So what of the graphics? First, there’s that cooler on the Nvidia chips and Southbridge. The 48mm fan screams away and makes such a racket that we felt obliged to quieten it down with a Zalman fan controller. It’s not a particular surprise to find noisy cooling on a server or workstation product but the strange thing is that Intel included a couple of large Zalman CPU coolers in the review kit that were both effective and quiet. We also added fan controllers to those two fans and made them significantly quieter but at least Intel made an effort and we hope that it continues to make strides in this area.
We were able to run a single GeForce 880GT very effectively in the synthetic 3DMark06 benchmark and found that performance climbed by some 25 per cent when we added a second 8800GT in SLI. In an ideal world we’d have run a third 8800GT in Tri-SLI but the Nvidia graphics drivers reserve that treat for 'G80'-chipped 8800GTS and GTX cards, and when we plugged in a third GT the SLI option vanished.
Longer bars are better
We had much greater success with a pair of PowerColor HD 2900 XT graphics cards, which were used in place of the more desirable HD 3870 as we didn’t have any of them to hand. The performance of the two models is very similar however the HD 2900 XT draws considerably more power than the HD 3870.
Yes, the case is mucho important, especially when I have to sit near it the whole day long to earn the money which bought that beast....
Are you thick?
Dunno if you know this but they are testing out an Alpha motherboard, not some packaged computer. Its a showcase for what Intel might be able to do in the future.
and if you wanted something with the V8 in it you could go Dell for cheaper and better (minus the shiny case, because those are oh-so important when shopping for workstations or servers).
Essentially the Mac Pro?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it would seem that this is more or less the current Mac Pro (1600MHz FSB, DDR2-800 DIMMs, 8800GT, 3GHz SATA connectors, PCI Express 2, dual 3.2GHz quad-core Xeons, etc.) The Mac supports up to 32GB of RAM and has 4 PCIe2 slots, though it doesn't have the eSATA connectors. There are other minor differences of course, but it would seem that it's more or less equivalent. However, I suspect the Mac runs a bit quieter and you get a well-built aluminum case with it for a bit less money. (Aside from that whole UNIX-y OS X thing, which I won't even want to get into :-)