Here we have a high-end custom builder that has shown significant growth over the past year. Hypersonic charges big bucks for its systems, but does the consumer get big bang in return?
As many of you might know by now, HardOCP 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.
Our previous experience with Hypersonic was in the mobile computing arena with the Aviator CX7. It was a solid gaming laptop that, outside of a few issues, we found to be very stable and have great build quality. It was also the first desktop replacement that we had in our offices, and we were very impressed with the amount of power that could be crammed into a mobile solution. Since then, we’ve looked at a few other desktop replacements in the Sager 9750-C, the Dell M170, the Gateway NX860X, and the Vicious PC Shogun III.
Our biggest problem during our previous experience with the Aviator was on the technical support end. From getting hold of a live tech person to getting the problems actually fixed once we’d sent the unit off for an RMA, Hypersonic dropped the ball in many areas of support.
For the bottom line, we didn’t recommend the Aviator, but didn’t crush Hypersonic for their failings either. We found them to be a decent company with many positive attributes, and our scoring failed to relay that effectively. We understood that problems can sometimes happen, and we felt that Hypersonic was close to providing good support. We saw all of the effort being made, but nothing coming of it. It was very disheartening for us to see a company trying to do the right thing for the consumer, but not being able to follow through.
Since that time, Hypersonic has grown. It’s now what we would call a bona fide “premium” integrator that prides itself on high-end setups.
Given the price premium and high-end hardware, we expect great things from the Sonic Boom. The Core 2 Duo CPU, while not offering a revolutionary gaming experience, is still a robust chip and can handle the processing tasks of high-end games with ease. To push the limits of our gaming experience that much more, this machine also came equipped with a GeForce 7950 GX2 SLI graphics card and 2GB of RAM.
While the Conroe processor may not provide a substantial increase in gaming framerate, it has blown the doors off of our previous systems in our DVD creation tests and WorldBench, so we’re looking to see how it compares with the Velocity Micro E2200 ProMagix - our current champion - which shares the same processor and amount of RAM.
We paid a high price premium for our machine, and we expect high-class service in return: impressive build quality, customized packaging and materials, and a clean software build. Finally, we would like to see Hypersonic greatly improve on their technical support score and deliver an experience that we can wholeheartedly recommend.