The internal design in the Cepheus Q80 is simply phenomenal – when we first took the side off the case and fired her up, there was silence while everyone in the office just stared at the machine in awe. The attention to detail in the way every cable has been routed, and how every piece of hardware fits really makes you wonder how much work the design team has put into it. Understandably the option shown is the “supreme” cable management which is selectable on Vadim’s website.
There is a choice of colours for the internals that should suit most people’s preferences. The choice is between green and blue, red and blue, and red or blue on its own. Vadim Computers does specify that if you want an alternative colour combination all you have to do is ask.
Supreme routing does cost £140, but it’s designed to fit so well in the case if you were considering buying one it would be criminal not to select it, despite the price. It's not just cable routing: the spiral wrap and zip ties match the watercooling, there's no excessive cables from the power supply: everything is optimised to reduce clutter down to a minimum and make the inside of the case look like a work of art.
The same goes for the window: whilst you can specify one of a standard set, including an L shape, a plain square window or the dragon like we show here, you can also select a custom shape water cutting for an extra £60. Whilst this is yet another premium on top of the standard cuts, the quality and ability for a completely unique PC case is available in very few other places online. To source somewhere yourself would require masses of effort considering that there are not many companies who specialise in this kind of thing. Of those that do, many will only deal with other companies through contract agreements rather than single orders.
- Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 (4x2.66GHz, 1066FSB, 2x4MB L2 cache);
- EVGA nForce 680i SLI motherboard;
- A-Data DDR2-1066 2x1024MB Extreme Edition Dual Channel Kit;
- Two NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB in SLI;
- Two 150GB Western Digital Raptors in RAID 0;
- Two 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10's for storage;
- Sony DVD / CD-RW Combo 52x32x52x16 in black;
- NEC AD-7173A 18X dual-layer DVD-RW in black;
- Mitsumi Black 1.44 FD with 7in1 card reader;
- Creative 7.1 X-Fi ExtremeGamer;
- Windows Vista Ultimate;
- Extreme Overclocking (3-20% - CPU/Memory/VGA) Building;
- Standard Build (5-15 working days);
- Warranty: Premium 2 Year RTB Warranty and Lifetime Support;
Whilst this has been specified by a customer, and is a little from “ideal” it’s clearly well-and-truly-stacked
. It certainly warrants it’s “Extreme Gaming” tag: everything is as top end as it could possibly be.
Strangely two DVD-RW drives aren’t listed as default, considering the virtually identical cost compared to the DVD / CD-RW combo drive. Also, you can’t specify a card reader without a floppy drive, which is a bit of a shame. Even though it uses an entire 5.25” bay, there’s still another one spare. Sadly, the optical drives are still IDE, although this does free up SATA for the four hard disks and doesn’t limit a potential upgrade for another optical if need be. It’s not like the traditionally “fat” IDE cable is in the way though, as the cables are routed in such a way that completely minimises their presence.
Whilst we’ve had some serious problems with EVGA nForce 680i SLI motherboards, Vadim seems to have found one that works exceedingly well – it’s running a quad-core QX6700 processor and a pair of GeForce 8800 GTXs in SLI, with the system heavily overclocked
Although some will undoubtedly question the performance benefit versus data security of RAID 0, the system does fly, even with Windows Vista installed. There is also just under a terabyte (post format) of space for storage, so it’s not like backups are at all infeasible. Unfortunately the motherboard doesn’t have eSATA, so external backups will have to be performed through the very bandwidth restrictive USB 2.0 or IEEE1394a Firewire interfaces.
Vadim does offer (and has included) Abit's PCI-Express x1 wireless card in the machine, which finally
makes use of one of those ever present PCI-Express x1 slots while also freeing up a PCI slot for other things. Whilst the Lian-Li V2100B case is featured in this machine, there are several options listed on the Vadim site, although the Lian Li is arguably the best of the bunch.