" - Tychus of Starcraft 2 (while piloting an Odin)
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