Scan White Cobra review

Price when reviewed

3D Results

Scan White Cobra review

After the anticipation of unpacking such a gorgeous PC, we were worried that its performance might not live up to our expectations. How wrong we were: the 3D results of the White Cobra are out of this world. Rather than throw older-generation games at it, we decided to throw it straight in at the deep end with the two toughest current games.

We started with our Far Cry torture test, putting detail and effect settings at maximum, with full anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering and a resolution of 1,600 x 1,200. The Cobra barely broke into a sweat, returning a score of 74fps; we suspect that this is in fact a CPU-limited score. Over to Doom 3 – at which most systems with decent graphics capabilities would score about 35fps – the White Cobra screams through at 98fps, leading to involuntary exclamations of amazement from our usually jaded Labs staff.

Because of the last-minute nature of this machine, it wasn’t configured exactly as it will be when sold. So we refrained from running our usual real-world application benchmarks. As this review went to press, Scan was busy preparing a fully configured system on which to run our complete suite of tests. We’ll bring you concrete figures next month.

The Future of SLI

For now, SLI is of course confined completely to the high end and many will condemn it as a rich man’s folly. At the moment that’s certainly the case: it’s a brand-new technology and you’ll pay a premium to begin with. Added to that is higher manufacturing costs: the Asus board fitted to the White Cobra has a special multipin terminator card to select between either single or SLI graphics.

But it’s tempting to consider nVidia’s claim that two 6600 GT cards in SLI are as fast as a single 6800 Ultra – and cost less too. This brings the prospect of an easy and cost-effective upgrade path if and when SLI boards become the norm: just plonk another card in next to your existing one. And since the AGP interface isn’t suitable for implementing the system, SLI is easily the most compelling reason yet for upgrading to PCI Express. Conclusion

As for the White Cobra itself: rarely has a PC generated so much interest and excitement in PC Pro’s labs. By that metric alone it deserves a place on our A List, but when you add the stunning 3D performance there’s absolutely no room for argument. Even taking the price into account – and that doesn’t include a monitor or any peripherals – this is a superb PC.

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