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Reviewed: Falcon Northwest Mach V with Triple Titan X Cards rips the lid off our gaming tests

Gordon Mah Ung | April 7, 2015
Americans love stats. Who has the greatest batting average of all time? (Ty Cobb.) Who was in the most James Bond movies and how many times? (Roger Moore, with six.) Can a gaming PC really cost $9,683? (Bleep yes!).

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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