CNET First Look
Falcon Northwest FragBox 2In a normal economy, we'd expect that Falcon Northwest's new Core i7 FragBox 2 would wow us with fast performance in a compact case. Instead, the price of this system as configured has been severely undercut by a competitor. An improved warranty takes...
>> Rich: Hi I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET.com today we're gonna take a look at the Falcon Northwest Fragbox 2. So as you can see this is a small little desktop it's designed for gaming and also more or less it is a land party system. The handle here lets you pick the system up and carry it around with you. We wouldn't call it portable like a laptop or anything you still have to have it plugged in, of course, but it definitely is a little bit easier to carry around than your standard tower system. There's a DVD burner up here, you have a pair of ports down here but there's no media card reader it looks like you might be able to put one here but there's actually a hard drive behind this panel and that's the only place in the system where you can actually install a hard drive due to its size so you're really kind of limited as far as media card reader options. Around back you get even more of an idea of what's inside the case, there's 6 USB ports but sadly no ESATA input. You do get standard digital audio by way of coax and optical inputs as well as your 7 point 1 Analog audio inputs over here. And as you can see from the expansion slots there's actually not a ton of room to upgrade inside. So you can see Falcon Northwest has jammed this system full of hardware. You can see there's 2 dual slot graphics cards each has a GTX 285 and also has 1,000 watt power supply over here. Now we're used to Falcon's Fragboxes being fairly high-end but the 1,000 watt power supply is fairly new. And over here you can see the CPU and the memory, now this is actually one of the first small Form Factor Core I7 systems we know of there are 2 others one from Shuttle one from Main Gear. So in this system Falcon's has an over clocked Core I7 920 chip as well as 6G of DVR3 memory. There's room for 3 more memory sticks but that's really about the only hardware upgrade option you have. The hard drive here, the optical drive here and the 2 graphics cards on the other side really do take up pretty much every other slot available. So with all that fast hardware the Fragbox 2 is certainly a very, very speedy gaming system it knocked out our application test with no problem and pretty much killed every gaming test we threw at it. The problem is Main Gear's made some very aggressive price cuts lately and Falcon has had a hard time matching it, so as much as we like this system we really can't justify it due to the value difference. Now there are some warranty differences Falcon has a 3 year warranty by default and it also has a pretty cool over-night shipping policy where it will pay both ways for you to send you system if you need to repair it. Falcon's gates also has the handle Main Gear's doesn't. Still for a raw bang for your buck Falcon is definitely at a disadvantage. So I'm Rich Brown and this is the Falcon Northwest Fragbox 2. ^M00:02:18 [ Music ]