So, how old school am I? Well, how about analog temperature gauges? That's right:She wears glasses!
My overall impression is astonishment. The performance delta between my prior workstation and this behemoth is massive. Windows 7 Professional boots in thirteen seconds with stock settings. The Samsung 830 striped set simply rips through all application and scratch storage requests.
Launching Photoshop CS6-64 takes place in two eye-blinks, with every window and floating panel appearing in less than two seconds. The Adobe OpenCL graphics engine manipulates dozens of massive RAW images in memory with ease, instantly rendering 3D effects, rotations, etc.
Running six cores with 32GB of RAM enables instantaneous switching between several Adobe editing and affects packages (Premiere, Encore, After Effects, etc.) that are all configured at maximum performance setting levels, even while working with very large video and photo projects. Performance within each application is superb. The Western Digital RE4 striped arrays transfer several hundred GBs of HD footage at nearly twice the throughput of my prior rig, providing uninterrupted editing of two HD timelines, each assigned a dedicated RAID0 set. Final encoding times should drop dramatically using this workstation!
Given the traditional air-cooled approach with high-performance components, idle state temperatures are amazingly good across the board. The room temperature is 22C. Inside the Cosmos II, the main upper chamber is one degree warmer at 23C. The lower storage chamber is a half-degree higher at 22.5C. The XFX Double Dissipation and Ghost air cooling technologies idle both video cards at 30C with a standard 20% fan level, rather astonishing considering both cards ship with over-clocked processors (1000 MHz) and VRAM (1425 MHz). Equally impressive, perhaps even more so, the Noctua NH-D14 heat-pipe and BeQuiet! PWM fan configuration do an amazing job quietly cooling the 3960X, with all six cores idling between 28C and 37C, an average core temperature of exactly 31.8C. Although the BeQuiet! fans provide a 1-db decrease in fan noise, the trade-off is they push about 10% less air compared to the Noctua fans. I suspect if I switched back to the stock Noctua fans the average core temperature would drop by about 10 percent to below 30C.