Pros Fast, good quality, decent customer support.
Cons Price, price, price!
Summary I bought a computer from Falcon Northwest a few years ago, and til this day it has been a good computer. There have been a few problems down the road, but I have experience with computer hardware, so they were too hard to resolve. The worst I had to was replace a power supply, which if you know what your doing wasn't that big a deal if you know what you're doing. My major gripe my computer was the price. A few months after I bought my computer a friend of mine bought a similarly specced computer from a company called Ironside Computers, and he paid much less than I did, and from what I can see the quality seems to be equal with mine. Me and my friend play online all the time, and he is still using the same computer, and from what he tells me he hasn't had any issue with it. Me personally, I wasn't so much upset about saving the money as much as what I could've gotten with that extra money. I could've upgraded the RAM, gotten an SSD, and upgraded the graphics card, etc. The computer as is is a great machine, but next time I'm going to getting a computer from Ironside Computers.
Pros For a prebuilt it is an ok spec but a complete rip off on price!
(p.s the water cooling solution on this is poor and so is the Overclock)
Cons You can get way more Hardware for your money, which will be faster, better performing and cheaper if you are willing to build a rig your self. This is a simple experience and I will explain below:
Summary You need to start with a case. Now you are probably going to want to Overclock so water cooling will be needed. The best case for money that will also fit everything you need in it is the Coolermaster ATCS 840 Classic. Next you will want a Motherboard. now if you are planning to Overclock you will want a board designed for this. IMHO this leaves only one option, the DFI Lan Party LP UT X58-T3EH8 Intel X58. DFI aim their mobos at the OCing comunity and this is the best of their offerings. As for a cpu the Intel Core i7 920 2.66Ghz (Nehalem) is the one to go for as it is cheaper than the 965, but with the rig I am describing you should be able to hit over 4GHz on your overclock. For the RAM your will want 2x Corsair 6GB DDR3 Dominator PC3-12800C8 1600MHz. Corsair is the Rolls Royce of RAM and this offering is very reasonably priced, but also faster performing than the Ram in the Falcon. Now graphics cards is where things get complicated. When you move into the x2 range of GFX cards offered by ATI and NVIDIA you encouter driver issues. Not all games have drivers to use X-fire (multiple ATI cards) or SLI (multiple NVIDIA cards) so out of your four cards only one is being used! if you want the fastest single card on the market it is undoubtably the EVGA GeForce GTX 285 "FTW 55nm" 1024MB. If you find that this still isn't hitting the GFX levels you want then you can always invest in one or two more for SLI or tri SLI. NVIDIA cards are also able to offer PhysicX and CUDA on their cards. On the hard drive front SSD (solid state hard drives) are all well and good but are very expensive. If you were to run 2 Samsung SpinPoint F1 RAID 1TB SATA-II 32MB's in RAID 0 you would not only have and increably fast HDD set up but you would have 2 TBs of storage for less than some 250GB SSDs. For your optical drives wether they be Blu Ray or DVD i would stick with Pioneer as i have always had a great experinece with them. Sound cards there is one key favourite and that is the Creatives, but for gaming especially the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium - Fatal1ty Champion Series 7.1 Sound Card. To power this goliath you will need a Corsair HX 1000W ATX2.2 Modular SLI as this should cover all your OCing needs. Now on to the Water cooling set up. You will want to start with the CPU cooler. The Swiftech Apogee GTZ is the best option at the moment, especially for a high overclock. The Swiftech Laing D5 Vario MCP655 12V DC Pump is always the water coolers favourite. The TFC Xchanger - Triple Radiator 360 is one of the best performing Radiators around. You will need a resevoir and i recomend the XSPC Single Bay Reservoir - Silver. Because you don't really want to drop your PC in a 'bath' I recomend the Feser One UV Reactive Coolant 1 Litre (Clear/Blue) Feser One UV Reactive Coolant 1 Litre (Clear/Blue) for a well performing inert liquid. Then you will need 6x EK 1/2" Hose fitting, 6x XSPC Tubing Clip For 1/2" Hose, 2x XSPC 1/2" High Flexibility PVC Tubing - 1m. Last but not least you will need some 120mm fans for the radiator. I recomend the Akasa AK-191-BL Blue Ultra Quiet 120mm Fans for good airflow and noise levels. If you are going to want a Monitor for your new toy I recomend the Acer G24 Widescreen Gaming LCD Monitor for being an great balance between size, resolution and price. The ultimate keyboard and mouse combo are undoubtably the Razer Mamba Wireless Laser Gaming Mouse and the Logitech G19 Gaming Keyboard. Last but by no means least speakers and I can recomend none higher than the Logitech Z-5500 THX Certified 5.1 Speaker System.
