CNET First Look
Digital Storm 950SiDigital Storm's 950Si has all the makings of a quality performance gaming system, but its value proposition comes up just a bit short. The stable-yet-aggressively overclocked CPU tells us that Digital Storm knows what it's doing, and with a more competitive...
[ MUSIC ] ^M00:00:03 >> [Rich Brown:] Hi, I'm Rich Brown, senior editor for CNET.com. Today we're gonna take a look at the Digital Storm 950Si. So this big system is a pretty high-end custom gaming PC. It comes with most of the features you'd expect to find for its price. It has a highly over-clocked quad-core CPU, and more importantly we've found that it's stable. It also comes with a high-end dual chip graphics card, as well as all the other components you'd more or less expect to find in a higher-end gaming PC like this one. So this is actually the first system we've reviewed from Digital Storm, and so far so good. The front panel you can see, pretty standard layout. You get two optical drives plus a media card reader. For the price we kind of wish one of those drives was Blu-ray instead of straight DVD to DVD burner combo. Now starting in here with the graphics card, you can see you get two DVI outs as well as HDMI out. That's a nice touch. Now for the motherboard ports you can see you get a whole bunch of USB ports. You get a digital audio out, which is nice. You also get [inaudible] and Firewire, which is great if you want to connect an external storage device. There's also two ethernet jacks along with a typical 7.1 analog audio connections. So you can see here that there are two cables going to the side panel fan and the case lighting. Now we understand the necessity of a side panel fan and providing cooling to the system, especially a high-end PC like this, but you can always extend the fan off the case itself as opposed to the panel. But more importantly we found the system to be very, very fast and a very capable gaming system. Now you can see from the tubes here that this is indeed a liquid-cooled PC and it comes with a Core i7 920 chip. I think that has a stock speed of 2.6 gigahertz, and Digital Storm has dialed it up all the way to about 3.8 gigs. So that makes this a very aggressive over-clock, but thankfully it's stable. Now for the rest of the system you get 6 gigs of RAM as well as three other slots if you want to double it up to twelve. There's a dual chip card here as we mentioned that's nice and fast for gaming, and you do technically have room to add another graphics card if you want. The thousand-watt power supply should be enough. Some people like to have a little more headroom than that, so it's not uncommon to see 1200-watt power units in systems like this. Of course you do have to pay for all that extra juice, and you can expect the power draw for this system to be roughly about ten bucks a month. And there's two pretty handy hard drive bays over here. You just pinch these plastic tabs and slide the cage right on out. And overall you can see that aside from the cables on the side panel the system is very, very neat inside. So all in all, this is a fairly competent high-end gaming system. It did well in our benchmarks and we're glad to see that Digital Storm knows what it's doing, both in build quality and in over-clocking. We wish Digital Storm was maybe a little more aggressive with its value, but overall this seems to be a fine gaming PC as well as a fine gaming company. So I'm Rich Brown, and this is the Digital Storm 950Si. ^M00:02:42 [ MUSIC ]