Gaming PC Really Packs A Punch - InformationWeek

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1/27/2006
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Gaming PC Really Packs A Punch

Advanced Micro Devices' Athlon 64 FX60 is a great gaming processor that can take on Intel in the productivity arena. It powers Monarch Computer Systems' Nemesis Custom Gaming PC, clocking in at 2.6 GHz. That's a step down from AMD's older 2.8-GHz FX57, but you don't notice a performance hit when playing real-world gaming apps.

Monarch Computer Systems' Nemesis Custom Gaming PC

Monarch Computer Systems' Nemesis Custom Gaming PC
The FX60 is mated to 2 Gbytes of dual-channel Double Data Rate SDRAM to improve throughput. Splitting drive chores also is important for data-handling performance, so Monarch includes a 74-Gbyte Western Digital Raptor hard disk for system chores and a pair of 400-Gbyte Western Digital Caviar SD drives in a RAID 0 configuration for data chores.

You get two Plextor PX-716AL DVD burners and a Creative Labs' X-Fi Platinum sound card with a front "drive panel" for easy connections to accessories. The components are wrapped in a Thermaltake Shark tower enclosure with a Fire Pearl paint job accompanied by a Logitech LX 700 cordless keyboard and mouse in matching trim.

The final jewels in the crown: A pair of eVGA GeForce 7800 GTX KO SLI graphics cards, each carrying 256 Mbytes of DDR3 in a Scalable Link Interface configuration. They can deliver graphic frames faster than you'll ever use them.

In tests using the COSBI OpenSourceMark benchmarking tool, Nemesis bested an Intel Pentium 640, overclocked to 3.55 GHz, and a dual-core 3.2-GHz Pentium D 840 Extreme-based computer. I saw amazing results on a video-rendering test that stitched together cut video clips into a single MPEG 2 file, stressing the FX60's data-throughput capability. However, it plodded through another video-rendering test that increased stress systemwide.

Still, unlike many computers built for games, this one has a sincere work ethic for handling productivity tasks. As a gaming PC, it's flawless and an easy recommendation for serious fun-seekers.

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