Steiger Dynamics Era Reference Desktop Review

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sargentchimera

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Apr 29, 2009
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I'm generally one willing to pay extra for convenience, style, and interesting or even gimmicky features, but this is priced far too high. My system outperforms it on every level and is only worth around $1500, with nearly half of that being the 1080ti. I've bought from boutiques before I started building my own but this feels far higher than normal.
 

Rob1C

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Jun 2, 2016
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It's 2x too expensive.

Better off with something like the Asrock H110-STX MXM micro-STX Motherboard and a suitable case.

That can take an MXM Mobile PCIe Graphics Card (like Laptops use) and up to an i7.
 

e-z e

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Jul 19, 2012
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Always love seeing Steiger builds, if I had the resources that's the way I'd do it. Wish you guys had grabbed a few temperature measurements along the way. SFF and OC can be tricky on air.
 

the nerd 389

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Nov 20, 2012
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It certainly would have been nice if you'd measured the sound pressure/power level of the unit. It's supposed to be a key selling point of this model, and yet there's no attempt to test the claim that it's quiet.

With other types of products that place an emphasis on acoustics, you tend to encounter a trend where the price of a product doubles for every 6-10 dB reduction in noise. (After a certain point, of course. The first 10-15 dB of reduction tends to be pretty cheap compared to the rest of a product.) That could have justified the otherwise ludicrous price they're asking for.

That strikes me as pretty unusual for a Tom's review. I expect more from you guys.
 

Giroro

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Jan 22, 2015
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What is with the ridiculous HDMI cable hanging out the back of the case? is that some kind of joke, or does their front HDMI panel seriously work that way?
 

Sarreq Teryx

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Feb 25, 2015
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For all the style points on the exterior, I have to take away a ton of brownie point for that interior, and all those $49 each "extras" mentioned should be standard. It looks totally messy and unprofessional, and certainly not worthy of "Premium" or "Reference". You're paying for the brand name, rather than a good system.
And I don't mean from an aesthetics standpoint, either. That GPU is half out of it's PCIe slot, and doesn't seem to be screwed in, from the pics. those cables could have easily have been customized, AT LEAST in length, if not going further by using smaller gauge silicone insulated cables, and maybe custom reduced size ATX connectors to better fit into the case (seeming the reason the GPU is crooked). They could have used a custom SFF or server PSU as well. This just looks lazy.
 

Brian_R170

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Jun 24, 2014
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Not including the case, it looks like around $1500 in parts at prices an individual consumer would pay. Typical consumer-electronics retail prices are 2x the BOM cost, so a price of $3K might seem expensive, but it isn't really out of line.
 

islane

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Feb 25, 2016
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That recessed, half-covered, crooked (!) GPU mounting is inexcusable at this price. I'm not the target audience for this, but I think even someone who isn't a DIY builder could look at this and see that something isn't right.
 

steiger_dynamics

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Sep 12, 2017
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Thanks for your comment! Not sure how you came up with $1,500... The exact system as tested by Tom's Hardware costs US$ 2,361 (based on lowest PCPartPicker and google search prices). This gives us a margin of exactly 20% which is way below the industry average (around 30%). In our opinion and given the amount of work that goes into it, a very fair deal.
 

steiger_dynamics

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Sep 12, 2017
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It's a front HDMI passthrough and the only way to realize this is by having it come out of the back. All internal solutions would require a custom graphics card PCB (like Zotac has) which wouldn't be upgradable. our ERA unit is 100% upgradable at any given time.
 

steiger_dynamics

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Sep 12, 2017
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Thanks for you constructive criticism! We can't really agree with you on the cabling though: ERA is a closed system with no glass lid option so there is simply no requirement for aesthetics-focused cabling (please take a look at our LEET and MAVEN HTPCs if that's a must have). Emphasis on the ERA has been quietness, durability and pricing. Our cable management is as neat as possible and needs be flexible enough to work with PSUs with different power ratings and cable characteristics.

As for the graphics card mounting: The angle as pictured is definitely not normal. Thanks for pointing this out. We will be investigating this with Tom's Hardware.

 
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