DV Nation RAMRod PC Review - A Storage Powerhouse
Inside and Out
When you are a little fish in the great big pond of PC builders, you need to do something to stand out from the rest. The people behind DV Nation apparently were well aware of that when entering the system vendor business and offering up SSDs to every single system configuration. Through a new system they are offering, provocatively named the "RAMRod PC", DV Nation provides a pre-built system that has some very unique components and configuration settings.
Built around the Antec Three Hundred Two chassis, the first glance at the RAMRod doesn't really indicate anything special is going on under the hood. But let's take a quick look at the specs:
- Intel Core i7-3820 @ 4.4 GHz
- 64GB DDR3-1600 Memory from G.Skill
- Radeon HD 6990 4GB
- 2x Seagate Momentus XT 750GB Hybrid HDD in RAID-0
- OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 480GB PCIE SSD
- RAMCache: SuperSpeed Supercache 8GB on PCIE SSD, 8GB on Momentus
- RAMDisk: 42GB ROMEX Primo rated at 8000 MB/s
- Cost: $5,400
Obviously there is a LOT of storage work going on in the RAMRod and the purpose of the rig is to be the fastest pre-configured storage available anywhere. If you are looking for a cheaper version of this system you can get a base model with 16GB of memory, 10GB RAMDisk, 2GB RAMCache, 240GB PCIe SSD, single standard hard drive and even at GTX 680 for $2999.
Let's take a quick walk around the rest of the system before diving into the benchmarks!
The Antec case does have a lot of ventilation options as well as openings for water cooling as well.
The RAMRod was we received it includes a standard DVD burner and the front panel does include support for USB 3.0 connections.
Back panel connections include more USB 3.0 ports, optical and analog audio connections and you can clearly see that system will have adequate cooling with an external 120mm cooling fan that is working in conjunction with the Intel-branded liquid cooler.
Looking at the back of the PC you'll see the panel for the Radeon HD 6990 with its single dual-link DVI connection and four more mini-DP ports. DV Nation did want us to know that they would be offering the new GeForce GTX 690 and the Radeon HD 7990 when it finally shows up. The card at the top is actually the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2.
Again, the insides of the system aren't really impressive as the chassis is fairly plain and vanilla.
Cooling the Sandy Bridge-E Core i7-3820 is the Intel-branded water cooling kit that allowed DV Nation to clock the CPU at 4.4 GHz without issue.
All eight of the DIMM slots are filled with G.Skill memory modules for a total of 64GB - much of which is used in the RAMDisk DV Nation preconfigured. Set at 48GB out of the box, the cache will allow long-term data usage speeds of 8000 MB/s though all of that data has to be written back to the SSD on shutdown and read back from the SSD on boot. Since the SSD is the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 though, that process is pretty damn fast.
DV Nation is using the ASRock X79 Xtreme 6 motherboard to power all of this performance.
Here you can see the Thermaltake power supply and the Radeon HD 6990 card - obviously if this graphics beast can fit in the system, just about any card on the market today will fit.
They are using a dual 2.5-in bay converter for the pair of Seagate 750GB Momentus XT hybrid drives, used for your long-term storage. I do worry about these two spinning drives being so close and the heat that will build up in this area.
Finally, the queen of the ball, the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 480 PCI Express SSD. Needless to say this makes a hell of a speedy system drive and helps the RAMCache to be much more manageable a solution in the long-term. I would love to have one of these in my system and in our editing rig - but Christmas is so long from now...
On the next page we'll hit up some storage tests to see how the RAMRod lives up to its name.