The first thing everyone remarked on when the Celsius ULTRA arrived in the office was how it looked so much like a workstation rather than a gaming PC. And guess what, they were actually right, sort of. Fujitsu has come up with a (as far as we're aware) new category: the Gaming Workstation. Not only that, but it claims the Celsius ULTRA is the fastest air-cooled gaming rig on the planet. That's one tall order, but then with an overclocked Intel Core i7 processor, twin nVidia GeForce 295 GTX graphics cards and 12GB RAM, we wouldn't be surprised if it lives up to this claim.
The first thing we noticed about this PC is it's probably the heaviest we've had through the labs in a long while, though the relative compactness and shape of the case make it easier to carry than a monster like the HAF 932 housing PC Specialist's Vortex i950.
It is also not exactly the most attractive computer around. In fact, I'm the only one in the office who finds the design even remotely inoffensive, and I must admit the red stripe and silver grille at the front don't do any favours to a case that can at best be described as ‘industrial'. Mind you, I'm personally of the opinion that looks should come a distant second to performance, but when you're spending thousands of pounds on a big brand-name, custom-designed machine, it would be nice if it at least looked the part.
Speaking of custom-designed, Fujitsu's claim of "German Handcrafted Performance" is not as dubious as it might at first sound, as not only is the case custom-designed and built for Fujitsu, but even the motherboard is likewise specially designed and manufactured in Augsberg, and sports a BIOS created exclusively for the Celsius ULTRA. Wow!
Getting back to the case though, some of the plastic panels at the machine's front flex easily, taking the edge off its otherwise rock-solid look and feel. At the top towards the front you'll find a small monochrome LED display that, aside from displaying the Celsius name, shows indicators for hard drive activity and power, though unfortunately not temperatures.
As you'd expect of a PC in the Celsius' price category, optical disc reading duties are handled by a Blu-ray drive (though it can't write Blu-ray discs, unfortunately), leaving one 5.25in slot free. There's also a memory card reader for pretty much every format nestled beneath this, though it's a pity Fujitsu didn't make full use of this last slot to add some more USB ports and maybe an eSATA connection.
The case's own connectivity - consisting of two USBs, headphone and microphone jacks (unfortunately colour-coded with the standard but rather unattractive green and pink) and a FireWire 800 port - is recessed together with a white-backlit power button beside the card reader. While white backlighting is our favourite, Fujitsu might have been better off making it red to match the aforementioned strip, and while we're complaining we also prefer to see a reset button on a high-end machine such as this.