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HailStorm: A Legit NO BS Review

Post Date: 2011-12-05

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EOmfD View Drop Down
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  Quote EOmfD Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: HailStorm: A Legit NO BS Review
    Posted: 05 Dec 2011 at 1:42am
I purchased my Digital Storm system just about one year ago today and I decided that I should finally make a review. I had the unfortunate luck of having to send my PC back to DS for repairs, so if you read anything on this review, I would suggest that part.

First, here are my system specs and some pictures.

System Configuration:

Processor: Intel Core i7 930 2.8GHz (Quad Core)

Motherboard: EVGA X58 Classified 3X SLI (Intel X58 Chipset) (Requires EATX Chassis) (Model: 141-BL-E760-A1)
System Memory: 12GB DDR3 1600MHz Digital Storm Certified (Highly Recommended) (Hand Tested)

Power Supply: 1000W Corsair (Dual/Triple/Quad SLI Compatible)

Hard Drive Set 1: Operating System: 1x (80GB Solid State (By:
Intel) (Model: X25-M MLC Edition) (Extreme Performance)

Hard Drive Set 2: Multimedia\Data: 1x (1TB Western Digital Caviar (7200 RPM) (32MB Cache) (Model: Black Edition WD1001FALS)
Optical Drive 1: Blu-Ray Player/DVD Player (Play Blu-Ray and Play DVDs)
Optical Drive 2: DVD-R/RW/CD-R/RW (DVD Writer 24x / CD-Writer 48x)
Video Card(s): 2x SLI Dual (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 1.5GB (Includes PhysX Technology)
Sound Card: Creative Labs X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion (Includes Front I/O) (PCI-Express Slot Based)
Extreme Cooling: H20: Stage 6: Sub-Zero LCS Dual Loop: CPU & Dual SLI/CrossFire Video Cards & Chipset
H20 Tube Color: White Tubing with High-Performance Fluid (UV Lighting Reactive)
Internal Lighting: Internal Chassis Lighting System (UV) (Creates Glowing Effect for H20 Tubes)

CPU Boost: FREE: Stage 1: Overclock the processor between 3.3GHz to 3.9GHz













(1) INITIAL SHIPMENT

<<PROS>>
-Digital storm did an outstanding job making sure that my PC got to me in one piece. I am sorry that I don't have any unboxing pictures, but I can assure you that the folks at DS have mastered the art of PC shipping.

-My rig arrived in a large reinforced cardboard box and was completely enclosed on all sides by a thick layer of expanding foam. The box showed some scratches and dings, but the PC was unharmed.

<<CONS>>
-Packing material inside of the case itself left some black marks on my white tubes. Not a big deal, but definitely not desirable. I was able to scrub the marks off.

-RAM needed to be re-seated upon arrival of the system.

(2) First time powering on
<<PROS>>
-very powerful rig, as it should be for the price tag haha.
-OS was cleaned up very very well. It was important that my new PC was bogged down with as little bloatware as possible, and DS made that happen.

<<CONS>>
-BIOS was set to boot from the wrong drive the first time I powered it on. Again, not a big deal and a very easy fix, but still not desirable.

(3) First Year of Use

<<PROS>>
-Slays games, looks absolutely beautiful in the living room.
-I'm not going to say that the machine is 'VERY QUIET', but I will say that it is impressively quiet for the amount of hardware it supports. My sound meter measured 55DB at 12in from the top of the case.
-Everything runs very cool, no heat problems what-so-ever.

<<CONS>>
-DIED after first year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-So there I was monday morning, the WEEK THAT SKYRIM AND COD COME OUT!, hit the power button and........fail.


(4) Return the PC for repairs.

<<PROS>>
-I kept my box and original packing material. If you get anything out of this review, please remember to keep your original shipping material.
-PC arrived in their possession on a Monday and it was fixed and on its way back to me by the following Monday .
-Did not have to pay for labor.
-Carlos was a very good and patient tech support agent. We toiled together over the phone scratching our heads for a almost 2 hours before we decided to ship it back.

