The entire PC is watercooled, including the northbridge which has a waterblock fitted by default to the Asus Blitz Formula. It's quite ironic that the company that was one of the first to push integrated watercooling on a consumer product into the 'mainstream' (relatively speaking) - the OCZ FlexXLC is not
included in the watercooling loop. This is likely because the memory isn't actually being stressed to the fringes of its capabilities, so it doesn't need it.
If you can divert your eyes for a second and look at just the quality
of airbrushing you’ll understand why it’s a £1,000 investment. The finish is pretty good - it's the same glossy metallic look that you also pay a premium for on cars, but there are a few blemishes which worry us a little. We'll come back to these in a minute.
In natural light it looks even more vibrant than in a studio, and every component down to the DVD bezel gets the treatment. The downside is that it takes a week to do, but good things come to those who wait, right?
If you get a standard “off the shelf” paint job done, that’s just
£600. Clearly this is an excess very few people can afford, however while we might change cases every few years, Vadim wants to see his PCs, or at least the cases, as an investment that will last much longer. As it is, the paint job is guaranteed for at least three years, but the same professional artist has previously been doing bikes and cars that have had paint jobs look great for over seven years.
A vehicle naturally exhibits its paintwork in a harsher environment than a PC tucked up nice and cosy under your desk, so it should last at least
as long. However, how many people do you know that treat a PC like an old bike or car? Not to mention the rampant pace of computer hardware, which could well make ATX defunct.
A £1,000 investment for a company showcase on the other hand is quite a different proposition (although I'm not sure many would opt for the Asian lass in the nip on the side, even if it does turn heads). Sure, a PC to sit there and roll slides doesn’t need to be this powerful
, but from an exhibition standpoint it’s far better than your standard “beige box” sitting in the corner. This is something BFGTech seemed to recognise
However, there are some problems with this particular paint job...
The inside of the flap where the card reader is housed hasn't been painted, and neither has the 3.5" drive bay surround. Additionally, there are some minor blemishes in the paint job along the edge of the grill on the top of the case too - this looks to be a case of poor masking and after some poking around, there appears to be some masking tape still attached to the grill right in the corner.
If you move around the other side of the same grill, the finish looks as good as we would have expected and, after speaking with Vadim about it, we were told that the paint job was done in two days instead of the usual week that it takes on customer builds. Therefore, we would hope
that the paint job on customer builds would be as good as you would expect it to be for £1,000 - hopefully the next Vadim machine we look at with a custom paint job doesn't have these blemishes.
You may think we're being incredibly picky here, but please don't forget that this is a £1,000 option
and one that you'd expect to be as close to perfect as possible. The issues highlighted here are fixable
and we hope they aren't going to appear on customers' PCs. If they do
show up on customers' PCs though, we hope they're addressed as soon as possible.