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Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation review

Ardjuna Seghers

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Reviewed:

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Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation
  • Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation

Summary

Our Score:

5

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.

Chocoa

November 26, 2009, 6:21 am

Wow, that sure is an ugly 3 grand's worth Fujitsu! Looks like something out of the 80's when Pet Commodores were king.





Good luck trying to tempt cash out of wallets.

Xiphias

November 26, 2009, 7:15 am

It's a nice looking system and I'm glad to see someone realises that gaming wasn't started with USB and older high-end peripherals should be catered for on a system this price - especially as high end stuff can last forever.





I doubt the noise will make it very appealing though, and the lack of blu-ray writer and eSATA is a strange omission on a high-end system. The Peripherals are just odd, if this is a Fujitsu system then why isn't the keyboard an HHKB?

smc8788

November 26, 2009, 2:41 pm

No, those I could do without. The strangest omission from a near £3,000 PC is the lack of an SSD (and Windows 7). Those 10,000RPM 'Raptors are looking increasingly redundant these days, when their price rivals that of an SSD yet delivers considerably inferior performance.

Jmac

November 26, 2009, 3:29 pm

It's a long time since I saw a product that misses the mark on quite so many levels - the core spec is undeniably tasty, but the case (though solid looking) is horrific, the lack of an SSD bizarre, no RAID, last gen graphics tech (the 295 is no slouch, but why have they ignored the 5xxx series?), and Vista?! Seriously?





The inclusion of a top spec Extreme Edition processor is all well and good, but the compromises that have to be made in other areas where budget is even a vague concern are, in my view, inexcusable. On anything other than a total no-holds-barred, money-no-expense monster, you'd be far better off dropping a much cheaper Core i7 920 into the mix and spending the difference on an exotic cooling solution (a 920 under water will in general clock at least as well as, if not better than, a 975 under air), an SSD, top of the range GPUs, a current OS (I'll reiterate - Vista? Seriously!?) better peripherals, and a case that doesn't look like it was designed by a blind man.

J4cK1505

November 26, 2009, 5:12 pm

what on earth was Fujitsu thinking

Rickysio

November 26, 2009, 6:03 pm

Did you guys just look at the spec list and started whining? The 5XXX series weren't even on the horizon when Fujitsu started planning these machines.





And Vista isn't that bad - why all the hate? If you can't use Vista, you lack skill in computer-fu. Blame yourself, not the tool.





Admittedly the casing looks dated, but whoever buys these probably doesn't care about appearances.





PS2 ports do offer something over USB for keyboards - N key roll-over works only for PS2 ports, not USB.

ilovethemonkeyhead

November 26, 2009, 7:24 pm

waiting for lenovo to build a think... gamer, or something. one that's bomb proof, too. in case die hard 4 happens to you.

ffrankmccaffery

November 26, 2009, 8:16 pm

kind of reminds me of that ibm server that i bought for some unfathomable reason other than perhaps for the rather acquired and raw industrial design


and ps2 keyboard ports are a godsend for when your pc just aint having it and refusing to boot up

Caleb9ce

November 26, 2009, 9:02 pm

Overpriced and underspeced. Do they actually believe they will sell these things? All I can say is: FAIL

Peter

November 27, 2009, 1:27 am

Sorry to nitpick but I highly doubt this machine has a FW800 port. From your pictures they look more like FW400 ports to me.

Guye0a

November 27, 2009, 2:26 pm

Designed by managers who most likely ignored the technical staff :(

Kelvin Ang

December 7, 2009, 4:12 am

No eSATA, probably disgusting PCIe bandwidth for the Quad-SLI GTX295, little expansivity. FAIL.





I could assemble a CUDA-rig myself with for the same price and get even more performance out of it. Shame on Fujitsu!

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