MCAD Tech News (#360)

9 Apr, 2014 By: Cadalyst Staff

First Look Review: Digital Storm Slade PRO

Attention to detail is evident in the design and construction of this high-end workstation.

By Art Liddle

Highly Recommended

This review is Cadalyst Labs' first look at a workstation from Digital Storm. The company, founded in 2002, is based in Fremont, California, just a few miles from the heart of Silicon Valley. The company's website touts the stability and up-to-date technology of its products — two key features to look for in any new workstation. As you will read, we found that Digital Storm delivers on both promises.

Upon opening the shipping box of the Digital Storm Slade PRO, we were immediately struck by the interesting method of securing the workstation: a thin-film membrane stretched between the sides of the box, supporting the system from above and below. This flexible, yet sturdy material carefully cradles the merchandise, mitigating the bumps and shocks of the shipping process. This fine attention to detail was evident not just in the packaging, but in every aspect of the workstation itself.

Digital Storm Slade PROSystem Features

Digital Storm built the Slade PRO around an ASUS Sabertooth 79 motherboard (P9X79 PRO), powered by an Intel 3.4-GHz i7 4930K processor (six cores, twelve threads). Paired with Intel's Turbo Boost 2.0 automatic overclocking technology, the CPU's clock speed ramps up to a maximum 4.4 GHz, based on system demand, the number of active cores, current power consumption, and its internal temperature. After assembly, Digital Storm performs a 72-hour stress test on each workstation to verify that everything works as it should.

A Corsair H100 sealed liquid-cooling system (complete with radiator) keeps the CPU operating at acceptable temperatures. This is augmented with a total of five 4-3/4" system fans located in strategic locations in the case. In addition, the graphics card, power supply, and motherboard each have integrated fans. The front vents are angled for noise reduction and the ventilation screens include magnetic dust filters that you can easily remove and wash. The system runs cool and considering all the fans, it's surprisingly quiet. Read more »

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Art Liddle is a former editor-in-chief of Cadalyst.


AMD Continues Professional Graphics Push with FirePro W9100

The new flagship of AMD's professional GPU offerings is part of the company's effort to diversify its customer base.

By Cadalyst Staff

This week, AMD launched its FirePro W9100 professional graphics processing unit (GPU), intended for use in workstations running design, engineering, and video production applications. The new release is based on the Graphics Core Next GPU architecture, which is designed to balance compute and 3D workloads.

During a March webcast previewing the release, Matt Skynner, corporate vice-president and general manager of AMD's graphics business unit, explained that AMD is undergoing a transformation of its market strategy. The goal (as illustrated in the AMD presentation slide below) is to transition away from a heavy emphasis on traditional PC solutions toward a balance with high-growth markets, including professional graphics. Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Manufacturing the Future with 3D Printing 2.0
Through August 29, 2014
Various cities
These seminars, hosted by 3D Systems resellers in the U.S. and around the globe, will demonstrate how the company's 3DPRINTING 2.0 initiative can help accelerate design-to-manufacturing workflows. Read more »

Increase Quality, Safety, and Reliability with Simulation
April 16, 2014
2 p.m. ET
In this Fisher/Unitech webinar, attendees can learn how to reduce material usage while maintaining quality and factors of safety by using integrated simulation tools such as optimization and fatigue analysis in SolidWorks Simulation Professional. Read more »

Zuken Innovation World 2014
April 28–30, 2014
Dearborn, Michigan
This year's Zuken conference theme is Power of Innovation. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What’s New at

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Give Your CAD/BIM Systems the Dog Food Test
If your software systems aren't good enough for your own use, they're not good enough for your users either. Read more »

AutoCAD 2015 Designed to Fine-Tune Workflows
Updates to AutoCAD 2015 are geared toward optimization — helping you do your job, not trying to change how you work. Read more »

Autodesk Welcomes Spring with AutoCAD 2015 and Updated Suites
In addition to new capabilities and interface refinements, AutoCAD now offers more purchase flexibility with monthly, quarterly, and annual subscription plans. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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