If you are worried about the overclocking, the great thing about the DfI is that you can share BIOS's with other people, and most overclockers use DFI so some one else can do all the OCing leg work and you can just upload ther Bios and away you go.
Estimate cost of rig including peripherals: £3200 with out SLI, £3650 with SLI and £3800 with a EVGA GeForce 9800 GTX+ 1024MB GDDR3 controling the PhysicsX and CUDA. But don't forget this RIG also has a top of the range 24" monitor, 5.1 speakers and Keyboard and Mouse.
Any quieries email me on Imustendure@live.co.uk
Pros The Fastest Gaming Machine in the world (currently). One of if not the most reliable systems in the world. The paint job is immaculate and awe inspiringly beautiful.
Cons They are expensive.
Summary You get what you pay for. That is the bottom line. Is it possible to get a system similarly equipped for less money? Yes. You can't however get a similarly built computer for much less at all. In fact some of their competition is even more expensive and not built any better (and out performed in side by side tests).
The system that Cnet reviewed has a lot of stuff you just don't need. You don't need two ATI 4700X2 cards. One NVidia 295GTX is enough for some serious gaming (but not available when this review was done). Like Cnet mentioned you also don't NEED the paint job. I was able to get a real nice Mach V for $5,000 similary set up but without the paint job, 1 295GTX and and a smaller Core i7 chip (the 920) but a larger secondary HD (my system has a 1.5TB HD in it along with the Intel Solid State drive).
I've owned a Dell, HP, Alienware, and Voodoo PC in the past 10 years as well as a Falcon Talon system and another Falcon Mach V. No company has ever made a more reliable machine than the Falcons I own. Both of those Falcons are still used for LAN Parties and are more than capable of letting friends play Left 4 Dead with me and the systems are OLD. Falcon builds giant tanks. My old Alienware is also a tank and still does well (although all the systems have had graphic card updates). However that Alienware was from when Alienware was a different company before their Best Buy days and Dell ownership.
I've never been happier with a computer company than I am with Falcon Northwest. They just build the best. I know I can save $1,000 on the higher end systems building it myself or from another company, but I also know that Falcon will out perform those cheaper systems and last longer without any worries of reliability. Plus when things go wrong with systems you build there is no company to call. I've had that happen (but I also have some solid machines still running that I built).
There is a big reason that at all the game conferences that the big companies all have Falcons showcasing their new games or new graphics cards. Falcon just does it better.
Pros Great overall performance. Fantastic tech support. 3 year FULL warranty. I own 2 of them.
Cons PRICE IS NOT a negative; If you can't afford one, save your money or build your own. You'll never achieve the complex precision-oriented tuning of the Mach V without a lot of heartache and trial and error.
Summary Please Review machines that you actually own. It is a distraction to hear from a bunch of whiners complaining about the cost of a Porsche and how their Mustang GT is just as fast. A Mustang GT is NOT a Porsche 911! A Falcon Mach V is NOT an eMachine. Great machine if you can afford it; you can get machines that are almost as good for much less.That's EVEN owns one -- sorry for the misspelling!!
Updated on Jun 17, 2009
Pros I like the paint job on the case but what has really be done differently here. BORING!
Cons Lets see, same old internals, same old case, new chipset but you can buy it on NewEgg. So why buy this and pay a premium for the name Falcon Northwest. Build your own, save money and actually get something that works.
Summary Right now you can pick up the 790i chipset and QX9770 that will overclock to 4GHz. Why not get that, save money and have the fastest PC in your neighborhood. Plus, building your own machine is fun. If you really want to buy and get the coolest PC on the planet go check out Hardcore Computer - they at least have innovation and a PC you can't build off New Egg.