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Falcon Northwest FragBox review: Falcon Northwest FragBox

Review Sections

3D graphics performance  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Futuremark's 3DMark2001 Second Edition Build 330 (16-bit color)  
Futuremark's 3DMark2001 Second Edition Build 330 (32-bit color)  
ABS SPC 5 (ATI Radeon 9700 Pro)
16,214 
15,734 
Falcon Northwest FragBox (Nvidia GeForce FX 5600 Ultra)
12,386 
12,174 
Monarch Hornet (ATI Radeon 9600 Pro)
11,955 
11,721 
Gateway 500XL (ATI Radeon 9600)
9,948 
9,279 
Dell Dimension 4600C (Intel 865G)
3,198 
2,774 

To measure 3D graphics performance, CNET Labs uses Futuremark's 3DMark2001 Pro Second Edition, Build 330. We use 3DMark to measure a desktop's performance with the DirectX 8 (DX8) interface at both 16- and 32-bit color settings at a resolution of 1,024x768. A system that does not have DX8 hardware support will typically generate a lower score than one that has DX8 hardware support.

3D gaming performance in fps  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Quake III Arena  
ABS SPC 5 (ATI Radeon 9700 Pro)
266.1 
Falcon Northwest FragBox (Nvidia GeForce FX 5600 Ultra)
246.0 
Monarch Hornet (ATI Radeon 9600 Pro)
236.9 
Gateway 500XL (ATI Radeon 9600)
178.5 
Dell Dimension 4600C (Intel 865G)
41.3 

To measure 3D gaming performance, CNET Labs uses Quake III Arena. Although Quake III is an older game, it is still widely used as an industry-standard tool. Quake III does not require DX8 hardware support--as 3DMark2001 does--and is therefore an excellent means of comparing the performance of low- to high-end graphics subsystems. Quake III performance is reported in frames per second (fps).

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations:

ABS SPC 5
Windows XP Home; 2.17GHz AMD Athlon XP 3000+; Nvidia Nforce-2; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 128MB; WDC-WD1200JB-00CRA1 120GB 7,200rpm

Dell Dimension 4600C
Windows XP Home, 2.8GHz Intel P4; Intel 865G chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; integrated Intel 865G 64MB (shared memory); Seagate ST3120023A 120GB 7,200rpm

Falcon Northwest FragBox
Windows XP Home; 2.66GHz Intel P4; Intel 845G/GL chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; Nvidia GeForce FX 5600 Ultra 128MB; IBM IC35L090AVV207 82GB 7,200rpm

Gateway 500XL
Windows XP Home; 2.6GHz Intel P4; Intel 865G chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; ATI Radeon 9600 128MB; Maxtor 6Y080L0 80GB 7,200rpm

Monarch Hornet
Windows XP Home; 2.6GHz Intel P4; Intel 865G chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; ATI Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB; Seagate ST380013AS 80GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA

Falcon Northwest backs the FragBox with a one-year limited warranty that includes parts, labor, and return shipping (customers must pay to ship the unit to the factory for repair). Onsite service is not available, but you can extend the warranty to three years for an additional $199. The meager printed documentation--just the stock Windows XP CD and manual and an emergency system-recovery DVD--means that this system is not for novices. Falcon does supply an electronic motherboard manual and recovery instructions in HTML format.

Toll-free telephone support is available Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, and it's free for even out-of-warranty systems. There are also fax- and e-mail-support options, and a &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Efalcon%2Dnw%2Ecom%2Fsupport%5Ffaq%2Easp" target="_blank">FAQ page. Falcon Northwest's Web site would benefit, however, from device driver links and setup pictures for the most popular accessories.

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