First thing that caught our eye was interesting round LED display that shows CPU temperatures in real time thanks to mounted temperature probe. Interesting was the fact that temperatures shown on this display were very close to those that showed in BIOS which in most cases is not the case. Besides CPU temperature this display can show current time and it can also be used for FAN RPM control. Black Fire is desktop configuration that can satisfy needs of even the most demanding users. Phenom II X4 920 with Deneb core that is made in 45nm manufacturing process combined with motherboard cannot satisfy extreme overclocker users beside the fact that CPU has good overclocking potential. Motherboard is solid MSI model based on AMD 790GX chipset but combined with cheaper SB700 southbridge which offers same performance levels with lower oveclocking potentials. Default Box cooler is used for CPU cooling so for anything more than 3.4GHz for CPU you will need to replace cooler with more efficient solution.
Interesting decision from Pakom was to include RAID 0 HDD system with this configuration. This is actually double-edged sword. Reliability of data is halved but performance levels are doubled compared to single HDD. Since Pakom used reliable and proved WD 3200AAKS reliability is not endangered too much. With regular backups you can eliminate all reliability problems even if they occur. This configuration is actually perfect for video editing since this kind of usage demands large HDD bandwidth. This RAID 0 system shows high data transfer rates but access time is like in a system with one HDD.
Power supply unit is 480W LC Power 4780 model that showed itself as reliable power source. 480W are enough for AMS’s quad-core CPU, ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card and two hard disks. Graphics card is signed by MSI.
This configuration comes in nice Codegen chassis with 400W power supply unit. Silver Light is based on same motherboard as Black Fire but with one HDD, triple-core CPU and ATI HD 4830 graphics card. Memory is asymmetrically configured in dual-channel mode: 2+1GB. Our opinion is that this should be changed because this memory configuration has bad influence on performance levels of whole configuration. It would be better to use 1+1GB and achieve lower price or go for 2+2GB with slightly higher price tag.
If we take a look at performance levels of Silver Light compared to Black Fire that has for 200€ higher price tag we will notice that performance levels are just slightly lower. Black Fire will offer better performances in 3D rendering applications but when games and video compression are scenarios where both configuration offer similar performance levels. For small performance differences in most cases is responsible HD 4830 that is just slightly slower than HD 4850 and only in higher resolutions.
Both configurations are solid workstations but also can be used for comfortable gaming and multimedia. Black Fire configuration earned InsideHW Approved Award because it offers slightly better performance levels with price tag around 640€ (without Windows Vista Home Premium) while Silver Light offers better price performance ratio (475€ without Windows Vista Home Premium). If you need better performances of hard disk, faster rendering and few FPS more in games than the Black Fire is right choice for you.