Ryse: Son of Rome is another GPU-crushing game. It doesn't have a built-in benchmark mode, so I played through the game a little to see how the frame rate would react playing at 4K and set to Ultra. For the most part the frame rate stayed in the mid- to high 80s, which is still well above the magic threshold of 60 fps to appear smooth without resorting to a G-sync or Freesync panel.
The Mach V is obviously aimed at gamers, but few gamers I know are exclusive to gaming. Most also edit photos and video and use their PC for general tasks. With its 8-core Haswell-E Core i7-5960X overclocked to 4.3GHz, the Mach V isn't going to seem slow, but it won't be the fastest thing on the planet by a long shot.
In fact, the AVA Direct i7 X99 rig that cost almost half as much as the Mach V actually managed to outpace it in our Handbrake Encoding test. This isn't the only test where the AVA Direct beat the Mach V, either: The AVA Direct also outran it in PC Mark 8's Work conventional test. In that test, of course, once you're above a certain performance floor Word doesn't ever get "faster." The encoding test is a surprise, though, because the AVA Direct wasn't overclocked as heavily.
So where does this leave the Falcon? The most obvious two points: Damn, it's fast for a gaming box. And, of course, damn it's expensive too. Boutique PC builders have always demanded a premium, though. For those who can even think to pay for a machine with this hardware, it's not too pricey.
It's like the old adage goes: If you need to ask how much, you can't afford it. That can be said of the Mach V too, except its $9,683 actually isn't that crazy. With each Titan X costing a solid grand, you're already at a third of the price just in the graphics cards alone. And don't forget the beautiful paint job.
I do have a few criticisms. I miss the hard drive, although as a custom builder, Falcon will sell you all the hard drives you want. It likely doesn't include a high-capacity drive here because it didn't want to crack the psychological $10,000 mark.
More importantly, is it too much to ask for custom liquid cooling? Granted, it isn't available for the new Titan X cards yet and isn't as leak-resistant as closed-loop coolers, but it's starting to become the norm on high-end rigs.
The Falcon Northwest Mach V Icon2 is freaking expensive, but for that price you're relieved of the burden of turning down any in a game. Knowing that it's from the company that literally build the gaming PC category, you've got guts and gravitas to spare.
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