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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Thursday, 18 October 2007 21:08

Ultra Violet Machines Genesis XOC Rules - 2. Behind the Screens

Written by Sanjin Rados


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Review: The mother of all beasts powered by EVGA

 


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In the picture above are two EVGA GeForce 8800 Ultra cards with water blocks, and in between the blocks you can see a Creative X-Fi Extreme Gamer Fatal1ty Pro sound card. In the last PCI slot there is a card with four additional USB 2.0 ports, and Genesis XOC packs a total of 12 of these.

EVGA calls their water cooled cards Black Pearl, and they are unique when it comes to speed. All Black Pearl cards are handpicked and have undergone extensive testing before they find their way to the store.

The cards are, of course, overclocked to some impressive speeds. Unlike the reference cards with 612MHz clocks, Black Pearl cards run at 655MHz. With two of these with 768MB of memory running at 2250MHz, there can be no hiccups.

Of course, you can save some cash if you opt for EVGA GeForce 8800 GTX Black Pearl cards. Both Geforce Ultra and Geforce GTX are water cooled, and as far as cooling goes, it’s the only solution for Genesis XOC. This is due to Black Pearl motherboard’s limitation to single slot card coolers only. Regular, air cooled Geforce 8800 can’t fit in here because its cooler is dual slot and the water block on the Southbridge chip gets in the way.


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A glance inside the computer; you can see the motherboard’s water blocks.

EVGA's 680i Black Pearl motherboard is unique, and Genesis XOC is one of few machines to use this “pearl.” All components are water cooled and the motherboard has four water blocks in total; they’re positioned on Northbridge and Southbridge chips on this chipset, as well as on the CPU and mosfets. EVGA uses high quality Innovatek water blocks, and it’s an ideal solution for quiet, yet overclocked computers. The motherboard itself is prized for its specially manufactured water blocks, but that does reflect on the price – you can’t buy a 680i Black Pearl for less than €500.

If you take a closer look, you’ll see all the above mentioned water blocks, as well as the water tank filled with a blue cooling liquid. Again, you have a choice. You can choose whether your system will glow in blue, green or red. Two coolers take care of heat exchange; one is in the lower part and it’s easy to spot, while the other is on the top of the case. This cooler has two fans that blow the heat out through the vents on the top of the case.
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The motherboard looks like this.
 
The heart of this system is Intel’s 65nm QX6850 quad core processor. It runs at 3.00GHz, but you can get it overclocked to 3.50GHz. With our Genesis XOC we received a somewhat different processor, the QX6700, mostly because we received a machine that was assembled some time ago; in fact, it was one of the first Genesis XOC machines ever built. However, our test QX6700 came overclocked to 3.55GHz, which should yield results similar to those of QX6850. Intel QX6850 is the only processor that is currently offered by Ultra Violet Machines.

A couple of days ago we heard that the basic Genesis XOC configuration packs 4GB DDR2 PC2-8500 memory. We chose OCZ Reaper HPC memory that was not overclocked, and it ran at reference 1066MHz.

If you chose XP as your OS of choice, then 4GB of memory is overkill, because the system won’t recognize it anyway. To make use of all 4GB you have to get a 64bit OS, and we didn’t find it among the offered OS’s. Besides XP, you can opt for Vista, but again – not in 64bit.

The reason for this is some incomplete drivers for some computer components, and we’ve found out that as soon as this is taken care of, 64bit operating systems will find their way into the list.

It would have been much more interesting if the offer incorporated OCZ Flex XLC memory that has water blocks, instead of standard heat spreader coolers. Then one could really brag about having a completely water cooled system.


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Genesis XOC is louder than we expected. At default setting the noisy fans operated at 100%, but they are much quieter on lower speeds. When the system heats up, the speed increases, so you really cannot  escape the noise. However, keep in mind that the retail system will be much quieter, with fans at 60% power so the noise will be reduced.


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You can see the NorthQ Giant Reactor 1000W PSU in the lower left of the picture behind the radiator. The system's maximum power consumption didn’t exceed 672W, although many components were overclocked. That means that a 1000W power source is a safe bet and it will be powerful enough to handle almost any future upgrade.

The front of the case is dominated by Alphacool's 240 x 128 LCD panel, which takes up two 5.2-inch bays. The panel shows RAM usage, and more importantly it displays the temperature on all four cores. The panel's integrated software allows you to choose exactly what you want on your display.

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As you can see in the picture above, the idle temperature is not high, and RAM usage is 15 percent. A few days ago we measured the highest temperature we got during our month-long testing and gaming ordeal with the Genesis XOC.

The room temperature was about 27 degrees Celsius, and we played Medal of Honor Airborne. We turned all the effects on and viciously bombed enemy units, at which time we noticed that the temperature significantly rose; maybe a little too high for such an expensive water cooled system. Still, you have to keep in mind that the quad core QX6700 is overclocked to 3.50GHz, but the real culprits are the powerful graphics cards. Since the whole water cooling system is a closed cycle, the heat from the graphics cards is transferred to the processor. Although the water was previously cooled in the radiator, apparently it wasn’t cooled enough before it moved on to the processor. The new Intel quad core QX6850 with new stepping should be even cooler.

 

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Last modified on Saturday, 20 October 2007 00:09
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