Playtech Optimus Black Edition
- — 30 April, 2011 22:00
|Name||Gaming Desktop: Playtech Optimus Black Edition|
|At a glance:||Extremely powerful gaming performance,Excellent component selection,Great cable management,No bulk storage drive|
|Summary:||A decadent, no-compromise gaming powerhouse.|
Note: Since the May 2011 Gaming PCs roundup in which this review appeared, Playtech has retired the Optimus Black Edition in favour of newer performance-PC models. For the latest from this Auckland, NZ vendor, check out playtech.co.nz.
Playtech's Optimus Black Edition gaming PC is a foreboding bit of kit. Housed inside the enormous Silverstone Fortress 02 case are two massive video cards that loom behind the side window, you can tell straight away that this is going to be an extremely capable machine – if the $7,499 price tag didn’t give it away in the first place.
At the heart of the Optimus Black Edition is the most powerful and most expensive desktop processor on the market – the Intel Core i7 990X Extreme Edition. This six-core, HyperThreaded marvel of science usually runs at a crisp 3.46GHz but apparently this wasn’t good enough for Playtech – it's slapped on a Corsair H70 watercooling unit and cranked the processor from 3.46GHz right up to 4.5GHz. As a result, the Optimus Black Edition scored the highest multi-CPU Cinebench R10 default score I have ever recorded.
But this is a gaming PC so the graphics solution is much more important. Playtech did not put the fastest video card available on the market today into this machine. No, no, they put two of them in. To be fair, the AMD Radeon HD 6990 is the equal-fastest video card at the moment, trading blows with the more expensive Nvidia GTX 590, but when both are cranking out over 100 frames per second no matter what you throw at them, the difference is fairly academic.
For memory you’re looking at 12GB of high-performance triple-channel G.Skill Ripjaw RAM running at DDR3-1600 (CL8). Storage is provided by two 120GB Intel 510 SSD drives (see page 25) running in Raid0 – that's over 200GB of ridiculously fast hard drive space. (half-a-Gigabyte per second data transfers anyone?)
Sadly there is no tertiary drive for bulk storage. With decent 1TB mechanical drives costing under $100 these days, I’m baffled as to why one hasn’t been included. As for the optical drive, a Samsung DVD burner/Blu-ray reader does the honours.
All of this kit is plugged into one of the best motherboards available for this platform: an Asus Rampage Formula III ATX motherboard. It's powered by the top-shelf Corsair AX1200 power supply which is capable of delivering over a kilowatt of clean juice to the components (and this rig will certainly use the thick-end of that when it's running at full speed).
Opening up the case or simply peering through the side window reveals even more pleasing sights. Not only has Playtech chosen the red version of the Silverstone Fortress 02, but the cable management is immaculate. There are virtually no visible cables other than the necessary bare minimum. All wiring is tucked away out of sight, and what is visible is clean, straight, and neatly tied down.
As for performance? It's mind blowing (not to mention noisy, once the GPU fans spin up). It is an insult to Playtech’s Optimus Black Edition that I was restricted to testing games at a measly 1920 x 1080 resolution. This rig could handle double or even triple that resolution via a multi-monitor gaming setup. Quite simply, this is every gamer’s dream machine.