Anyway, with all the details out of the way, let’s see how close the Celsius ULTRA comes to substantiating its claims. Starting off with Call of Duty 4 (COD4), we saw a performance lead of more than 50 per cent over the DinoPC i7-Osaurus, which sports the brand-new, DirectX11 ATI Radeon HD 5870. At 1,920 x 1,080 and maximum detail, Fujitsu’s monster returned an average of over 250fps with a maximum of 500fps!
So far so brilliant, but as any avid gamer will know the title that can still bring many gaming machines to their knees is Crysis. Unfortunately, for some reason the game failed to scale as well as one would expect in our benchmarking, no matter what drivers or patches we threw at it. As such, at the highest detail settings on 1,920 x 1,200 it returned an average score of 33fps, which is more in line with an SLI (i.e. single 295 GTX) than a Quad-SLI setup.
When comparing this monster to the competition, we therefore urge you to pay more attention to the COD4 figures as these are more representative of the performance you should expect (Crysis should work an a quad SLI system but we just couldn’t get to the bottom of our problem).
Unfortunately there is simply no way that this is the fastest air-cooled system around regardless, as you can specify a similar configuration from a range of system assemblers and get custom overclocking done to bring the Intel Core i7 975 Extreme Edition up to above 4GHz with a top-class air cooler. Also, now that the AMD/ATI Radeon HD 5970 is out, two of these puppies will beat any nVidia Quad-SLI setup to a pulp (though to be fair none of the new Radeon 5800-series cards were out when this PC was announced).
What the Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation does win is the recognition of being the fastest gaming rig we’ve ever reviewed by a country mile. We’ve been getting quite a few fast gaming systems in recently, but the Celsius ULTRA comfortably stomps all over them and then devours their remains. So whether this is our new performance champion and one of the fastest PCs around is not in question, but would we recommend buying it? Nope.
Frankly, anyone who buys a Quad-SLI or Quad-CrossFire setup for anything less than a 30in monitor either has too much money or too little sense, especially since with a single Radeon 5870 there’s no game that won’t play comfortably at above Full HD resolutions. This goes double for an Intel Extreme Edition Core i7 processor: invest the money in a ‘lesser’ CPU and water-cooling instead, and you’re practically guaranteed comparable performance with a decent overclock for far less.
Quite aside from this the Celsius ULTRA is ugly, noisy, offers an outdated port selection, not enough expandability and for now still ships with an outdated OS (though a Windows 7 voucher is included). Do yourself a favour and get something like the Wired2Fire HellSpawn ALC instead, which features a water-cooled, overclocked Core i7 920, and configure it with Windows 7; the Antec Nine Hundred Two case; a 120GB SSD as the main drive and a 2TB disk as secondary storage; 6GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM and twin Radeon 5870s; plus of course a Creative X-Fi Titanium, all for around £2,300 – and you should get better gaming performance with more future proofing (i.e. DirectX 11) to boot.
There’s no denying that in terms of components Fujitsu has assembled the best of everything available when the Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation was launched, but unfortunately its graphics are now outclassed, and there’s little point in using an Intel Extreme Edition CPU if you aren’t going to give it a decent overclock. To top it all the company has chosen to stick the whole lot in an ugly and frankly inadequate case, and thus this debut representative of the ‘Gaming Workstation’ simply fails to hold much appeal.