hankrules2011

Book reviews, health, hockey, publishing, music, tech

My New Custom Designed and Built Falcon Northwest Mach V PC

Posted by Scott Holstad on August 2, 2019

Hello all. It’s been awhile. Those of you still with me know the last four years have been really rough, but this one is topping even last year, which I didn’t think could be done. The point, though, is that I used to post regularly for years, decades actually, but the past few years, I haven’t been able to because of my extremely poor health. I feel bad about that, not only because I enjoyed it and miss it, but because I feel like I let you down, and while I still have about the same number of followers I did several years ago, apparently very few read the rare blogs I post, probably because they’re so darn rare! It’s frustrating, and I’m sorry. So much has happened this year, I would never have sufficient time, strength, energy, anything to be able to relate even half of it. So I won’t. Instead I’m going to do what I’ve been doing, and that’s writing some nonsensical unimportant post few will read or care about, but I’ll like it, as it’s become sort of like my own online journaling experiment now, in terms of helping me remember what I was doing, thinking, undergoing, purchasing, reading on any given day, and I’m grateful for that.

So with that intro, I’m going to proceed to post a new blog that utterly no one but myself will find remotely interesting, but a guy’s gotta show off his new car/house/boat/computer/audio system/etc, and I have no one to do so with, so I’m just posting this here in the unlikely chance someone might read it at pause to ponder it for a mere moment.

 

My new custom designed, custom built high-end “gaming” computer

Falcon Northwest Mach V Icon2

 

Desiring to replace my 2.5-year-old custom designed, custom built Xidax X8 Glacier because I wanted more power, speed and other various reasons, I embarked on an intensive two month search for the right “high quality/reasonable cost” combo machine that wouldn’t be exactly what I wanted, due to unfortunate financial considerations at the time, but which would still be very high-end and would remain so for a decent period of time.

I spent time designing a huge variety of configurations with over 35 PC makers, and ultimately over 200 unique configurations. I decided early that I wanted to go with an established, proven “elite” high-end boutique custom PC company, and while one will find various companies listed in any Top 10 lists of these types of companies, there are generally four that have stood out to me for many years, one of which I had already purchased two rigs from in the past. These are OriginPC, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest and Maingear. All have several desktop models, many starting at very low prices, but are basically barren, so one is forced to upgrade components as they build their potential machines. While I had a price range in mind, which (naturally) increased as time went by, I tried very hard to put together configurations that I would view as compromises, sacrificing components to save money, such as storage capacity and brand, memory brand and speed, audio cards, etc. However, there were certain things I was determined NOT to sacrifice on. These included getting the top of the line Intel X299 processor, at least 10TB of storage, a minimum of 64GB of RAM, and a very solid motherboard, ideally an ASUS ROG RAMPAGE VI EXTREME OMEGA, which is what I currently have, as well as the storage and RAM. I wanted to change some other things though with the new system though.

Falcon Northwest, established in 1992, is the “father” of custom gaming PCs, known for their elite quality and historically insanely high prices. And while that has held true all these years, other companies have risen to their heights in many ways, and a few have surpassed Falcon in price insanity. I posted an example of a Digital Storm configuration a few days ago on LinkedIn that exceeded $40,000. I’ve put together configurations of several machines that exceeded $100,000! All four named companies can go pretty high, along with a few others. However, the most costly configuration I was able to put together for Falcon was just under $30,000. That doesn’t take into account, however, their famous hand crafted, hand painted (with several layers of high quality automotive paint) rigs that can be designed for anything anyone wants, ranging from corporate logos to clouds to actual representations of Picasso paintings, and just about anything one can think of. And when you start talking about those features, the prices jump very high.

Finally, after two months, and after getting an Origin and Digital Storm both under $8,000 and a Falcon slightly under $10,000 (I could not at all get a Maingear under $11,500), and while I amused myself a few times by putting together configurations of rigs that would cost more than some houses, I felt like I had 3-4 solid finalists, and I was ready to make a decision. I actually had an Origin Genesis tied with a Digital Storm Velox, but on the final day I felt nervous, so I quickly did some last minute research and dug up quite a few complaints all over the Net about both companies, largely in their post-sale customer service/tech support and problems having warranties honored. While both companies have excellent reputations with the pros, hundreds of one-star customer reviews said something to me, so I quickly decided to give Falcon another chance. They’re incredibly famous for the highest quality, most stable bad ass rigs around, and for virtually perfect service/support and an excellent warranty that other companies charge extra for if you want to add years, etc. My beef with the company had been the lack of very many options at all with most of the components, and the fact that they only offered one motherboard, and IMO, not the best, for their expensive flagship rig, just as an example. In fact, I was very unhappy about this, because the RAM options couldn’t compete with those at other companies, the storage couldn’t compete, etc., yet they were in the same price range as the others – higher, actually – largely based on reputation, I felt. However, fast but thorough last-minute digging found ample reviews remarking on their high quality, their reliability, their computers’ speed and power, their excellent warranty, etc. So I just started pumping out configs, tweaking each just a bit to get an acceptable price with the most acceptable components I could live with. And I finally felt like I had found one. So a few days ago, I called the company (PST), and spent nearly three hours on the phone with a very knowledgeable, intelligent, friendly, experienced, helpful sales rep named Ben. I voiced some complaints I had, particularly about their RAM’s speed, their audio cards, their motherboard options, etc., and demanded both explanations as to their offerings and a reason to choose his company over the others. And he didn’t hard sell me, and didn’t really try to sell me at all. Which makes a big difference to me. He took the time to explain the reason for each component choice, their commitment to what they view as the most stable high-quality computers that can be built, and in some cases, he said he thought he might be able to accommodate a custom request of mine on a couple of components I hassled him about, saying he thought they might have a couple of “unofficial” (typically not available for sale) versions of what I specifically wanted, and he did. So we made a few tweaks over the phone and then I went through the purchase process, spending much more than I originally intended or wanted, but doing so after having found out that my standards were simply going to cost more than I had hoped for. Yeah, I felt some anxiety about that purchase and the charge I’ll be seeing on my credit card next month. (This comes at a time when I just configured and had built a custom PC for my wife, due to arrive today AND buying a new Apple iPhone XS MAX, 512GB to replace my Samsung Galaxy S8+ I’ve grown disenchanted with. It’s been a very expensive week!).

