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Black Ops Assassin August 2011 reviewPost Date: 2011-08-24
Joined: 02 Aug 2011
Online Status: Offline
Topic: Black Ops Assassin August 2011 review
Posted: 24 Aug 2011 at 3:57pm
I made the decision to buy a rig rather than build my own for the first time. I have been gaming recently on a Macbook Pro under Bootcamp and while this is decent, it's far from ideal for modern games at High Settings. I haven't built a PC in over 10-15 years and with a 60+ hour work week my free time isn't what it once was. After researching online it seemed that DSO had some very positive feedback not only as a builder but as a customer service oriented operation. For me, this was the clincher over the numerous competitors in this industry. Let's face it, anyone with a little knowledge can order parts and build a killer rig. For people who don't have the time or inclination a boutique builder is a nice option. DSO was the one company that sounded like it wasn't a faceless entity, but rather a group that personally stood behind their products.
In any event, I was drawn immediately to the Assassin in terms of the visual case appeal (simple, black, ability for future expansion) and the emphasis on airflow. I went with a pretty standard build that it looks like a few other people that have reviewed the Assassin went with.
Chassis Model: Special Deal Hot Seller - Black OPS Assassin Edition
Exterior Finish: - Standard Factory Finish
Trim Accents: - Standard Factory Finish
Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K 3.40GHz (Unlocked CPU for Extreme Overclocking) (Quad Core)
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 Deluxe (Intel P67 Chipset) (New & Improved B3 Revision Without SATA 3G Issue) <b></b>
System Memory: 8GB DDR3 1600MHz Digital Storm Certified Performance Series (Highly Recommended) (Hand Tested)
Power Supply: 750W Corsair HX (Dual SLI Compatible) <b></b>
Expansion Bay: - No Thanks
Hard Drive Set 1: Operating System: 1x (160GB Solid State (By: Intel) (Model: 320 Series) <b></b>
Set 1 Raid Options: - No Thanks
Hard Drive Set 2: Multimedia\Data: 1x (1TB Western Digital Caviar (7200 RPM) (64MB Cache) (Model: Black Edition) <b></b>
Hard Drive Set 3: Backup\Misc.: - No Thanks
Optical Drive 1: DVD-R/RW/CD-R/RW (DVD Writer 24x / CD-Writer 48x)
Optical Drive 2: - No Thanks
Internet Access: High Speed Network Port (Supports High-Speed Cable / DSL / Network Connections)
Video Card(s): 1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB (Includes PhysX Technology) <b></b>
Add-on Card: - No Thanks
Sound Card: Integrated Motherboard Audio
Extreme Cooling: AIR: Stage 2: Noctua NH-D14 Extreme Performance (Does NOT fit on the regular EVGA X58 3X SLI) <b></b>
H20 Tube Color: - Not Applicable, I do not have a FrostChill or Sub-Zero LCS Cooling System Selected
Chassis Airflow: Standard Factory Chassis Fans
Internal Lighting: - No Thanks
Enhancements: - No Thanks
Chassis Mods: - No Thanks
Noise Reduction: - No Thanks
CPU Boost: Stage 1: Overclock CPU 4.0GHz to 4.4GHz
Graphics Boost: - No Thanks, Please do not overclock my video card(s)
Memory Boost: - No Thanks, Please do not overclock my memory
OS Boost: - No Thanks, Please do not tweak the services on the operating system
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-Bit Edition)
I will look into adding in another SLI'd GTX 580 as the need surfaces, but right now this will handle anything I need.
I ordered on August 9, and she arrived on August 23 - two weeks to the day, which is astounding. I selected Wooden Crate shipping because I live on the East Coast and the thought of dealing with an RMA nightmare from coast-to-coast was enough to justify the extra $150 bucks for crate shipping. As you can see from the pics below - the care and security put into the packing and shipping was phenomenal. I could gather from other reviews that there was attention to detail here but I had zero regrets about the expense of the crate shipping. I absolutely recommend it to anyone who has less than stellar experiences with Fedex/UPS.
Not a single issue detected upon initial inspection, I had her up and running fairly quickly. I alternately had hooked her up to a Dell 2407 via DVI and then to a Samsung UN40D65000 via mini-HDMI and had zero issues with either.
After installing some basic utilities I was done screwing around and ready to game. Receiving the rig on the release date of Deus Ex: HR was no coincidence. I queued that up for DL from Steam and waited the 35m for download by cranking through a few turns of Civ 5. Full settings on the 40" Samsung LED and not a single issue. My only reservation is that the screen is a little too big from my viewing distance so I may revise that approach - but I couldn't resist playing with it.
A few hours of Civ 5 and Deus Ex, with the latter not at all taxing in my observation, and with checking on HWMonitor and CPU-Z I never got the CPU over 52C and the GTX 580 never got above 60C. The Noctua and general case design are impressive. The ambient temp in my office/mancave is about 70-72F, insulating myself from the Washington DC swamp-like conditions and I actually had to put a hoodie on while blasting through the opening chapter of Deus Ex due to the air being blasted out right next to me. Suprisingly, even with the volume of air moving through, the noise was barely noticeable - even more so once I moved the PC from my desktop to the floor.
The only concern in my first night of testing was that my VCORE while doing heavy gaming is about 1.44. Now I don't plan on running 24/7. I was hitting 4.3 GHz, and given the temps I was observing - I am not terribly concerned. On the other hand, I needed nowhere near 4.3 GHz and I wouldn't mind touching that VCORE down a bit to the 1.35ish area. Apart from any long-term stability concerns (which are minimal), I would simply like to understand how to do that precisely so I have a better grasp on the OC on my machine in general. I've never messed with OCs so a little knowledge would be great.
My lasting memory from receipt day of my new Assassin was that no later than an hour after I had her unboxed and running - in an albeit precarious spot on the edge of the desk - we had the now infamous earthquake rip through the area and rattle my home and everyone else in the mid-atlantic. I had a moment of panic where I was certain she would topple over, but she stayed firm up on the desk and now lives down on the floor near the AC vent.
Thanks DSO, I look forward to enjoying my new rig and becoming a long-term customer.
Digital Storm Supervisor
Joined: 04 Jun 2012
Online Status: Offline
|Quote Reply Posted: 24 Aug 2011 at 7:05pm|
Thank you for posting your review. In regards to the core voltage, that voltage is perfectly fine, if you would still like use to help you lower the voltage, we can, just give us a call and we'll help you lower your overclock from 4.4GHz to 4.0Ghz or what ever you prefer. I would leave it as is, the performance boost is well worth it.
Joined: 02 Oct 2008
Online Status: Offline
|Quote Reply Posted: 25 Aug 2011 at 12:36am|
not all chips are the same but with a 4.3ghz overclock you need way less than 1.44 volts to be stable. Nice rig! love the ft02
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