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My review - pictures of DS + rig!

Post Date: 2008-07-23

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schulni View Drop Down
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  Quote schulni Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: My review - pictures of DS + rig!
    Posted: 23 Jul 2008 at 10:22pm
Warning - this will be an exhaustive review. I'm an English teacher, so sue me! I figure it might help someone. Just skip around if you aren't interested in reading everything. Oh, and I'll put the pictures first so you don't have to wade through too much text. The review is at the end, for those that might be interested. 



In case you are wondering, I did actually pick up my computer. My Prius barely handled the box! The thing is not small. And yes, I play a lot of tennis. It's my other hobby.



Here is the main entrance. Nothing pretty, but it is an industrial park on the outskirts of Silicon Valley, so don't expect much.



Even if you get it shipped, this is what the box looks like. There's the binder and accessories box on top.



And here's the main event - 850si, 1000w Corsair PSU, Q9450 overclocked to 3.2, GTX 280, overclocked DDR2 Corsair extreme performance, stage 3 air cooling.



People remark about how big these are, but honestly I was still surprised. I could practically live in this thing. Here it is absolutely dwarfing my old Dell XPS, which was a larger than average computer in its own right.



So big it doesn't fit under the desk! My fiancee was not pleased...It will have to go to the side, but no worries. By the way, that's a 22inch Samsung touch of color HD monitor - only $350 at Costco right now. I definitely recommend it. I also bought a Logitech G15 keyboard and G5 mouse, both of which I like so far. As you can tell, I'm not an audiophile ($20 speakers, sorry Widdlecat).




Vista 64 bit loaded right up. I had no stability problems whatsoever (a decided advantage of living locally). The welcome screen even had my name on it!



Of course I had to install Crysis and run it at very high, just as the ultimate test and satisfaction. It played like a champ, even without patches (I hadn't connected to the internet yet). Not that you can really see the detail in this godawful picture!


The review:

I'm not a hardcore gamer, so I don't know much about computers. Before I started doing research, I'd never heard of overclocking, and I still couldn't tell you what the "BIOS" is. All I knew was that I disliked my Dell XPS, and it couldn't handle modern games. You see, even though I don't know much about computers, I do enjoy playing computer games, and I can tell the difference between bad and good graphics. I play pretty much exclusively first person shooters, and my Dell, with its ridiculous old ATI card, couldn't even run FEAR at its most basic settings. I do use my computer a lot, so I decided it was worth spending $3000 to get something that would handle my FPS hobby for several years to come. Since I don't use my computer for much besides internet and gaming, I decided to build a customized machine that tailored to my specific needs. For an investment this substantial, I needed to do a lot of research.

I started reading online forums, and looking at some of the more brand name gaming brands, specifically Alienware. I didn't like the reviews I read of their customer service, and one critic mentioned Digital Storm as an alternative. Needless to say, I'm glad I got directed toward this company. The first thing that impressed me about DS was the forums - a unique feature that speaks to the transparency and confidence of Digital Storm. After reading some of the posts, it was clear that I would be receiving excellent customer service. This was important to me, because there is very little on a computer I can fix on my own! I compared configurations, and Digital Storm repeatedly offered better specs for less money, especially next to Alienware. Plus, a three year warranty comes standard. Additionally - and most people don't have this luxury - I live only thirty minutes from Digital Storm, so I knew I could easily take my computer in for repairs. It didn't take me long to settle on Digital Storm as my company of choice.

During the next couple of weeks, I made good use of DS's forums and online chat, throwing all kinds of ignorant questions at unsuspecting people. I was always met with an informed and polite reply. I credit people on the forums for guiding me toward what I consider my ideal build. Again, this is a major advantage of DS.

I ordered my computer on the 7th, and received constant updates from Kelly until it was ready on the 22nd. The build time was roughly ten days, and it was held back slightly in accordance with the new stability standards the company has set. The wait was agonizing, but well worth it. Finally, I drove down to Fremont this morning to pick up my computer. On the drive home, with the beast in the back, I was more afraid of injuring it than me.

Well, to make a long story short, everything was in perfect order when I unpacked the box. The binder was nice and explained everything. I got lots of extra cables that I have no idea what to do with. The computer itself was clearly well built, and started up perfectly. It hums nicely, and isn't nearly as loud as many people are complaining. My (relatively) tiny XPS made roughly the same amount of noise, and I can assure you it didn't have stage 3 air cooling.

In summary, buying from Digital Storm has been a perfect experience. I have absolutely no complaints about any part of the process, and I would recommend this company to anyone in customizing a pc. I hope DS doesn't get bought by Dell or another conglomerate, so they can continue to deliver outstanding value and customer service. I mean, where else can you know and communicate with several important employees by first name? I think that says it all. A big thank you to Digital Storm and to everyone else on the forums who helped with my build - especially Tyler Lowe!


