A couple weeks back now, I had the pleasure of testing and using Monarch Computer's Nemesis FX-57 8700 SLI Gaming machine. This model is a top-of-the-line gaming rig; I'm currently testing the Hornet machine as well. Read below for my take on the machine.One of the first things that should be acknowledged is that this version of the Nemesis is a very high end gaming machine. The price for the system that I had been testing was over $5000. There's the scary-fast base system itself, but then you throw on full THX surround sound, the customzied keyboard and mouse that Monarch produces - and while you are talking about top-dollar, you are also talking about top performance.
The system itself is as below:
Case: Thermaltake Custom Painted Shark Full Tower Aluminum Case Series w/Window (Fire Pearl)
Power Supply: Enermax Noisetaker EG701AX-VE-SFMA ATX 2.0 w/SLI Support 600W Power Supply
Motherboard: Asus A8N-SLI Premium nForce4 SLI Audio, GB-LAN, IEEE, USB, PCI-E, SATAII w/RAID, DDR-400, ATX
Processors: AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 (939)
Heat Sink: Zalman CNPS7000-CU Copper CPU Fan
Memory: 2 GB (4 pcs 512MB) DDR (400) PC-3200 Corsair w/LED Display (TWINX1024-3200XLPRO)
Hard Drives: 1 x Western Digital 74 GB SATA 10K Raptor (WD740GD), 2 x Western Digital Caviar SE 250 GB SATAII 16MB Cache 7200 RPM (WD2500KS)
RAID Setup: RAID 0 (Zero) Setup
DVD-RW: Plextor PX-716SA DVD±RW 16x8x16x DVD+RW 48x24x48x CD-RW SATA
Floppy: Mitsumi Floppy 7-in-1 USB Card Reader/Smart Media Drive (Black)
Video Cards: 2 x NVIDIA Geforce 7800 GTX 256MB GDDR3, VIVO/, Dual-DVI
Sound Card: Creative Labs Audigy 2 ZS Platinum INT Drive Sound
Wireless NIC: D-Link DWL-AG530 Tri-Mode Dualband (2.4/5GHz) Wireless 108Mbps PCI Adapter
Industry Standard Upgradable
USB Ports on front of case
6 Month Warranty - Free tech support
All Monarch PCs include: 48-72 hr. Burn-in Diagnostic (to ensure all components are malfunction free); Latest BIOS, drivers, and tested patches installed (All drivers are also included on CD); award-winning assembly and installation including tie-off on all cables (for improved airflow); final 62-point inspection by Intel and AMD Certified Technicians, and Free Unlimited Phone Support. All manuals, disks, cables and other accessories included with your retail components will be included with your system.
As is fairly obvious, the machine's specs are pretty hardcore. In doing some of the standard testing, the system turned out a 3DMark05 test of 13,002 whichout missing a beat. Similarly, the Sysmark04 score was a studly 225. To be blunt, I don't think I've ever seen those types of numbers before - in real life, that is.
What was even more impressive for me at least was the machine's ability to handle that most important of tasks - playing games. Playing Doom 3, with all graphic options cranked (including the console accessible ones) this machine still turned out a 80.2 FPS. Turning off the console options, and just going in ultra-mode had a frame rate of 87.3, sustained. My other gaming obessions, World of Warcraft (Props to Ajul-Nerub server!) managed to turn in a more paltry 77.3 FPS, but given the fact that you are often depending on your connection with WoW for some of that, that's pretty amazing. DivX encoding was also quite fast - 1574 seconds on the sample size that I used.
The more subtle touch on the machine was evident as well - you can open the thing up from multiple angles, with a swing front door on it, and the lighting was handled nicely. And given the machine's power and draw, I was fairly impressed with the noise from the various fans. The heat output from the machine is fairly impressive; you'll not need that space heater in the room anymore in the winter time, but the actual heat inside of the machine case, and CPU always stayed well within manufacturer recommended ranges. While running the very high-end graphic testing of Doom 3, the temp did get some spikes, but nothing that was concerning. The nVidia 7800 duals make a huge difference.
One of the other features that I liked is the fast primary drive, and back-up, slower, but RAIDed drives. It's nice for installing high access demand apps on the primary, but using the other drives as storage drives. The other comment I would make, speaking as an obessive wire organizer, is that the machine itself ships very very nicely tied off cabling-wise. I think this looks nice, but also, I would suspect, makes a appreciable difference to the heat flow. One other important note is that they offer a 3 year 24/7 support plan - all warranties are different options, 'course.
In short, the machines rocks. The issue, of course, is the pricing - but if you are looking for a top end machine, this is a phenomenal rig. Monarch does a great job of supporting the product, with a great packet of documentation and information that comes with the machine, but also active forum postings and involvement from the tech support on their boards. Great company, great machine.