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Dream Machine 2012: The Future Is Now

2x EVGA Hydro Copper GeForce GTX 690

The most powerful GPUs on the planet, on liquid

There’s only one thing better than the most powerful graphics card on earth—two of them. And, yes, we did entertain the fantasy of four GTX 690 cards in octo-SLI but, sadly, the drivers don’t exist. Normally, running dual-GPU cards comes with a compromise, but the power and thermal efficiency of the new Kepler architecture means our quad-SLI setup is damn near the same as running four GeForce GTX 680 cards. We’ll leave you for now with that tantalizing thought. To get the full benchmark details, click here .

Silverstone TJ11

Designed for modding and painting

Consumer desktops may be getting smaller, but our Dream Machine seems to be getting bigger. The Silverstone TJ11 is so big, in some states you have to get a zoning variance to bring it home. It’s so big, it has a power switch on top and bottom for those who can’t reach that high. Even better, the case is designed with modding in mind. Instead of pop rivets and glued-on plastic panels, the aluminum case is screwed together, allowing panels to be removed for easy modding or, in our case, painting. The modularity of the case allowed us to pull the hard drive racks normally stowed away inside the bottom—to make room for a massive 560mm water‑cooling radiator.

All Dolled Up: No Mere Paint Job

When we say that www.smoothcreationsonline.com is probably the best paint shooter in the business, we say it having seen custom-painted high-end PCs from just about every boutique company in the country. Yeah, sure, invariably we’ll get an email from someone saying the paint ain’t that good: “Hell, I can do better in my garage with a rattle can of Rust-Oleum.” From our own experience of being shade-tree case painters, we say, “Fat chance, Bubba!” You can’t touch these paint jobs. Smooth will shoot the outside of a case for a mere $300, and will do both inside and out for $700. In our book, that’s a bargain for a case that makes a serious style statement.

Audioengine A5+

Subwoofer shmubwoofer

We’ve long been fans of Audioengine’s A5 speakers , and the A5+ builds on that heritage with a few subtle improvements that make them even better.

Jimmy Thang
Jimmy Thang has been Maximum PC's Online Managing Editor since 2012, and has been covering PC hardware and games for nearly a decade. His particular interests currently include VR and SFF computers.