For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Seasonic Power Angel. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers, we measured the peak wattage used by the system while running 3dMark Vantage.
There is nothing too out of the ordinary here. At idle we see relatively low power for a powerful gaming system. At full load you can see that the system is drawing a fair amount of power. Just turn off all the lights to offset the power use; the LANShark will provide plenty of light from the LED fans and Cold Cathode Light!
So what can we say about this beauty from Smooth Creations? For the intended audience it’s great. If you appreciate art or really want a departure from the norm for your next gaming PC, Smooth Creations’ LANShark is one to keep on your short list. However the one thing I’ve left out until now is the price. At $2,537 this is not an inexpensive machine, but it really isn’t an incredible amount of money over the sum of its parts. When you consider the amount of work that’s been put in, the 1 year warranty on the parts, and the lifetime warranty on the paint (excludes scratching and chipping of course) it really isn’t a bad price if you’re in the market for a system you don’t put together yourself.
Just to get an idea of the quality here, I decided to have a close friend of mine check out the work. He knows a thing or two about paint as he has won numerous car show awards for his custom ride. He was impressed by the work and thought that it was up to the quality that he would expect from an expert.
Something we haven’t covered is that the LANShark can be painted however you want. Smooth Creations has a “Broodling” themed LANShark on their website that looks incredibly intimidating. Each case that leaves the shipping door at Smooth Creations is done in-house — it’s not done by an auto body shop down the street, so you know the quality will be there.
For those of you like me who don’t mind getting your hands dirty putting a new machine together but lack the time and skill required to custom paint your PC, Smooth Creations can take care of you as well. A number of their cases can be purchased from NCIX.
To say that this system is perfect would be incorrect. There are a couple of things that stuck out at me, one of which may have just been something that only affects our test machine. Our first gripe is that because this is a mATX system and 4870 1GB CrossFire cards are installed; it leaves no room for a sound card which leaves you with on-board audio. While on-board audio has come a long way, having a discrete card is one of the best gaming upgrades you can make. Perhaps going for a single 4870X2 instead of a pair of 4870 1GB’s would be a better option… nothing like having your cake and eating it too.
The second issue we had was with the backplate. As you can see in the photo above this appears to be the correct backplate for this board but the extra “flashing” for the second LAN port and the Firewire port were removed. Since this board has only one LAN port and no Firewire it leaves two empty spots in the back of the system. It’s only frustrating when you put your LAN cable in the wrong hole and have to fish it back out.
Again, this may be something that would only be seen on an evaluation system but it is something that should not be overlooked. With that said, it wraps up the good and the bad. We hope that you have enjoyed a look at something a little different than our norm.
Legit Bottom Line: Smooth Creations has one cool gaming rig in their LANShark. With a machine like this you’ll be the envy of many at your next LAN.