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June 2005

 

This is a big computer... 25" tall from wheels to radiator, 24" deep, and more than 8" wide. If it wasn't for the windowed side panel and the pretty blue lighting, it would probably be too monolithic and imposing to be aesthetically pleasing. As it is, though, the fine details soften the impact and provide enough interest that the overall impression is more elegant than industrial - if only just!

That power supply is going to have to go! As well as being by far the loudest component in the entire system, it looks dreadful as well! I really want something in a nice shiny black or silver casing, and with a blue illuminated fan or two thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, although PSUs that fit the bill are fairly common, EPS12V compliant models with output in excess of 500W are considerably less so - and ones that are also sufficiently quiet not to spoil the whole idea of a silent PC are so far just plain non-existent! I'm haunting the reviews at Tom's Hardware Guide, Silent PC Review and Dan's Data in the hope that something suitable emerges, but having rushed into the purchase of the PCP&C unit without really checking on how loud it was I'm determined to make the right choice this time.

Isn't it blue! Flash photography washes the strong colours down into a subtle tint, but with the case lights turned up and the room lights turned down it really is beautiful. The water pipes glow blue, the disk and network activity LEDs buried down on the motherboard flicker gently in green and orange, and the black and carbon-sleeved data cables catch highlights of both. Mmmmm...

The water returning to the reservoir emerges right at the top, causing a little blue fountain to ripple perpetually against the Perspex cover. This seems to be rather unsettling to the people who've seen the PC so far, none of who are techies... The pipes visible through the side window don't show any sign of motion,  and as the idea of a water-cooled computer is thoroughly unexpected to most people they don't see anything amiss. The activity in the reservoir, however, is unmistakably that of a fluid, and that seems to ring alarm bells... Water? A computer? Something's not right!  It's amusing to watch the reaction.  :-)

A pair of 12" cold cathodes fit perfectly at the sides of the drive bays, clearly showing how incredibly Swiss-cheese-like the front and rear panels are. This was the origin of my idea of a mesh side panel, but I wasn't expecting the water pipes to look so pretty and however interesting and unusual the mesh would look it might be a shame to hide the interior. In fact, I'm actually contemplating a second window in the bottom half of the panel instead, to show off the disk cooling system - although a mesh panel on the other side of the case might be worth exploring...

Infinity4 in its natural habitat... It took three months to plan, three days to build, and will probably take a year's worth of overtime to pay for. You will be glad to hear that right now I have absolutely no thoughts about the next version.

Thanks for looking - and if you have any queries, feel free to drop me a line.

Dominic C. Thomas
July 2005