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iBuyPower Chimera Inferno 4 Review

danielrbischoff By:
GENRE Hardware 

It took me a while to get used to it.

Since early 2007, I've been using an Apple MacBook Pro for everything. I did homework, I wrote reviews, I uploaded videos, I started a job, another job, and another job. Here I am. Did I play games on it? Sure! The ability to boot a Windows partition off the internal hard drive was one of the things that attracted me to the MacBook Pro in the first place.

Still, there was something lacking. Team Fortress 2, Portal, even Bioshock ran fine for quite some time, but... then it started. Team Fortress 2's updates grew larger and larger. More and more hats had to be accounted for. My MacBook Pro couldn't keep up, much less run Crysis. I grew further out of PC gaming, but iBuyPower scooped me up and saved me from a fate worse than paying to play online.

The iBuyPower Chimera Inferno 4 is every bit of gaming machine I wanted, plus has the extra oomph needed to future proof the system against the onslaught of high-end PC games in the market today. When Battlefield 3 landed on my doorstep, the Chimera was there. When Crysis 2 was on sale on Steam, the Chimera was there. When I heard about that indie title only available on Steam, the Chimera was there.

And it feels like it'll be there for me for quite some time. It certainly helps that the next generation Intel Core i7 3690K processor is loaded up and ready. Paired with a solid-state drive, the i7 loads anything and everything an some incredible speeds.

A little iBuyPower overclocking magic never hurt anyone either. Thanks go to the engineers for pairing it with an Asus P9X79 Deluxe motherboard too. The two component really combine to give owners the option to play their PC games on anything and everything they could think of.

Truly, the killing blow to any games, applications, or hardcore Excel spreadsheets I've thrown at the Chimera Inferno 4 is the 16 GB of DDR3-1600 memory and the Nvidia GeForce GTX590 video card. Just for sh**s and giggles, I decided to hook the Inferno 4 up to a 55" Samsung TV to play Battlefield 3 multiplayer.

Needless to say couch gaming never looked so good. There's something about the Chimera 4 that just makes you feel better about yourself. It probably won't help you get chicks, and you won't be any better looking for it, but your games will certainly benefit from every inch of power this rig can put out.

The best part about the Chimera Inferno 4 is the scalability. There's plenty of room in the case for upgrades whenever they might be needed (a long time from now), but when you buy your rig from iBuyPower you can pick select components.

Oh, and did I mention how incredibly silent this rig is? With egg-shell-esque padding muffling the whirring of drives and the spinning of discs on the inside, and a uniquely flowing design built right into the rig, I never heard a peep from the Inferno 4. It got to a point where I tried experimenting with different processes, just so I could hear anything above a whisper of the fans. Even burning a CD while running Battlefield 3 multiplayer at maximum resolution and settings did little to raise the rig's volume.

Everyone told me that the beauty of building a PC gaming rig yourself is that you'll know every component inside and out. You'll be able to recite every piece of hardware you hand selected. The beauty of working with iBuyPower was that I still got to nitpick, without the "plug it all in, wait for it to boot up, it's not booting up goddammit. Why isn't booting up?" box-everything-up-and-take-it-back-to-Fry's bull sh**.

That said, you will pay for the comfort, security, and power in the Chimera Inferno. As daunting as that may seem, you'll hardly remember the price tag when you're zipping around Karkand in a jet, pull noobs down out of the sky with heat seeking missiles. And even though the investment is a sizeable one, it'll pay off when you don't need to upgrade for a few years, and, even once you do, you can add a second graphics card in SLI or Crossfire with one of the Inferno's many expansion slots.

When all is said and done, I'll be extremely sorry to see the iBuyPower Chimera Inferno 4 return home to the engineers. I'd better get a few more hours of Crysis 2 and Metro 2033 on maximum settings before it's back to the slideshow simulator on my MacBook Pro.

Hardware provided by the manufacturer.

iBuyPower Chimera Inferno 4
  • Power in a box
  • As future proof as PC gaming is going to get
  • Seductively quiet
  • A hefty price tag
  • But plenty of scalability
  • ... plenty of room for expansion
  • ... and you won't even think of it when you've got it hooked up to your big screen.
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