SavRow Deuterium review
Take a look at the price above, and you’ll know immediately whether owning this PC is a possibility. SavRow has taken a crop of high-end components, put them in a behemoth of a case and given it all an outrageously expensive paint job. The end result is stunning.
AMD’s highest-end new X2 processor provides the processing muscle, with each core nominally running at 2.4GHz – the equivalent of two full Athlon 64 4000+ processors. SavRow also pre-overclocks the system to 2.5GHz on each core. Bearing this in mind, a score of 2.72 in our application benchmarks may not seem breathtaking, but that’s just an indication of one core’s power: our multithreaded 3ds max test completed in one minute, 17 seconds, shaving one minute, 11 seconds off the single-threaded time.
SavRow’s custom-designed HeatSeeker X2 liquid-cooling system consists of two cooling loops, with a mixture of Prestone antifreeze and distilled water to cool the CPU and graphics cards, with thermoelectric coolers transferring heat from the radiators to the outside world. Taking advantage of the Peltier effect, DC current from the hefty 850W power supply causes a temperature differential on the metal plates laid across the components. While cooling admirably, it results in major power guzzling and a noticeable rumbling from the pump.
The twin nVidia 6800 Ultra cards running in SLI mode are ‘only’ the 256MB versions, although there are 512MB variants available. Given the dubious benefits of the extra graphics memory, this is hardly fatal, and when the next generation of GPUs becomes available shortly SavRow will offer them instead. While that would be overkill in most systems, SavRow is also offering the Deuterium with a 23in monster of a TFT so, unlike a 17in or 19in panel, you won’t be restricted to 1,280 x 1,024.
The ViewSonic VP231WB WS provides a glorious 1,920 x 1,280 of widescreen aspect Desktop, allowing top-end GPUs to flex their muscle and giving SLI a demonstrable benefit. As the 3D results show, there’s a huge amount of power on offer: scaling up to the native resolution still returned perfectly playable scores of 78fps and 58fps in Half-Life 2 and Far Cry respectively, and turning on the processor-intensive High Dynamic Range Rendering setting in Far Cry at full resolution only managed to drag the frame rate to 25fps. Needless to say, the gameplay experience at this level is breathtaking.
Motion lag from the panel itself is minimal, although not completely absent. Brightness and contrast are a touch lacklustre, diminishing the initial impact, but we were happy with its performance in general use. Our technical tests also gave a clean bill of health. Its build quality is high, although the TFT’s design is a little austere compared to the system box.
The overall impression of the Deuterium isn’t subtle, but then that isn’t the point. The effect isn’t done justice by a photo either: the colour actually changes from red to gold and purple according to the direction you’re looking at it from. The quality of the finish is immaculate, and it even extends to the Saitek keyboard and Logitech laser mouse.
Storage options are practical without being outrageous; three 250GB Hitachi Deskstar hard disks, configured in our review system as two separate volumes, and a single optical drive, writing to DVD+/-RW and dual-layer. It isn’t the most extravagant arrangement we’ve seen, and at this price we’d have hoped for more, but there’s room for three more disks inside the case itself.