As [H] Consumer gets rolling again after the holiday break, we bring you another new integrator that you might have seen in review magazines. It’s performed strongly there, but let’s see how it holds up under the [H] Consumer magnifying glass.
As many of you might know by now, [H] Consumer doesn’t "review" systems, we evaluate the experiences they facilitate. We order the system the same as you would and evaluate every aspect of the end-user experience. Not only does this give us a better idea of what hardware an end user actually receives, it also allows us to obtain a more accurate picture of just how each company functions and treats its customers. As fast as PC hardware has become over the years, we think giving a personal computer "5 stars" based on how fast it ran a synthetic benchmark is simply irresponsible. We think service, support, and reliability are much more important factors in today's climate than speed. Fast is easily bought, but purchasing and ownership satisfaction can be elusive.
We’ve never evaluated a Digital Storm computer before, and we don’t have any personal experience with the company either. So this experience is a fresh one for all of us.
Digital Storm started up during the system integrator revolution around 2001, and it has made quite an impression on both Maximum PC and PC Gamer – at least enough to pull very positive blurbs from the reviews to place on its Website. We’ve seen all too many times that a strong performance in a “review” setting doesn’t always translate to a positive [H] Consumer evaluation experience, so we’re looking to see if this budget-minded integrator has it where it counts.
With a brand-new-to-us integrator, everything is wide open and we’re looking at everything for the first time with no previous point of reference. Our Twister Lite is marketed as a gaming machine, so strong and stable gaming will be a point of interest. Along the way, we want to see if Digital Storm approaches its integrations with a sense of pride and style, and if it’s able to competently support the hardware. This is a mid-level system, much closer to our recent Ajump than our Alienware, but we’re very interested to see what we get for our money.
Regardless of the price paid, the customer should still expect to see a stable machine with effective wire-routing and a support staff that will stand by the hardware. We know – and so do you if you’ve been reading – that there are a lot of integrators out there. There are precious few low-margin integrators that can provide a good system build and effectively support it. We’re anxious to see if Digital Storm can pull it off.
*The default PSU is now a Thermaltake 550W.
**The P5B is no longer available and has been replaced by the P5N-SLI or P5W DH Deluxe.
***We ordered Super Talent brand memory, but received Corsair in our system.
****We originally ordered an EVGA card, but were informed of a defective batch.
*****Typically we order a DVD+/-RW, but we somehow mis-configured the machine as we were ordering it.
******Our top audio ports were not connected.