CHAPTER 5 -- First Impressions
My first impression was: wooouh... that is ONE HUGE black box!!!
Crashing through the bars of the gate, I grabbed the Alienware box with one hand, the Belkin box with the other, passionately kissed the fedex dri... no not that. I wasn't THAT crazy with excitement!, jumped back over the gate, leaped into the balcony and started sinking my canines into the cardboard and tearing open the box.
Besides the computer, a lot of little things were included that really made the experience more enjoyable. Nice manual, besides including the original motherboard manual and others.
All I can say about the hyperspeed box is that whoever took that freaking photograph for the Alienware site was not on his day. It doesn't do it ANY justice.
The case is freaking beautiful! no matter where I look at it from.
The black paint job is excellent. The front panel that looks like a flat white drive stack in the picture is actually a slightly curved, brushed metal swinging door with grates at the top and bottom for air flow and an opening for full time access to the usb ports.
It has locks both for the front panel (and thus for the ignition) and for opening the case with two sets of keys.
Now, about opening the case.
That was an absolutely glorious experience.
I've NEVER opened a case the way this one opened.
I remember my first computer, an 8086xt clone. It was sealed with about five warning labels with skulls and lightnings and emphatic, "stay away!" messages. After removing the warning labels and the dozen overtight screws, you needed about three guys jumping on it to finally be able to remove the cover and then, the inside was a torture chamber, just waiting to chop off your finger as soon as you ventured to introduce it.
On the Hyperspeed, I just flipped a lever on the pack and then slid the cover on the left side. Yes, -slid-. I don't mean slide like in other cases I've had before where you kick it and shove it until there is an opening that you can introduce a lever into. You can really slide this cover with just two fingers and it opens that easily.
And inside... I actually -tried- to cut myself somewhere and you just can't! There are no edges, everything is rounded and accessible through ergonomic plastic handles. PCI slots don't need screws. They have little plastic levers to secure the cards.
I was impressed by what I saw inside.
It looks just as nice on the inside as on the outside. The power supply has a nice paint job, with a single decal and double (gilded) fans. The green plastic tabs spread all over the case don't really look cheesy in the internal color scheme, as you might expect.
It has double 160 fans. One in the front that gets air through the front panel's grills and that hits the hard drives directly. Only in the back, below the power supply.
The parts were actually better than I expected. Where they said a VIA k8v motherboard, it was actually a VIA k8t800 in an Asus k8v-se deluxe and where they said 6800gt with doom3, it was actually a bfg pre-overclocked. The cpu had a nice FX fan. All in all, where they had the leeway to put inferior parts, they actually put in the best that the description would allow. I felt very happy looking in there.
The wiring job was nothing less than fantastic. I thought that the first thing I'd do would be to move the hard drives so they wouldn't be too close together. But after seeing the wiring I didn't want to move anything ^^; Really, from the power to the IDE, it looks almost as if the cables weren't there. Well, the fact that they had that huge fan blowing straight at them did influence me a bit
The CPU seems to be planted in an airfield. There is -nothing- around it. I even feel lonely looking at that processor. Nothing but empty space for the air to flow all around it as far as the eye can see... almost
AND!!! nothing over it!!! *insert choral musical background again* With ALL my previous computers I had to remove about a dozen components before I could even -see- the cpu! In this one it's standing there alone with its arms raised at me shouting, "Take me!!!"
There were almost no lose parts. Only one of the clamps of the drive mount. But it was obvious to spot and more than easy to pick up so there was really nothing that needed to be done. Just close it and fire it up!
I turned it on and the post had vanished by the time I turned on the monitor.
Now I know where the concept of silent computing comes from! This thing sounds like a 747! It must be four times louder than the old one. But I kind of like it
And with the zalman headphones playing, I don't really hear it at all.
The windows xp came up. Ugh! What is this? Windows babysitter edition?! Why does it freaking keep asking me if I'm sure I want to do what I AM doing!?! Why would I do it otherwise!??! And what did they do to the title bar?? Why does the title bar take twice as much space as before if it still does the exact same thing it did before...nothing! Wah! Win2K where are you??!!