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The face of the PC industry is quite different to what it was a few years ago. Once upon a time the UK was littered with system integrators happy to cobble together anything and sell it to you. However, the vast majority have gone to the wall and for most people buying a new PC means buying a Dell. However, Dell hasn't been too successful at attracting the most demanding of buyers, the gamers. No surprise then that it has just bought Alienware to take care of that market.
It's good to see then that there are still smaller manufacturers around that are willing to create specialist systems that cater for those buyers who don't want just another PC. Wired2Fire is a small company, that specialises in producing machines for gamers using the fastest quality components, in custom made housings. It sent us this system confident that it would be the fastest thing we've ever tested so we were keen to see if it would blow us away.
Taking it out the box then I found that Wired2Fire has selected a Thermaltake Shark case and given it a custom paint job. There's nothing particularly wrong with this case, and it looks pretty snazzy with the paint job, but I couldn't help but be a little disappointed that it was an off the shelf case, rather than something truly different such as this system we reviewed from Scan. That said the case has some nice touches such as the curves on the door and the small grille at the bottom left. The side panel is also quite distinctive with two arched grilles in the side and a funky handle mechanism. The grilles enable you to see what's inside and give more area for warm air to exit the system.
What does make the case quite different is its duo-tone paint job. It's actually difficult to say exactly what colour this is as the colour changes depending what angle you look at it. It's a genuinely strange effect. From a distance it looks purple; move closer and it looks blue, at other times it looks an in-between turquoise. It's actually very cool indeed. Wired2Fire will charge you an extra £180 to have it done but it's included in the price of this system. However, general opinion in the office concluded that a case with more curves would have enhanced the effect even more.