Blogger templates

SmoothCreations Neptune Xtreme Machine

This is the Danger Den MC-TDX for Core i7 sockets. Possibly not the very best waterblock on the market, but in no way bad either.  The CPU is an Core i7 965 Extreme, and it came clocked at a fairly strong 3.9GHz.  The cooling system didn't get anything near warm, though, and the CPU stayed around 44C idle (the lab is pretty damn warm) and with Far Cry2, Fear2, and the 3DMark08 benchmarks, it would shoot up to about 60C load.  We'll look into this in more detail later in the synthetic benchmarks.
Let's take a look at the RAM. 
12GB of Domination

Stuffed to the gills.  Ack, I couldn't resist.  The Neptune is unbelievably pun inducing.  Yeah, I'll take a long walk off a pier for that.  See what I mean?  They just won't stop!  I'm not even fishing for them.  Yes, taking advantage of the triple memory controller of the Core i7, the Neptune has 12GB of Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 memory.  I had nothing but awe for these.  It ran at 616MHz, 1234MHz DDR, with latency timings at 4-8-8-20 timings or even 1600 MHz at CAS8, but again, we'll get to the specs on these a little later. 
They are conservatively clocked here, and offer a lot of room for tweaking.  These were also the putting out a good bit of heat, but had a nice strong breeze from the radiator fans.
Here is the custom painted Silverstone ZM1200M modular PSU with a monstrous 1200 watts on tap.  Yup, that ought to do it.
You can also power a radio station, if needed
This is the SilverStone ZM1200M PSU.  This is a monster PSU.  It's around 85% efficient, in case you're wondering, and it will have no problems powering two or three video cards.  It did put out some heat.
Sitting on the PSU is the power driver for the white CCFL.  Very neat and as clean as a system like this can be.  You don't realize how much went into putting this thing together until after you take a long look at the insides.  Since the DD Tower 26 is clear acrylic, there are very few spots to hide cables and things.
Goes dark fast

There is an LCD display that goes along with the Rampage II mobo.  I wasn't able to verify that it did anything useful, because the placement of it did make checking readings a tad difficult.  Once past POST, though, you'll be concentrating on the OS loading anyway.
Lastly, the storage system.
4 dirves, two RAID arrays, and nearly 2 terabytes of storage.
SmoothCreations shipped the Neptune in a fairly standard RAID configuration, a 600GB RAID 0 for OS, and a big 1TB RAID 1 for data.  The OS RAID 0 consists of two 300GB VelociRaptors, which I wouldn't expect anything less, and a RAID 1 of Western Digital 1TB drives. 
Rebuilding after failed boot... a little too much OC!
On this last RAID, a little QC funny business because one drive was a WD Caviar Green, and the other a Caviar Black.  I dunno, Intel's Matrix RAID didn't really mind and I don't mind either.  However, if you were to build such a storage system as Smooth Creations built with the Neptune, you would consider using RAID specific drives, such as Seagate ES or WD RE2/3, since this is your data.
Then there's also the fact that these onboard RAID solutions aren't really RAID (you can make an array, but I wouldn't count on the reliability), it does make sense to get the most reliable hard drives you can afford.  Since my day job has me working with RAID 5, RAID 1, and even a couple RAID 50 devices, it's not a fault of SmoothCreations at all, just a philosophical difference I believe worth boring you all about.  Hey, you're drooling on the keyboard.

Hilbert: Yeah we .. call this fakeraid in Guru land, partially software based RAID. It is very reliable for normal usage though, it hogs CPU cycles though.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More