Round the back is interesting as it does away with any legacy connectors – there’s no parallel or serial ports. What you do get are two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8-channel surround sound output, though as set up, only via optical or coaxial digital outputs. This is because the analogue outputs come on an external daughter card, which, perfectly sensibly, Commodore has not fitted due to the presence of a Creative X-Fi Xtreme Gamer card. While this is a much better choice for gaming than the onboard sound, I do think it would have been better if Commodore gave the option to buy the full X-Fi Fatal1ty, which includes 64MB of X-RAM. This provides support for more simultaneous audio streams and is supported by titles such as Battlefield 2 and F.E.A.R. There are eight USB 2.0 ports in total, two at the front, six at the rear. Finally, you also get a full 6-pin FireWire connector and PS/2 and keyboard ports.
If you plump for the Commodore XX as we’ve got here, you get Intel’s current flagship processor – a QX6800, offering up four Core 2 Duo cores running at 2.93GHz, with two sets of 4MB shared Level 2 caches – 8MB in total. To back this up there’s 2GB of Corsair Dominator 1,066MHz RAM. The front side bus of the CPU is 800MHz so the memory will run at that speed at stock. However, it does give you some headroom for overclocking, should you wish to delve into those dark arts.
To cope with the top-end CPU, Commodore has fitted a pretty hefty CPU cooler with a large fan pulling air into it. Right next to this Commodore has fitted yet another heatsink and fan. This has grooves at the base which cover the top of the heatsinks of the Dominator DIMM modules. This looks like a clever bit of design to pull the warm air from the memory heatsinks away. There’s a good system going on here then – large side fan draws air in into the first heatsink fan, then into the CPU cooler and then out of the rear 120mm. In addition to this you’ve got the two exhausts from the back of the two GeForce 8800 GTXs. On top of this, literally, you’ve got the PSU fan. It’s not surprising then that there a fair amount of heat being chucked out the back of this machine so it’ll need to be placed somewhere well ventilated.
Adding to this heat haze are three hard disks – two legendary Raptors spinning at 10,000rpm in RAID 0 to provide the fastest speeds, great for loading levels in games and a 500GB disk for storing data, such as large HD video files, which the quad-core uber CPU should make short work off – as an example.
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