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Slade Review

Post Date: 2012-06-23

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deltaxi65 View Drop Down
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  Quote deltaxi65 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Slade Review
    Posted: 23 Jun 2012 at 7:12am
I've been a gamer for a long time now and have always bought computers - even those for work - based on that hobby. I've had gaming desktops and gaming laptops, customized and off-the-shelf computers. After my ASUS G71 laptop bit the dust last year at an extremely inconvenient time, I decided I wasn't going to buy another laptop. After having spent the last four months gaming on a backup Samsung Core 2 Duo laptop that got me about 15 FPS in Star Wars: The Old Republic on a good day, I started searching for a new computer.

The process took a while because I was determined to get a system that would last this time. My NewEgg ASUS find was a spur of the moment purchase and it lasted barely a year, and trying to deal with ASUS customer service is like trying to potty train a one year old. I priced out Alienware and a few other custom builders before I settled on Digital Storm. A few things jumped out at me - first, their prices were in line with what I was seeing on NewEgg and other sites. I have built my own systems in the past, and have always found it to not be worth the hassle. Why waste my time when I can get a better build from an expert...just to save $50? Nope. The ease in ordering and laying out what I wanted, the guides and the forums with helpful satisfied companies was a boon that mass-retailers didn't provide. After spending a few months on the website tinkering with configurations, I got the feeling that this was a quality company to work with.

In choosing my rig, I had about a $2700 budget, which put me near the top of the middle in terms of power. There were four things I was focusing on - first, gaming power, which goes without saying. I also wanted a system that was quiet, that was easily upgradeable and that looked good and fit with my aesthetic. My home office gets a lot of traffic, so it had to fit in.

I decided to go with the Slade Op 2, with a few minor tweaks. I increased the memory from 8 to 16, as I do a lot of multitasking and didn't want any issues there. I added the Blue Ray W/R for fun, upgraded to the extreme cooling and opted for a stage 2 overclock and a GPU overclock. Knowing I wasn't going to be running multiple displays - just my 27 inch ACER 1080p monitor - I opted to skip SLI, although I made sure the system would be able to do that if I chose to upgrade in the future.

I also chose priority build - this was a gift from my wife - to get it here sooner. This was one of the best decisions I made.

After ordering, I got a few emails from the staff to fix issues with the build - I had to change out the memory brand in order to get the stage 2 overclock, and I remembered I needed a wireless internet card added. All of this was handled via email in less than two hours, and it didn't delay processing or the build at all. Customer Service was always responsive.

Now, keep in mind, my build wasn't exactly a tough one. It was a slight upgrade of the Slade Op 2, no SLI, no stage 6 cooling. But I was still impressed with how fast it was put together.

As I've noted on the forums, I placed the order around 6 AM Eastern on Friday, June 8. By the COB Pacific, the build had already hit Stage 5 stress testing. The weekend passed, Monday was uneventful, and the rig hit Stage 6 and Stage 7 early Tuesday, and shipped Tuesday afternoon. I live in Virginia, so this was a cross country trip from central California to metropolitan Washington, DC.

FedEx took a week to get here, and I got the computer on Tuesday, June 19. The build took three business days (priority build gets it done no later than 4) and the shipping took around 7. I had a custom built gaming dream in my hands in less than two weeks. That was amazing.

Once it arrived, I unpacked it, followed the manual and had it running in less than 5 minutes. I've been testing and playing it for a full week now, and I can only say that this is by far the best computer I've ever owned.

What blew me away at first was how quiet it is. The soundproofing in the Corsair Obsidian 550d is great, and coupled with the liquid cooling, there's barely a hum from the machine, even when the fans kick in during gameplay. It's quiet enough that I can hear the AC unit in the back of the house and the tinkle from the cat's water dish down the hall. I didn't expect that, as my last gaming build sounded like a wind tunnel.

The Obsidian 550d case is, to me, one of the best on the site. It is crisp, clean, no-nonsense, no frills. I walk into my home office and it sits there on my desk, looking like the obelisk from 2001. It fits the rest of my decor and it is big, but not so huge that it becomes the focus of attention. Internally, it's easy to maneuver inside, has a lot of wide open space and room for upgrades.

In terms of performance, all I can say is that this rig has handled everything I've thrown at it without a blink. I've been able to run the following games at Ultra settings with no visible drops in frame rates:

Star Wars - The Old Republic - only hiccups come on the Fleet when the system has to render a couple hundred players besides me
World of Warcraft
Lord of the Rings Online
Star Trek Online
Skyrim with High Res. DLC
Medal of Honor
Fallout New Vegas
Mass Effect / Mass Effect 2
Dragon Age / Dragon Age 2
Civ V
Crusader Kings 2

Some of these games are tougher on the system than others, but I can run every single one with every setting maxed out and I can't say I've seen any appreciable drops in FPS, lag, or instability. It's amazing. The NVIDIA Card has performed great, and the extra memory has made it possible for me to run games, while having Photoshop and Chrome up at the same time without any troubles.

I'm pretty demanding when it comes to customer satisfaction, and I have to say that Digital Storm has pleased this hard to please customer. From ordering to today, the process has been great and I will definitely be referring my friends and colleagues to DS in the future. They've gotten themselves a customer for life. My only regret was I forgot to get the free T-shirt!







