The AMG of computers

I was asked once again to review the new Cerise Workstation, and I knew from my prior review (a few years ago) that this machine would be a great performer, well put together, and set up for maximum production, but I was still surprised when it arrived.

Let me start by saying it's a performance workstation, so it's not small by any means. You'll need a bit of space for it; but it's well worth making room for. As for the surprise, the new case is simply a work of art in both design and functionality! It's a sleek silver case that has all of the ports on top (no bending down to plug in drives, headphones, or microphones), and even the monitor and speaker cables are channeled through the unique case for a top-mount solution. Okay, I know that sounds a bit odd, but this allows the boards to be mounted in the most efficient way, and lets the fans push air through the case to keep everything nice and cool (including your workspace). This also keeps the machine running whisper quiet. Unlike many other machines of this caliber, it doesn't sound like a jet taking off when you hit the power button. It has to be the quietest machine I've ever heard, and that alone helps when recording tutorials and videos.

But why did I call this the "AMG" of computers? As with the Mercedes-AMG (the high-performance brand of the Mercedes Car Group), each machine is handled from start to finish by one technician, which ensures the utmost quality control for every workstation. Each piece is matched to the client's specs and maximized for the client's usage needs, so no one-box-fits-all mentality here. And it really shows in the quality and performance of this machine!

I threw them a bit of a curveball, because I use my workstation for photography, video, animation, and graphics—a challenge, for sure. I needed a very fast processor that's quick and responsive to get my photos into Lightroom and work in Adobe Photoshop. I needed to import video, working heavily on the timeline. And, I needed to be able to work in Maya to create models and short animation sequences. So what would the company come up with? Well, to be honest, something very impressive.

Everyone knows that you need speed and processing power to be productive, so it starts with the horsepower, provided by the 6-Core Intel i7 Sandy Bridge (3.2-3.8 GHz Turbo) processor with 32 GB of RAM, which really puts the "power to the pavement." Add to this a 480-GB SATA III Solid State drive for the Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit operating system and programs, and then you have the ultimate machine for speed! And it doesn't disappoint.

But it doesn't stop there. I needed storage too, and it comes with three 1-TB, 7200-RPM, 64-MB cache drives with a RAID Controller card for all of my multimedia editing. Next, I needed a graphics card that will keep up with all of this, so they added the GeForce GTX 580 with 1.5 GB of DDR5 RAM that has HDCP-ready SLI support. That means I can use my HDMI-compatible monitors with this "monster."

They also included a 27″ Samsung Widescreen LED monitor that's mated perfectly to this setup. I know this is a lot, but there's more: It includes a Blu-Ray burner/player for maximum flexibility for my output formats, four USB-3 ports, six USB-2 ports, one FireWire 800, and surround-sound capable audio.

For the price and capabilities, the Cerise Workstation is definitely a machine worth considering for your workspace. They can set you up with a box that meets all of your needs, not something that's made for the masses.

Company:  Cerise Computers, LLC
Price: $5,940 (with 27″ monitor)
Rating: 5
Hot:  Horsepower; solid-state drive; design; RAID
Not:  Price is up there