Monarch G64 Enterprise Custom Opteron31 Oct, 2003 By: Ron LaFon
Monarch Computer Systems
4.5 stars out of 5
Monarch Computer Systems is a vendor new to our roundups, though it has built systems since 1991. Monarch offers a variety of systems and configuration options. The G64 Enterprise Custom Opteron Workstation sent for evaluation is based on dual AMD Opteron 246 64-bit microprocessors. The motherboard is based on the AMD 8000 chipset with 2GB of registered ECC/PC2700 RAM installed (8GB maximum).
Monarchs custom Opteron system offers good performance.
Two 120GB Western Digital WD1200JD hard disks were installed in a RAID configuration for a total of 240GB of hard disk space. The system was housed in a slightly squat flat-black Lian-Li minitower case with a swing-away drive bay door. The case seems very solid and attractive. Two USB connectors are located at the bottom front of the case. A cordless Mx Duo Logitech keyboard/mouse combination is included with the system.
The installed video card is the speedy NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000, which features 256MB of integrated RAM.
There is much to like about Monarchs G64 Enterprise Custom Opteron Workstation, and indeed it received excellent scores in many areas. Our primary problems lie with company policy rather than the system itself. One element of our evaluation is vendor return policy and restocking fee. When queried on this, Monarch Computer Systems responded, Under normal policy, custom systems are not returnable for refund. A 15% restocking fee applies to other products.
Monarchs warranty is 12 months standard, with a 36-month option for $199. Twelve-month coverage for any system, especially an expensive workstation, is meager. Adding in extra warranty coverage to bring the coverage up to three years keeps the pricing in the range for an A grade, but having to buy additional coverage not included with the base system means an A- for its warranty grade. If you add the warranty, the system price is $5,898.