Gaming Performance

The last time we had a pair of GeForce GTX 580s on hand running in SLI was from DigitalStorm, but with the advent of Sandy Bridge that setup found itself surprisingly CPU-limited in some cases. With an overclocked i7-2600K backing them up now, the Enix should have no trouble cleaning house. We'll start with our "high" preset, which tends to be the most CPU-limited when dealing with massively powerful boutique gaming machines.

Expect this trend to continue. StarCraft II is the only game not to pull 100fps or better, and even that's within striking distance. A minor overclock on the graphics cards should be enough to push it over. Now see what happens when we add antialiasing to the equation with our "ultra" benchmark suite.

Inexplicably, Origin's Genesis with its much weaker graphics subsystem still manages to steal a win in STALKER, but those results were abnormal even when we recorded them. In all other cases, though, the Enix maintains a healthy lead over the other systems we tested.

Nobody buys $1,200 worth of video cards alone just to run them at 1920x1080, though. To put the proper amount of stress on this graphics subsystem, we've added benchmark results of the Enix running at 5760x1200. At this point it's worth mentioning that whatever quirks NVIDIA had with their Surround implementation seem to have been worked out with the 270 series drivers; we had no issues getting the Enix up and running in Surround.

Discounting the again abnormal results of the Origin Genesis, the Enix pretty much reigns at the top of its game in each test, offering excellent performance even in the notoriously punishing Metro 2033. If you're interested in multi-monitor gaming, the Enix configured with SLI GTX 580's is definitely one way to get there. Naturally, the same hold for any other vendor using SLI 580 cards with an overclocked 2600K CPU, but we have to credit DigitalStorm for showing what is possible.

Application and Futuremark Performance Build, Noise, Heat, and Power Consumption
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  • HilbertSpace - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Where's the noise results? Reply
  • Spazweasel - Friday, May 20, 2011 - link

    Seconded. Something's missing! Reply
  • ckryan - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    If Digital Storm is willing to back up their systems with a 10 yr CPU warranty, then why all the hand wringing? 10 years is a long, long, time. Kudos to them for such a far reaching commitment. If they say it's all good, >1.5v for short periods of time is acceptable, then who am I to argue?

    Really though, I'm blown away by the decade long CPU warranty. That's just crazy, and I don't know how they're going to honor it 9 years in (but I'd like to know). Props to DigitalStorm for having the balls and the foresight for what amounts to marrying their customers.
    Reply
  • bji - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    I agree with everything you say; but I wonder how frequently CPUs fail? I personally have *never* had a CPU fail, and I've owned more than a dozen. Others on this site have undoubtedly owned more than I have. Anecdotal evidence anyone?

    I have an old VIA Samuel 2 based system that I bult in 2002 that is still chugging away in a corner making nightly backups of my server. About 5 years ago the CPU fan died and I didn't bother to replace it. The CPU sits at a constant 50C - 60C, and if I do anything intense (which is almost pointless given how slow it is, but occasionally I drop a bunch of videos on it from my digital camera and let it chew on re-compressing them, which takes hours/days but I don't really care as it's not time critical), it gets up to 80C or so.

    And yet, 9 years on, it's still going strong. Nothing on that system has ever died, not even the hard drive. It's a P.O.S. PCChips motherboard and it's just been completely flawless for 9 years now.

    I have high confidence that just about any CPU will last 10 years easily, but maybe others have different experiences.
    Reply
  • slacr - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    The first and only thing that would fail is the capacitors for the CPU-PWM supply on the motherboard, I wonder if this would be considered "cpu related".

    While I won't argue with them on what v-core is right and what's not, i remember Anand having an article a couple of months back on "what is a reasonable overclock", basically you generally hit a wall where v-core requirements start going up sharply for small clock increases and a good practise is to place yourself at or just below that kink in the curve.

    I have the same motherboard and case as this digitalstorm, albeit with a 2500k cpu. While i haven't spent any time tweaking it the built in "oc automation" that i accidentally activated placed it at 4.4 Ghz and 1.29 V peak v-core. I have a really hard time seeing how those 300 extra Mhz are worth yet another 0.2 V, but i guess thats how you end up with chart-topping benchmarks.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    I will agree that I've had a LOT more failed motherboards over the years, but I've definitely burned out CPUs with overclocking. It usually shows up initially as performance degradation--a CPU that would overclock to 3.4GHz becomes unstable, and you have to drop the overclock down to 3.0GHz for example. I had that happen with a Pentium D 920 as well as an earlier Pentium 4; eventually the only way that CPU would run at all was to underclock it (but still with higher voltage than spec). I had a couple AMD Athlon X2 chips take a similar route, one socket 939 and another was one of the first AM2 chips.

    Anyway, it does happen, and the best way to do it is overly high voltages. That said, I've never burned out a CPU running it at stock. They become really slow compared to modern CPUs, but as long as the motherboard (and RAM, GPU, etc.) don't fail the processors almost never go out running stock clocks.
    Reply
  • Hargak - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    This ^ is what I've seen, reminds me of a dimming lightbulb you have to crank it up to a higher voltage to get the same result. your burning out transistors at a certain rate which if you run something like Super Pi you can see the processing power degrade even though clocks are the same. Strange anomilies which change with architecture and process. Reply
  • slacr - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    Are you sure these are not just issues with ripple on the supply side to the CPU (i.e any measurements, swapping motherboard or the like).

    I'm not saying i'm sure of this, it's just in line with my experience. But I've only dabbled in small temporary OC's with jumpers on socket 939 and the like. The only long time experiences i have are with Core2Duo/Quad and now a short stint of Sandy. My experience with a Core2Quad for example saw unstability develop (after initially having proven prime95 stable over 24 hrs) at 3.6 Ghz on a p35 motherboard at 1.37 V over 1.5-2 years, when that was swapped out for an Asus board all was fine again at the same frequencies with slightly lower voltage. Now this might be that the Asus board simply was more stable, but the processor had not seen any degradation.

    How older architectures are affected I don't know, I just wonder if you've verified that it is in fact the processor and not something else.
    Reply
  • MilwaukeeMike - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    A warrantee will replace your CPU at it's current replacement cost, not the original purchase. So in 5 years when the performance of a 2600K is $90, it won't be so hard. In 8 years it'll be less.

    Anyone buying this now will probably upgrade long before it's up, so the effective range of the warranty is probably only around 3 years.
    Reply
  • ckryan - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Can you buy a new Pentium 3 today? You could ten years ago. It'd be a little harder today. In the year 2021 I would imagine 2600k's aren't falling of of trees; I'm sure it would be harder to honor than it sounds. In the near term it's expensive, in the medium term they'll get cheaper and cheaper, then in six years become very hard to find. So they have to stockpile them, replace the CPU and motherboard with a newer version, or Intel has agreed to make the socket 1155 for the rest of eternity. I was just curious about the practical ramifications of what I consider a silly long time for a warranty for a component. Kudos to DigitalStorm. Reply

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