Scan's Great White, as shown to the left, has won the coveted Custom PC Dream PC 2008 award, beating competition from HP and Armari. Armari's machine technically wasn't fully entered, as the magazine chose not to fully review it since the submitted computer was a prototype not available for mass production.
Custom PC has had a Dream PC competition dating back to 2004. Previous winners include SavRow in 2004 (for a water-cooled machine featuring a single core Athlon64 and GeForce 6800 Ultra, a spec that cost several thousand pounds at the time and would be outgunned by a £500 laptop today), Armari in 2005 and Vadim in 2006. Scan's back-to-back wins in 2007 and 2008 make the firm the first supplier to win twice.
Scan's beast is based around the following spec:
- Silverstone TJ07 super tower case, finished with extensive chrome plating and laser-etched Great White logo. Various sections of the case are lit with white LEDs to give it a slightly more upmarket feel.
- nVidia 790i SLI motherboard
- 1kW Corsair PSU
- 3 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F1
- Extensive, custom-manufactured water cooling equipment from Aqua Computer and Alphacool
- Core 2 Quad Q9650 – overclocked to 4.4GHz from its stock 3GHz speed
- 2x2Gb Corsair Dominator DDR3
- 3 XTX GTX 280 graphics cards with 1Gb of GDDR3 RAM each, GPU clocked at 670MHz and RAM at 2500MHz
- 64Gb OCZ SSD – 2.5″ device with 143MB/sec read and 93MB/sec write
- Panasonic slot-loading DVD writer
- Panasonic slot-loading Blu Ray writer as well
- X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty sound card
- KillerNIC M1 network interface card with 400Mhz processor
- Vista Ultimate 64bit
- 24″ Zalman 3D monitor
How does it perform? In a word, fast. Custom PC unfortunately don't provide extensive benchmark results but they claim to have seen it perform their standard video encoding benchmark to within a couple of points of an overclocked Skulltrail rig.
Price? That's the tricky part. If you want the best, you can't compromise – and that means paying Scan a total of £11,162.49 inc VAT. Reckon you could build better for less? What would you change? Leave your comments and let us know.