3 High-Performance Desktop Computers for Mere Mortals
It may very well be an impending Tablet PC-world, with an uncrowned king due out in March 2012 with the iPad 3, and worthy challengers such as the Samsung and … keeping pace. Nonetheless, good-old-fashioned desktop computers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, as many of us still desire a reliable, home-based powerhouse for our business, scientific, or just plain surfing-at-night multimedia applications. The standard specs across the board for these performance desktops are, of course, an Intel Core i7 CPU, and Nvidia graphics capability, and storage – lots of storage. These computers are so robust that they’re often seen as “gaming computers”, because of their ability to run graphics-intensive laptop eaters like Battlefield 3 and Skyrim; but they are optimal for building virtual engines with Autocad, as well.
The Micro Express MicroFlex 79B
Although not as widely-known as Dell or Apple; this 25-year-old company is highly-regarded by its half-million customers for producing extremely-reliable, powerful desktop PCs. This exactly $2000 package boasts the very latest (well; sort-of, as of 2012) i7-3930K processor from Intel, which makes it a veritable supercomputer compared to yesteryear’s models. The 16GB of RAM will eat up blu-ray discs and spit out the movies without a hitch; for perspective, consider that about 256MB of RAM will give you optimal performance for your general Windows-based computer (a factor of 62 times less). Its graphics card is simply the fastest available to non-employees of Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, with the Nvidia GTX 580 edging out its main competitor in the GPU speed regime – AMD.
The Alienware X51
Every gamer wants one; and every businessperson should want one. Ever since they crashed down in Roswell New Mexico, the advanced Alienware series of computers have usurped the competition to stand alone in hardware excellence – and they make you pay for it, too. The recently-released X51 looks more like an oversized external hard-drive; making it much smaller than the usually gargantuan cousins against which it competes. But this little Napoleon left its complex on the manufacturer’s table, because it comes with an Intel chip that’s even more formidable than the i7-3930K, and is classed in the company’s “Extreme-Edition” series; the Sandy-Bridge-E processor bumps it up to Intel Core i7-3960X. How does that stack up, exactly? Think Knightrider drag-racing against your Kia down an empty high-way. The Alienware X51 base model comes with an eye-opening 8GB of RAM which, though half of the Micro Express MicroFlex 79B’s monstrous allocation, is still guaranteed to eliminate lag in numerous simultaneous applications. The standard high-end Nvidia graphics card, ready upgradeability and single Terabyte of storage space serves to put this little guy right up there with the big guns, and can be had for about $700.Continued on the next page