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Review: Falcon Northwest's Core i7-based Mach V gaming desktop sets records

We review Falcon Northwest's Mach V gaming PC with Intel's latest high-end CPU.

You can't buy this PC for another few weeks, but following our review of Intel's new Core i7 CPU, we also got to inspect a fully loaded gaming desktop from Falcon Northwest. The latest edition of Falcon's Mach V includes an overclocked Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition processor, and along with its other powerful hardware (Intel solid-state hard drive, 12GB of RAM, a pair of Radeon HD 7800 X2s) it set records on our benchmarks. It also costs more than $8,000. At least it doesn't take gas.

Falcon Northwest's Mach V gaming PC, complete with custom paint. CNET

We'd hoped to debut a new Far Cry 2 test with this review, but apparently it didn't like the combination of Core i7, Intel's X58 motherboard, and ATI's graphics cards in this PC.

With the Far Cry 2 benchmark tool we saw more than 100 frames per second on one run, and then less than 30 the next. Actually playing the game is fine (with Far Cry 2's recent patch), but we need ATI to shore up its graphics software drivers before we can make the switch. The game itself plays fine, and even with that issue, we'd still opt for those Radeon cards in this system. We're perhaps most impressed that the Mach V is the first PC to hit 60 fps on our high-resolution Crysis test.

We'll have reviews of a few more down-to-earth Core i7 desktops from Velocity Micro and Gateway posting shortly, as well as another high-end contender from Alienware. Check back for the latest.

Read the full review of the Falcon Northwest Core i7-based Mach V.