Edited by Alex - 24 Jul 2008 at 1:06am
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Sarah View Drop Down
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  Quote Sarah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 Jul 2008 at 10:44pm
So you where the one taking pictures! Hopefully you enjoyed the tour! And hopefully you enjoy the computer even more!
 
Oh! And I see me in one of those pictures!
Sarah
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  Quote schulni Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 Jul 2008 at 10:57pm
Ha - I guess I should have alerted you so you could have turned around and posed! They should pay you extra for working with so many men. Anyway, I forgot to mention that a nice part of DS, which I'll be taking advantage of, is the continuing support in optimizing and tweaking computers. Oh, and on another note, thanks for checking the OS and other stuff on my computer. It is running very well.
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  Quote Costone Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 Jul 2008 at 11:03pm
Thanks for the tour (authorized or not). And enjoy your rig! Looks sweet.
 
As far as interior decorating, I think the RENT comes first and foremost as a priority.... LOL
 
hmm........I wonder if that's my boy "Little Houdini" perched on the test bench there.....awaiting his big pump appendage....? LOL!
 
Sarah? Kelly?
 


Edited by Costone - 23 Jul 2008 at 11:08pm
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  Quote schulni Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 Jul 2008 at 11:06pm
Hey, they looked like they were doing fine, from what I could see. Though yeah, the rent in silicone valley is out of control.
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  Quote david5182 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 12:04am
Nice review and thanks for the pics!
 
Planning to order soon. I'm just waiting for DSO to drop prices on GTX 260/280.
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  Quote BIGdumbANIMAL Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 1:03am
congrats man, Sorry Sarah but I didnt see you. I wish I knew you were going there I saw 4 850 rigs, Wonder which one of those was mine. I would of asked you to take a pic. of my pretty girl "Beula".

game on, hope too see ya arond


Edited by BIGdumbANIMAL - 24 Jul 2008 at 1:03am
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 1:09am

Sorry, the pictures of some internal departments were not authorized. I had to edit your post and remove them.

We recently moved into the new place and been busy developing. Did you get a chance to see a peek at the StormLounge at the front? It was inside that massive black walls.
 
Anyways, glad to have you come by to pickup the unit. Welcome to the Digital Storm family.
 
Cheers,
Alex
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  Quote BIGdumbANIMAL Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 1:20am
Ah thats too bad, Anyway Alex how about a update to your new building. You took pics when you first moved in but not much detail. how about that update?

  Oh  and add in the workers too, wouldnt mind seeing all the nice employees. A face with a name is pretty cool to know


Edited by BIGdumbANIMAL - 24 Jul 2008 at 1:21am
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 1:21am
We been busy working on the StormLounge, it's our retail sales floor / gaming center.
 
We will have a nice video up of it in action soon.
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  Quote schulni Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 1:26am
Hey, I asked in advance, but sorry about that anyway. Apparently the guy who brought out my computer isn't informed about all of the rules. Obviously, I only took the pictures to post in the forums. I did see the gaming lounge, which I referenced in my review. For those who got to see the room where the computers are assembled - lucky you!
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 1:30am
No problem. Not every employee wants their picture on the Internet.
 
We will have a full tour down the road.
 
Stay tuned for the StormLounge announcement Cool.
 
Cheers,
Alex
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  Quote BIGdumbANIMAL Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 5:48am
Your Stormlounge is used as a sales floor AND a Gaming Center? So this center is  used like a Lan or so potential buyers can test drive a system before purchasing?
Your only young once, But you can be immature for ever.
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  Quote schulni Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 11:51am
Did Alex edit out the part where I mentioned that I play a lot of tennis? Oh well, that's my big hobby. Computer gaming is second.
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 12:54pm
Oops!
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  Quote Costone Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 1:06pm
and photography is third....
 
An assembly tour of the facility would be a great promo vid though...looking forward to it.
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  Quote schulni Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 1:13pm
Jeez guys, lay off the photography thing. I thought people would appreciate it on here, otherwise I wouldn't have done it. Trust me - it's not the kind of thing I would do on my own. I'm not that into computers. Before taking pictures, I asked a DS employee, who said it was ok. I only had shots of employess when their backs were turned, so enough already! I was trying to do something nice for people on here, not start a revolution.
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  Quote Costone Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 1:15pm
I was complimenting you actually....in my case anyway. The shots were great.
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  Quote Sarah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 1:18pm
Hey schulni can you do me a favor and shoot me an e-mail right quick? I got a question for you, thanks!
Sarah
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  Quote schulni Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 1:27pm
That's sweet of you Costone, but I'm definitely not a good photographer. I guess it's a compliment to my low end Canon camera! Oh, and Sarah, I sent you an email...
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