The Falcon Northwest RAK edition that we had to test over the summer was absolutely awesome. This Intel Xeon W-3400 series system is not what you would get from a conservative company like HP, Dell, or Lenovo. Instead, it is a system designed to maximize Intel Xeon W-3400 series performance. Let us get to it.
Falcon Northwest RAK Video Overview
The Falcon Northwest RAK was featured in our big and quiet server/ workstation video as the top-end solution featured third.
If you want to see more on the workstation, and a comparison to other options, check it out there. As always, we advise watching this in its own tab, browser, or YouTube app for the best viewing experience.
Falcon Northwest RAK Intel Xeon W-3400 External Hardware Overview
The “RAK” is a 4U rackmount case, with a difference. The 4U rackmount is designed to be short-depth, and quiet. In the video above, we discuss how the original thought was that the system was going to be an absolute screamer. Upon firing up, Bryan #2 ran to my office in a state of shock that it was not.
Part of that is what is behind the light-up Falcon Northwest logo cover. Here we have some front I/O but most importantly, two giant fans.
Pulling off the dust cover, we can see two large Noise Blocker Fans.
The noise blocker fans sandwich the front-mounted radiator while still allowing enough room for the NVIDIA RTX 4090 inside. While the closed-loop liquid cooling solution is Silverstone, it does not appear to be an off-the-shelf solution and Falcon Northwest is using its own fans.
The system comes standard with rack ears. The case itself looks a lot like the Silverstone RM42-502 so you should be able to use RMS06-22 or RMS07-20 rack rails with it. Of course, Falcon Northwest would normally just sell compatible rails if that is required.
On the rear of the system, we get a big power supply to the left, fans on top, the rear I/O panel on the bottom, and then expansion slots to the right.
Since the system is built around the ASUS Pro WS W790E SAGE SE motherboard, we get a great rear I/O panel including many USB Type-A and Type-C ports, audio out, and even two 10Gbase-T NICs for 10GbE and a dedicated management NIC for out-of-band management. Something that we found with this system and the ASUS platform, as compared with some others on the market is that this can be someone’s primary workstation today, but then can transition to a server role with rack-mounted GPUs for AI inference or just as a rendering server later.
The power supply is a massive 1.6kW 80Plus Platinum unit. This system can be tuned to either be tame on power or use a lot of power depending on a user’s needs.
Even the fans on the rear are Noiseblocker fans, a huge upgrade to the stock Silverstone setup.
With that, let us get inside the system.