Power, Upgrades, Pricing and Final Thoughts
We already saw in our first 3-Way SLI performance article that using three of these 8800 Ultra cards is definitely going to put a strain on the power system behind it.  We are finally seeing a use for those 1kW+ power supplies!!

Digital Storm Twister Extreme 3-Way SLI System Review - Systems 70

True to form, the Digital Storm Twister Extreme with 3-Way SLI is going to use some juice!  Thanks to the addition of hard drives, optical drives, water cooling and an overclocked quad-core processor, the idle power consumption on jumps up to 568 watts on the DS Twister, a full 150 watts more than our test bed!  Under a full load, playing Call of Juarez that utilizes all three GPUs completely, we saw power consumption hit 931 watts, another new record for PC Perspective. 

Like we said in our previous article, you are definitely going to feel the affect of this PC on your monthly electric bill, that’s for sure.  You might even consider turning this puppy off when not in use.

Upgradability

One thing that most PC enthusiasts like to consider when buying a pre-built system is how user-friendly it will be down the road.  Can you add components or easily upgrade the system as times change?  Since Digital Storm is using basically all off-the-shelf parts, this is a clear case of success.  The motherboard, CPU, graphics cards, and other expansion slots (if you remove a GPU or two) can all be accessed and used with standard components — throw in two 2GB modules to increase system memory and it’s not a problem.  Even the system BIOS remains the same and works just like any other motherboard BIOS you might have used. 

The hard drive and optical bays are also easily accessible though you do lose one of the 5.25″ bays for the water cooling reservoir.

Digital Storm has definitely NOT created a proprietary design that is going to limit the end user at all.  You might want to call in first to check on the status of how any changes affect your warranty, but other than that you should be in the clear.

System Pricing

As I stated on the first page of the review, the price of this system from Digital Storm is $6,755. We of course realize that this is a LOT of money for any gamer to plunk down for a gaming system and I won’t pretend to recommend something like this for everyone.  You can however get a pretty good gaming system for much less than that from Digital Storm as this one for under $2k demonstrates very well. 

Digital Storm Twister Extreme 3-Way SLI System Review - Systems 71

The Twister Extreme that we reviewed has much more specialized hardware and demands a price premium.  A quad-core Extreme processor that is overclocked for you to 3.67 GHz, a couple of RAID arrays, water cooled CPU and of course the 3-Way SLI configuration.  The 8800 Ultra cards still demand a premium, about $1500 over a single GPU according to the system builder on their site.  Want a similarly speced system from Alienware?  Our system build came up to over $7900; more than $1100 more than the Digital Storm computer.  Heading over to Newegg.com or another online reseller you can build a similar system for less money — we know and expect that.  But you get some improvements like the chassis design that Digital Storm uses as well as the benefit of a warranty and support: great support at that. 

Final Thoughts

The Digital Storm Twister Extreme system has done nothing but impress me from day one.  The case quality and build quality are among the best I have seen in custom boutique systems and the prices they offer are near the lowest we have seen anywhere.  The hardware in the DS system was also impressive — but you expect that when you get a build sheet that includes 3-Way SLI and an overclocked QX6850 processor.  Adding into the mix a system that performed beautifully from day one and support that is top notch, users that are looking for a high-end gaming system vendor are definitely going to need to put Digital Storm at the top of their list.

Digital Storm Twister Extreme 3-Way SLI System Review - Systems 72
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