<<CONS>>
- Please read your warranty!! Your parts are only insured for the first year.
-New Motherboard and a new Power supply cost me about $600.
-Standard Shipping BOTH WAYS cost me $300
-Tech support agent was very hard to hear on the phone. Everyone else came in clear as day, but I felt like I could only hear 3 out of every 5 words he said.
-Return shipping used the same box and packing material I sent to them. The foam, now on its third leg, started to flake and got everywhere on the PC. Spent 45min cleaning it out.
-A screw fell out of the case when i opened the side panel, I cant find where it came from...
-A sticker was placed on the glass warning me to remove all of the foam from the PC case before I turned it on. The sticker left that horribly annoying sticker residue on my beautiful glass. Had to bust out the rubbing alcohol and a knife to get it all off.


(5) Final Thoughts

<<PROS>>
Digital storm makes outstanding systems and I have, and will continue to, recommend them to my friends. They put a lot of pride into their work and it shows when you have the pleasure of first unboxing your PC for the first time.

<<CONS>>
I wish that my PC was shipped with the same level of care as my initial order after the replacement parts were installed. Even-though my DS warranty was expired I was not able to peruse any manufacture warranty options in an effort to replace my broken parts.

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  Quote DefineGodLike Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Dec 2011 at 4:44am
Thanks for the review man and the heads up on the warranty and keeping the original packing material.

What was the cause of having to get a new motherboard and new PSU? Could the cause have been prevented? Was it just the use of the product or something that you caused (physical damage)?

Thanks again!
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Dell U2312HM
Cooler Master 942 HAF X
Intel Core i7 2600K 3.4GHz (OC 4.4GHz)
ASUS P8P67 Deluxe
8GB DDR3 1600MHz DS Performance Series
GeForce GTX 570 1.2GB
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  Quote DST4ME Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Dec 2011 at 5:04am
Ya thanks for the review, so it was the psu and mobo? there must have been a short or something, but you said you were playing and it went off right? that is not normal at all for psu and mobo to go bad like that, I wonder what it was.

but here is where I'm puzzled, why did you have to pay for psu and mobo? they have their own warranty, I recommend the corsair hx psu here to people all the time for example just for these kinds of scenario, your psu has a 5 year warranty from corsair, all you have to do is send them the psu and they will fix it or send you another one, the new 1050hx and rest of hx lines have a 7 year warranty, I believe your mobo has warranty also.

I'm sure Alex appreciates all your comments and will use them to help DS grow.

I will say some of the things like re seating parts or hdd boot priority are due mainly to shipping, don't know why but once it a while when pcs shutdown, the boot priority goes off wack.
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  Quote EOmfD Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Dec 2011 at 11:35am

I am not sure what exactly went wrong and caused the failure in my MOBO and PSU. I don’t see how I could have caused these problems, and they came about very suddenly.

Sunday night my PC worked amazingly. Then Monday afternoon after work I went to turn it on and it would not power up completely. Some of my case fans turned on, but none of the fans for the two radiators. The water pump was not powered on either. Furthermore, the mother board did not seem to be getting power; as there was no display on the LED codes. Conversely, the memory fan and the 'power' LED which draw power directly from the motherboard both functioned normally.

 

After the normal set of diagnostics Carlos (tech support) and I decided that I should try to buy another PSU and use that to power the motherboard. Unfortunately that did not solve the problem either. After that my only option was to either send it in for repair, or try to install a new motherboard myself. I opted to send it in.

 

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  Quote EOmfD Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Dec 2011 at 11:41am

(DST4ME)

I too was puzzled at the lack of options I had after my PC was diagnosed at Digital Storm HQ.

 

To be honest I sent my PC to them assuming that my parts were still under their warranty, so the manufacture warranties were not on my mind at all. Unfortunately I was about 20 days too late :-(. I know that the MOBO and the PSU are both under warranty through the EVGA and Corsair respectively. Unfortunately I was not given the option to peruse those warranties on my own. Also, to my surprise, my return shipment did not include the broken parts that were replaced. So even if I did want to try to peruse those warranties on my own, I don’t even have the parts anymore.

 

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  Quote DST4ME Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Dec 2011 at 12:09pm
Not sure why they didn't tell you or offer it to you but all you or they had to do is rma the psu, no cost other then shipping.