So I made the decision, bought the computer, the ship date is supposed to be August 19th, but due to some custom paintwork I’m getting, it will probably take about two weeks longer. So I’m going to stop wasting all this time blabbing and list the specs followed by a picture or two. I don’t really have anyone around me to tell such things to, here and in person, or at least anyone who would care or appreciate such things – which is why I’m writing this idiocy! You know how most guys like to show off their new car, gun, motorcycle, house, girlfriend, hot PC, great audio system, etc. Well, call me a superficial twit, but sometimes I want to do that and have no one to really turn to, so today, this is my outlet! And now for some specs. Thanks!

 

Specs:  Falcon Northwest Mach V – Designed by and built for Scott Holstad – July/August 2019

  1. Exotix Paint: Mach V

  2. Exotix Paint: Custom

  3. Exotix Color: Red Rain

  4. Exotix Logo: Rain Falcon Northwest Logo

  5. Chassis: Mach V – Icon2

  6. Chassis Parts: Mach V

  7. Chassis Logo: Light-White

  8. Power Supply: EVGA P2 1200W – Platinum Modular ATX

  9. Motherboard: ASUS Prime X299 Deluxe II – ATX

  10. CPU: Intel Core i9-9980XE 18-Core, 36 Threads – 4.5GHz (OC)

  11. Overclock Processor – Extra Testing

  12. Liquid Cooler: Asetek – 650LX 120MM

  13. Liquid Cooler Retention Ring: Socket 2011/2066

  14. Memory: 4 16GB DDR4 3000MHz G.Skill – Ripjaw V – 64GB

  15. Video Card: Two (2) NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 Ti 11GB – Founders Edition

  16. Video Card Part: Aluminum Extender Fin – RTX 2080-Series

  17. Chassis Part: Mach V – Video Card Retention Bar

  18. SLI Bridge: NVIDIA – 3 Slot – NVLINK RTX 2000-Series

  19. Sound Card: Creative Labs Sound BlasterX AE-5

  20. MB-Networking: Networking: On-Board (Ethernet)

  21. SSD: Two (2) M.2 2TB Samsung 970 EVO PLUS PCI Express SSD

  22. HDD: 8TB Western Digital Red Pro HDD 7200 RPM 256MB Cache

  23. Optical Drive: ASUS – DVD Rewriter – SATA Black

  24. Software Label: Microsoft Genuine Label

  25. Software License: Windows 10 Home

  26. Software Media: Windows 10

  27. USB Rescue Drive

  28. Warranty: Free Parts/Labor – 3 Year

  29. Tech Support: Free Lifetime

  30. Shipping: Falcon Two Way Overnight Free Service – 1 Year; Free Two-Way Shipping – 2 Year

 

 

 

 

Falcon Northwest Mach V

 

 

Falcon Northwest Mach V

 

 

 

Falcon Northwest Mach V

 

Front view of my computer with the color and design I chose

 

 

 

Mach V chassis

 

The overall aesthetic custom design look of my new computer demonstrated on an older Mach V chassis. No two custom paint jobs Falcon does are identical. Each is unique.

 

 

 

And I guess that’s it! Not my ideal rig if I had the money, but still pretty good overall, and should be quite good for awhile to come, especially with that CPU. And of course, most components are expandable, meaning I can double the RAM, more than double the number of drives and drastically increase storage, upgrade the video cards, etc. Which is always one of my requirements. Price? Not saying!

Cheers!

 

2 Responses to “My New Custom Designed and Built Falcon Northwest Mach V PC”

  1. It’s so pretty! Love the red.
    You obviously spent a lot of time researching to find just the right combination of features and style.

    Like

    • Thanks so much! You have no idea how much time and effort I put into this. I just hope it pays off, because while I’ve had some wonderful computers, both expensive and cheap, and have had custom built computers, some good, some bad, I really don’t want to have gone through all of this, spend what I just spent, only for it to be a lemon. That would be crushing. One of the reasons I went with Falcon over others I actually preferred more (flashy, blinking light!!!!) is because of their decades of building an impeccable reputation for quality, reliability, and virtual perfection. Which even without the blinking, flashy lights, doesn’t come cheap… 😉

      Like

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