Chassis Model: Special Deal Hot Seller - Corsair Obsidian 550D
Exterior Finish: - Standard Factory Finish
Trim Accents: - Standard Factory Finish
Processor: Intel Core i7 3770K 3.50 GHz (Unlocked CPU) (Quad Core) (Requires Z77 Motherboard)
Motherboard: ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 (Intel Z77 Chipset) (Features Thermal Armor and Thermal Radar)
System Memory: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Corsair Dominator DHX (High-Performance)
Power Supply: 800W Corsair GS (Dual SLI Compatible)
Expansion Bay: - No Thanks
Hard Drive Set 1: Operating System: 1x (1TB Western Digital/Seagate/Hitachi/Samsung (7200 RPM) (32MB Cache)
Set 1 Raid Options: - No Thanks
Hard Drive Set 2: Multimedia\Data: - No Thanks
Hard Drive Set 3: Backup\Misc.: - No Thanks
Optical Drive 1: Blu-Ray & DVD Writer/Reader (Burn + Play Blu-Ray & DVDs) (12x BD-R)
Optical Drive 2: - No Thanks
Internet Access: Wireless PCI-E 802.11n Up to 300Mbps (Supports 802.11n/g/b) (Model: ASUS PCE-N15)
Video Card(s): 1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2GB (Includes PhysX)
Add-on Card: - No Thanks
Sound Card: Integrated Motherboard Audio
Extreme Cooling: H20: Stage 2: Digital Storm Vortex 240mm Radiator Liquid CPU Cooler (Extreme-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: - No Thanks
LaserMark: - No Thanks
CPU Boost: Stage 2: Overclock CPU 4.5GHz to 4.8GHz (Requires Pro/Deluxe/Sabertooth Motherboard)
Graphics Boost: FREE: Yes, Overclock the video card(s) as much as possible with complete stability
Memory Boost: - No Thanks, Please do not overclock my memory
OS Boost: - No Thanks, Please do not tweak the services on the operating system
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-Bit Edition)
Recovery Tools: Windows Recovery Toolkit (Bundled with Windows 7 CD)
Virus Protection: - No Thanks
Office: - No Thanks
Game: - No Thanks
Display: - No Thanks
Surge Shield: - No Thanks
Speakers: - No Thanks
Keyboard: - No Thanks
Mouse: - No Thanks
External Storage: - No Thanks
Exclusive T-Shirt: - No Thanks
Priority Build: Please Prioritize: Ship Within Four Business Days After Order Is Successfully Processed
Warranty: Life-time Expert Customer Care with 3 Year Limited Warranty

[EDIT: Removed direct competitor]

Edited by Alex - 08 Nov 2012 at 12:01pm
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bprat22 View Drop Down
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 Jun 2012 at 8:31am
Great review and pics.  Congrats and Happy gaming Awesome
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Asangard View Drop Down
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  Quote Asangard Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 Jun 2012 at 11:34am
Congrats on your new systemCool
All evil comes from within,
Not from Without,
Therefore, the 1st step on the Holy Warrior path,
Is to recognize thyself as thy 1st enemy.


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  Quote FR3SHM3AT Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 Jun 2012 at 5:23pm

 Very Nice System  Big%20Smile

 
Congrats !!!
 
 
and thank you for the photos !!
 
 
FR3SHM3AT
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mrrichway View Drop Down
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  Quote mrrichway Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Jul 2012 at 3:26pm
very nice. seeing how clean and open your computer is just makes me realize what a pita it will be to do any upgrades to my rig on my own with the water-cooled everything build i got. smart choice.
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Orange7 View Drop Down
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  Quote Orange7 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Jul 2012 at 5:31pm
Awesome rig!
DS xm15 Stage 4
i7-3820 (2.7GHz/3.7GHz)
16GB 1600MHz DDR3
GT 630, 1GB
240GB Intel 520
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FR3SHM3AT View Drop Down
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  Quote FR3SHM3AT Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Jul 2012 at 5:38pm

Big%20Smile Simple Perfection  Big%20Smile

 
Congrats !!
 
Thx for taking the time and posting photos and review.
I never tire of looking at PC builds.
 
FR3SHM3AT
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Kouzy View Drop Down
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  Quote Kouzy Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Jul 2012 at 5:44pm
Looks great man, congratz
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  Quote JohnD212 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 28 Jul 2012 at 4:54pm
Hi...I just purchased a Slade very similar to yours on Friday and am waiting for it to arrive and wondered how your system has been performing. I'm really excited and your pictures are great. Do you find there is any issue with heat or noise? Low noise was the big selling point for me in selecting the Slade system with the Corsair case but I'm wondering if the lack of open areas causes the system to run hot or under perform.

Hope your system is great..I can't wait for mine. Drooling
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 28 Jul 2012 at 4:55pm
Awesome
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  Quote shot Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 28 Jul 2012 at 6:05pm
Good job in your decisions and good job DS.
Intel i7-8700k
ASUS ORG STRIX Z370-H
16GB DDR4 3000mhz DSPS
1000W Corsair HX1000i
SSD M.2 1TB 960 PRO
SSD 256GB 850 PRO
GTX 1080Ti 11GB
Sound Blaster Z
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Alex View Drop Down
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 28 Jul 2012 at 8:41pm
Thank you for taking the time to post your review, this is definitely a great product and i"m glad to hear that you love it!
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