First the specs:
MS Windows XP Home Edition CD & Manual SP1 Pre-Installed & Configured
Integrated V.92 56K Fax/Data Modem
8X DVD / 24X-10X-24 CD-R/W Combo Drive w/ Recording Software
17" WXGA+ 1440x900 Wide-Screen High Contrast LCD Display
2.80GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor w/ HT (800MHz FSB)
Internal Subwoofer Speaker Module
6 in 1 Flash Media Card Reader Bay
60GB 7200rpm Ultra ATA Hard Drive w/ 8MB Cache
1Year 24/7 Toll-Free Tech Support Platinum Service & Lifetime Support
Intel 865PE+ICH5 Chipset Socket 478 Mobile Motherboard (800MHz FSB)
2 x 512MB PC3200 DDR400 RAM SODIMM
Built-in 4-Speaker 3D Sound System w/ 5.1 Channel S/PDIF Output
Built-in ATA Hardware RAID Controller
Integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Controller
Aviator GX7 in Standard Navy
ATI Radeon Mobility 9700 (M11) 256MB for GX7 (w/ TV Out)
I placed my order online and got an instant confirmation about an hour later my credit card cleared and we were on our way. I couldnt sleep when I just ordered the 5400rpm hard drive trying to stay in budget so the next day I sent an email and had it changed and change reflected. But they did not send any reply, just changed it. Kinda weird....
The system was ordered on July 20th and was estimated to ship on the 8th of August, it shipped on the 6th and due to it going to an APO address in Germany arrived on the 9th of August. The box was in perfect shape and lets just say, I was in awe when I opened it, again pictures dont say enough and that was just with the standard body with no paint.
I thought when I ordered it I could atleast use the case for a few days to get me by until I went back to the states and I was half way confident, until I saw the case, it is just two pieces of sewn leather, I mean the 20 dollar case logic second skin would do better, the bag can barely support the weight of the system, you are actually worried it could break through the material. So first order of business was searching for a case, I finally found one at a PX a little bit away, they only one there and I dont know why but for 50 bucks a targas bag that holds up to a 15 inch length, I needed 15.5 so I made it work, but it was a good bag and for the price, think it was wrong, the 13inch ones were the same price. So in the end, it is free for a reason...
I did not get the supper glossy display, I had a budget and have only used these two old 15 inch monitors and dell laptops so I figured I wouldnt know what I miss,a nd I still look at it that way. I didnt get the no dead pixel guarrentee and guess what? I got one in the upper left corner, you can have up to two so, but you cant notice it, it is real high up in the corner. Very nice display, once you see as wide screen playing around on my dell is almost annoying now.
The layout of the keyboard is very nice, I missed my number pad on my dell's alot and like the full size keyboard, although for gaming I think I am going to hook up my other keyboard....heat isnt bad, but not great....that is a different section.
The port layout it good, two usb in the back and one on the side with the 4 in one and the PMCICA. A firewire in the front with speakerwire is good, I would rather the firewire in the back, but I can deal with it I think. Overall I can not see a need for a port replicator, and it had a serial port on it as well, this is nice due to my old racing wheel can be used again. The only other thing is the only port it has for a monitor is a dvi, so if you have the old fashioned make sure you know you will need an adapter.
I got the 2 sticks of 512, was going to get a 1gig single, but it would lose so much do to not having 2 sticks, then when I got another giig, it wouldnt be matched sticks. So I dont plan on upgrading and went with the 2x512. The website says 2.5 cas ram, so when I got a 3.0 I was a little bit nerved and called, they said they would get back to me and research it, after a day they said that the ram is 2.0-2.5 cas and that clevo discovered that the cas of ram was causing heat issues and they set there bios up to not allow anything lower then 3.0 to run, so that is why. I was skeptical until they offered to send me 2 new sticks hard coded to only run at 2.5 and see what that did, but they could not guarrentee that it would over due bios. I didnt take them up on it though, I dont think it causes that much performance and as long as the ram is what it should be. I will trust clevo, heat scares me....
Heat so far hasnt seemed to be a problem, when I am gaming, which right now just includes EA sports and Icewind Dale, waiting for EQ2 to get released. The only issue with heat is as everyone has said, the left palm rest can get toasty, but so far I have used the laptop keyboard and havent had an issue, but for eq2 I will use a normal one. I have not had it go above 60 celcius yet, but we will see what eq2 does to it. Also when I game it stays in the 40's on the above ones, but I kick the fans in full speed.
System Restore Disk
So I get my system and want to try out different drivers, and mainly 9.0b and 9.0c dx. So I do one, and figure lets test out this restore cd....well junk on my part, it wouldnt even read, it froze everytime while restoring the image. I called hypersonic and they said something about disabling my usb or something, but the dvd is read perfect in other drives and not in mine, so I am going to call about this tomorrow before my 30 days is up and find out what is going on. But when mine goes to read it, it skips and nicks all over, but it can read other dvd's, dont get it really. If anyone else understands please let me know.
I ran a few benchmarks, right out of the box it ran a 3100+ on 3DMark03. After altering the settings a little it got into the 3200+ range. I then changed the omega drivers and tweaked a little more, NO OVERCLOCKING though, that scares me to much with heat. I got it to 3446, but I put the old drivers back in it due to dvd playback issue, yes, do not load omega drivers until it gets fixed if you like dvd playback, it will be all choppy. I have since loaded dx 9.0c and also windows service pack 2 and hypersonic drivers and havent ran a benchmark, I will add what I get currently if anyone is actually interested, if not, I just know it runs what I want, and runs it fast.
The system is all that I thought it would be and I am very happy with my purchase, I am hopping for a life of atleast 30 months of this system, and longer if a motherboard upgrade is actually available when pci-e comes out, but we will see wont we. All in all, I would recommend hypersonic to anyone else as there customer service has been very good so far and the system is stable and great.