Our system actually came with both Windows XP and Vista loaded on, which enabled us to benchmark both systems. However, as all our testing has now transitioned to Vista, we stuck to this for our testing.
As you'd expect, boot times are lightning fast and before you know it you'll be greeted with the wondrous shiny expanse of the Windows desktop. However, as the PC ships with no other software installed you'll have to wait until you've installed all your favourite programs before you can really start appreciating the truly gobsmacking speed of a system like this. So, out came my trusty portable hard drive and on went our usual set of test games and programs.
I started out by running our 2D tests which are a set of automated everyday tasks, including photo editing and video encoding, which we run and time how long they take to complete. Initially each test is done separately then we run them all in combination with each other to test multi-tasking performance. Each test taxes different parts of the system more than others but all four give processor speed, memory bandwidth, and hard disk speed a good workout.
It will come as no surprise that the Ultra Violet Genesis XOC is one hell of a performer and only the lack of RAID brings it in just below the Vadim system.
While 2D performance is important, for a system like this it really is all about gaming, which is why it's good to see the Genesis also justifies its astronomical price tag by winning our gaming performance tests as well. Of course, this is largely due to the fact we simply haven't had a system configured with a single 8800 Ultra, let alone two in SLI, come through our office but it's still an impressive feat. This truly is the fastest system that's passed through our doors.
To make sure it stays that way, the genesis XOC is covered by a two-year return-to-base warranty. However, there's no option for an extended or deluxe (collect-and-return, upgrades, etc.) warranty, which is something we'd like to see for a system costing so much.
As for what kind of premium you're paying by going for a system such as this, by our estimation the total cost of components off the high street is about £3,500, so you're paying around £1,000 for the privilege of having the entire system built and warranted. Comparing this to an as close as possible equivalent system on the Vadim website (there really is no one else to compare to) the Vadim worked out over £1,000 more expensive again, which is a much greater margin than I was expecting. However, Vadim do offer more customisation and are built to order so their costs are inherently higher. And, ultimately, if you don't like the styling of the UV PC then you're left with little choice.
Ultra Violet Machines has created a truly awe inspiring computer in the shape of the Genesis XOC. It looks incredible and, perhaps more importantly, unique and is the fastest gaming PC we've ever looked at. There are a couple of quality and design issues that shouldn't really be present on a PC costing over four and a half grand but ultimately it still offers good value for money and is a good compromise between doing it yourself and forking out for a Vadim.