|"The one" - system|
Special thanks from All American Computers to:
- Mark Welker: Jaime Segura
I was talking to Terry a few months before the CyberXGames//CES event in Vegas. He said wouldn’t it be cool to build the fastest gaming system in the World and debut it in Vegas. Of course I was excited and said this sounded like a great idea. Time went by and like many projects it was put on the back burner.
About a month till CyberX the idea was brought back up again. Terry said he wanted to go for it and so I setup a list of basic specs and we set forward with getting the parts for the system. CyberXGames premier sponsors are ATI and AMD so of course we wanted to run an ATI card and AMD CPU. The next parts in the puzzle - motherboard and RAM. Motherboard was an easy decision. Asus currently makes the best Athlon FX 51 motherboard around so that was the easy choice. RAM was a harder position to fill. We wanted the best parts but also we are dealing with companies that we knew. I had been talking with Kingston for awhile and we had been using their ram in our FX 51 systems. It was stable and the modules were designed specifically for the FX 51 but there was one problem. They overclocked badly and had high CAS timings. Kingston then told us they where willing to send us some RAM built specifically for this system. It was “special”. So I of course said we would try it.
With the foundation parts selected I went forward with the project. By this time it was the week before Christmas and three weeks till the event. I contacted Dan from Dangerden to discuss the cooling system. We wanted the system to break records but also wanted it to be completely self contained and easy to use.
It was not to be a science experiment laid out on a desk but a real system. Dan and I decided to use a Peltier system due to time issues and ease of cooling - both CPU and VPU. So we had cooling and all the major parts but no case. When my company decided to start manufacturing a liquid cooled clear case system (Poseidon) we looked for a high quality case that met our specifications. Only one case did and it was made by a company called C3 or Clear Case Company. I contacted Neil from C3 and asked him if he was willing to be part of this project and if they could make a custom case for it. He was happy to. I sent him my specs on what parts needed to be installed and he quickly produced a case that was a perfect fit.
By this time it was the end of the week and most of the parts were arriving. I had ordered the remaining parts for the system. As it was going to be the best I got two 74 GIG Raptor HD’s, a Plextor 8X DVD-RW, Creative Audigy 2 ZS sound card. The 9800 XT video card/ Athlon FX51/ Asus SK8V/ and the custom Kingston ECC Registered RAM arrived. The first thing I did was to test all the parts to see what they could do. Stock configuration the video card could run at 510/ 420….WOW it was a really good card. The Athlon FX51 would run at 2.4 GHz…again a great part. The RAM was solid stable and fast. Next came the modding.
First thing I did was remove the factory HSF from the video card. Next I sealed the motherboard using conformal coating. Finally it was time to do the voltage mods to the video card and Motherboard. Both were modded for voltage adjustment of the VPU/CPU and Ram voltage. Meanwhile I had sent the panels out to be laser etched by Dangerden and they etched them on Christmas Eve!! On the Monday after Christmas I finally got all the parts back and began final assembly. The insulation was fitted and the system took shape over then next couple days. On New Years Eve the system was filled with coolant and fired up for the first time.
It posted and ran! I installed the OS and started over clocking. Mild over clocking and the CPU was at 2.6 and the 9800 was at 525/420. Next I turned it up CPU 2.7 GHz and the 9800 at 572/464. The RAM was the biggest surprise as it ran at 2.5,2,2,2 (yes that last number is right?!) @ 450 MHZ. The system was running great but the deadline had come. How fast was the system….10th fastest in 3dmark03 and the fastest self contained system at the time. Could it have gone faster? Most likely but it was time to ship it to Vegas.
The system was shipped to Vegas and arrived in one piece. I set it up and Terry and I talked about what was going to be the fate of this system when the event was over. Terry decided only one thing could be done with a system like this…..GIVE IT AWAY. That’s right….we had built the fastest system in the world. It was completely self contained and required not special steps to start and run. So we gave it away. At CyberX if you had attended you could have had the chance to win this system. It required no special sign up and you did not have to do anything. We drew a name out of a hat and a guy one the system. He had a P3 450 Compaq before so this should be one heck of an upgrade !!
After the event the system was shipped back to be to have the OS “OEMed” so that the guy got a fresh OS and the unthinkable happened. It was so cold on the return trip that the cooling system froze solid. As a testament to the quality of the DangerDen product after thawing out and being cleaned up the system posted right up and ran fine. As soon as the weather warms above freezing one lucky guy is going to have one amazing machine.
would like to thank all those that were involved in making this system