Armari Magnetar S18H-AW1050 Review – This time, we have Armari’s spin on the concept, in the shape of the Magnetar S18H-AW1050. It’s a similar system in many ways, but introduces yet another new piece of technology – PCI Express storage.
The Armari’s core specification is close to the InterPro’s; the eight-core processor supplied is the same Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme, which is currently top of the range. This has a nominal frequency of 3GHz, which Intel’s Turbo Boost would normally improve upon depending on the situation. However, as usual for a Core i7 workstation, Armari has permanently enhanced the frequency, although not quite as much as InterPro. Instead of 4.4GHz, the Magnetar runs at 4.2GHz, because Armari considers this to be stable and fully able to last for the full three years of the system warranty, and beyond. Armari also only supplied 32GB of memory with our sample, but again this is the new ultra-fast 2,133MHz DDR4 variety, support for which has arrived alongside the new Haswell-E processors. With Intel Hyper-Threading on hand to turn the eight real cores into 16 virtual ones, this is still going to be a monster machine for rendering.
Armari has opted for Nvidia for graphics acceleration, and again like InterPro, the card chosen is the recently released Quadro K4200, the latest spin on the Kepler architecture. The K4200 has a very healthy 1,344 CUDA cores running at 780MHz, alongside 4GB of GDDR5 memory with 173GB/sec bandwidth, so it’s not far off the abilities of the previous high-end Quadro K5000 from 2012. Storage takes the usual workstation route of a solid state disk for operating system and applications, alongside a conventional hard disk for more general data capacity. However, here Armari goes one better than InterPro, using a PCI Express M.2 SSD instead of the normal SATA (see boxout below). The Samsung XP941 SSD supplied has a very healthy 512GB capacity of the fastest storage type currently available, and there’s a 2TB Seagate Constellation CS 7,200rpm SATA hard disk for less performance sensitive data, plus a LiteOn Blu-ray reader and DVD writer.
Thanks to the slightly less aggressive processor frequency enhancement, the Armari system is slightly behind the InterPro in some areas of performance, but not by much. The Maxon Cinebench rendering results of 18.14 in R11.5 and 1,648 in R15 are still amazing for a single-socket system.
Overall, the Armari Magnetar S18H-AW1050 is a very capable machine whether you’re modelling or rendering. The price is about ten per cent higher than the InterPro, and there’s half the RAM, but the SSD is faster and the warranty is slightly better too. So it’s tough to choose between the two, with the InterPro winning on value but the Armari offering faster storage.
Armari Magnetar S18H-AW1050 Specifications
- 3GHz Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme frequency enhanced to 4.2GHz
- 32GB 2,133MHz DDR4 SDRAM
- Nvidia Quadro K4200 graphics with 4GB GDDR5 memory
- 512GB Samsung XP941 PCI Express M.2 SSD
- 2TB Seatage Constellation CS 7,200rpm HD
- LiteOn DH-4O3S-o4-B Blu-ray DVD-RW