I believe evga would have rma your mobo also.

all you should have paid is shipping from corsair, and evga and shipping for the pc itself.
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Dec 2011 at 1:23pm

@EOmfD,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed and informative review. I’m sorry that you had to have your system come in for service, I’m glad to hear that our team did their best to troubleshoot the issue over the phone and provide a quick turnaround to get you your system back. However, I am sorry about the inconvenience with the warranty situation; I feel that we’ll make some changes internally to improve this aspect. As always, your feedback is very appreciated, as it allows us to ensure we provide our customers the best experience.

In addition, thank you for all of the kind words in your “pros” – I would like to respond to your “cons.”

Originally posted by EOmfD

Packing material inside of the case itself left some black marks on my white tubes. Not a big deal, but definitely not desirable. I was able to scrub the marks off.

That’s the first time I’ve heard of that, I’ll check with the team on this. If this does occur frequently, we’ll look into a way to prevent this, such as a clear film to place on the internals before the internal foam packaging material.

Originally posted by EOmfD

BIOS was set to boot from the wrong drive the first time I powered it on. Again, not a big deal and a very easy fix, but still not desirable.

I’ve seen on many occasions when USB drives or external hard drives get plugged in, the system tries to boot off of them first which may cause this. However, I’m glad you were able to get this resolved easily.

Originally posted by EOmfD

Tech support agent was very hard to hear on the phone. Everyone else came in clear as day, but I felt like I could only hear 3 out of every 5 words he said.

Usually our team is fairly clear to hear, like your previous experience with our team. I recommend if this happens again, ask our techs to try to call you back again and/or from a different phone.

Originally posted by EOmfD

Return shipping used the same box and packing material I sent to them. The foam, now on its third leg, started to flake and got everywhere on the PC. Spent 45min cleaning it out.

Our packaging is designed to be reused up to four times, which is why the box is so strong and the packaging, but, it should not fake and get everywhere on the PC. I’m very sorry about this. I’ll look into this with our team, as we don’t want that happening to our customers. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Originally posted by EOmfD

A screw fell out of the case when i opened the side panel, I cant find where it came from.

Weird, if you can locate a hole where it requires a screw, let us know, we’ll happily send you it. It’s rare but can happen from shipping vibrations.

Originally posted by EOmfD

A sticker was placed on the glass warning me to remove all of the foam from the PC case before I turned it on. The sticker left that horribly annoying sticker residue on my beautiful glass. Had to bust out the rubbing alcohol and a knife to get it all off.

The team is supposed to place the stickers on clear film, not the chassis itself. I’m very sorry about this.  I will also look into this with our team to ensure it doesn’t occur again for our customers.

Originally posted by EOmfD

Even-though my DS warranty was expired I was not able to peruse any manufacture warranty options in an effort to replace my broken parts.

The parts are covered with a limited 1 year convenience warranty on parts from us; however, we should at least attempt to get the items replaced for the customer with the manufacture if they are still in warranty. The most we should do is ask for shipping costs to be covered on the replacements with the manufacture, if the parts are unable to be replaced with the manufacture, then we should only then resort to have the customer to pay for replacements since we’ll have to buy new hardware. I’ll definitely work with our team on this. Nevertheless, I would like to make things right with this. When you’re ready to make new major upgrades in the future, may it be a year, or 2-5 years from now, please, email our team directly (Management@digitalstormonline.com) and mention my response. We’ll provide you store credit discounts to make up for this.

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  Quote darbebo Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Dec 2011 at 3:25pm
i love how alex always takes care of the customers.

Not only did he "talk the talk"

he also offered "actual" compensation in a sense!
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  Quote EOmfD Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Dec 2011 at 3:35pm
Alex,
 

Thank you for the offer and for responding to my review. Digital Storm continues to impress me with their ongoing commitment to customer support, especially in an industry where that virtue is scare if not completely extinct. I look forward to doing business with you all in the future.

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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Dec 2011 at 8:03pm
Awesome
 
We'll move this thread to the "Customer Reviews" section shortly.
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Dec 2011 at 9:52pm
Thanks for the informative post EOmfD, I'm always anxious to see how other customers are doing after the initial period. I'm also glad Alex was able to address some of your concerns.

I should probably take some time to update my review too, as my 1 year anniversary for this ole' rig is just two days away. Big%20Smile
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  Quote Sgt.Moore Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 17 Feb 2012 at 6:13am
Man Alex is always super on the ball, bravo !
"RLTW"
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