With Alienware being the only OEM distributor in India for high-end gaming desktops, Corsair decided to join the party and grab some of the market share from Dell. Back in February, the company launched their ‘Dream PC’ lineup, which included two pre-built, top of the line gaming rigs. The sytems start from a lakh and go all the way up to 2.5 lakhs, which is the one we’ll be reviewing today. These systems are obviously not meant for the faint-hearted and are targeted at someone who doesn't follow a budget when building a rig. This initiative comes from Corsair and will be distributed through Aditya Infotech, Inspan Infotech and Tirupati Enterprises across India. Let’s see what the ‘Ultimate Dream’ PC looks like, shall we.
What does 2.5 lakh get you?
Since this is Corsair’s little pet project, you’ll notice they’ve used every component they manufacture in the PC, apart from the things like the motherboard, graphics card, CPU, etc. Let’s start with the main rig itself and work our way to the peripherals, because there's quite a bit to cover.
Good cable management for better airflow
Starting with the cabinet, we have Corsair’s very own 800D full-tower cabinet that’s massive, to say the least. It’s certainly not the best looking case, and I would have preferred something from their Graphite series, personally. The full steel cabinet has good build quality and the brushed aluminum front plate gives it a very understated, yet classy look. Corsair has chosen Intel’s Core i7 2600 CPU, which runs at 3.4GHz. This is not the ‘K’ variant, so the multiplier is locked down. The stock cooler is replaced by the Corsair H70 Hydro water cooler. The motherboard used is an Asus P8P67- Deluxe B3 Revision, which is based on the P67 chipset. The motherboard features the new UEFI BIOS along with other Asus goodness like DIGI+ VRM, EPU, TPU and the lot.
All that's missing are some LED lights
The graphics prowess comes in the form of three ZOTAC GTX 570s in 3-way SLI. Since, there was a little problem with one of the 570’s in our review unit, Corsair sent two GTX 580’s instead. For the RAM, we have 12GB Corsair Dominator GTs in a 3x 4GB configuration, along with a cooler. The memory is rated at 2000Mhz, but since Corsair has used three sticks, you lose dual-channel mode. Storage is taken care of by a 1TB WD SATA II hard drive, while a 120GB Corsair Force SSD acts as the boot drive. The optical drive is a Sony Blu-ray writer allowing you to playback 3D Blu-rays, as well as backup large amounts of data. All this is powered by a Corsair 1200AX power supply. Finally, we have Windows 7 Professional 64-bit as the OS of choice. The rig looks pretty solid and should have no trouble handling games for the next five years easy. But where’s there rest of your money going? Lets check out the peripherals Corsair has chosen.
3D performance is quite good
The monitor is a Samsung 2233RZ, which supports Nvidia 3DVision. This was one of the first monitors to feature Nvidia’s 3DVision and while it may not have the standard Full HD resolution we see today on all 22-inch panels, it’s actually better when gaming in 3D and you’ll soon see why. the TN panel used here is actually quite good and is very similar to the 2233SW, which was a big hit some years back. You also get the Nvidia 3DVision kit of course, to go with the monitor.
I particularly like the choice of speakers Corsair has chosen. The M-Audio BX5A Deluxe are active monitor speakers with a total of 140W RMS power. The speakers use a 5-inch Kevlar driver for low frequencies and a 1-inch driver for high frequencies. To get the best out of these speakers, Corsair has thrown in the Delta 1010LT sound card, as well.
Offers very good tactile feedback
The keyboard and mouse is taken care of by Razer. The BlackWidow mechanical keyboard offers really good tactile response, which is great for those frantic deathmatches. The mouse used is the Razer Naga, which is best suited for MMOs actually and I’m not sure if everyone will be comfortable having twelve buttons near their thumb. The final two accessories are the Corsair HS1 gaming headset and the Logitech Force 3D Pro gaming joystick. Next, let's have a look at what this bad boy can do.
The performance of the retail rig will be better, since it will have three GTX 570 in 3-way SLI. Still, this should give you a fair idea of the performance one can expect. All the settings were kept at default and we updated the drivers to the latest ones available. Instead of running the standard set of tests, we focused mainly on the gaming tests. We also benchmarked the games with and without 3D, to see how well it coped with the overhead.
Some crazy 3DMark score
Despite having two GTX 580s, gaming performance still takes a hit when 3D mode is activated. Thankfully, it's still above 30fps in all the games we tested.
Enabling 3D takes a big hit in performance, luckily we have two graphics cards
We also ran Cinebench R11.5, which gave us a GPU score of 54.6 and CPU score of 6.87.
General and Multimedia usage
Saying Windows is quick would be an understatement. Thanks to the RAM and the SSD, the boot up time is reduced drastically and Windows and programs are extremely snappy. The PC is not very quiet, though, mostly due to the radiator fans, which makes quite a bit of a noise even when the system is idle. The side window of the cabinet gives you a little peak at the components inside, which is nice, but it would have been better if the insides were lit up. The 2233RZ has a good brightness and contrast level. The 3D effect offers decent depth and varies from game to game. Racing games like Dirt 2 and Burnout Paradise look particularly good.
The BX5a is one of the best sounding monitor speakers in the market
The M-Audio speakers are truly amazing and have to be experienced first hand. They may not look like much, but the sound reproduction is crisp and clear even at the lowest volume levels. There is a good amount of bass as well, but some very low frequencies tend to get lost. Still, for a 2.0 setup, they are really good. We’ll try and bring you guys a full review of them, soon. Now that Corsair's SP2500 is available in the market, you might want to pair it with a Xonar D2X sound card for better audio quality.
The Ultimate Dream PC by Corsair will set you back a fair bit of change. At 2.5 lakhs, we are talking Tata Nano or Maruti Alto money, so it’s not something to be taken lightly. Corsair is hoping to attract the elite, wealthy crowd more than hard core gamers since, let’s be honest, you don’t really need such an extravagant setup to play the latest 3D games. The Gamer Dream PC is priced a little lower at Rs. 99,000 and features a slightly slower Core i5 processor and two GTS 450s in SLI instead (get the full specs here). If you don’t like the config used here and don’t want every accessory, then you could simply build a custom PC of your choice. Corsair will be offering a 3-year warranty with their Dream PCs, which includes a dedicated help line and on-site support across 23 service centers in the country. You can buy these rigs from SMC International (Delhi), Prime ABGB (Mumbai) or Delta Peripherals (Chennai). These are just some of the shops that will be stocking them.
The Ultimate Dream PC needs a bit of updating though and if you are thinking of going in for one of these, then I’d suggest you opt for a Z68 motherboard, rather than a P67.
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