Armari Magnetar CXI-AD1000: An exceptionally competent workstation

A phenomenally quick Core i9 workstation that's well worth considering if performance is your most important factor

The Armari Magnetar workstation

IT Pro Verdict


  • +

    Speedy Intel Core i9 processor


    Armari's Magnetar CXI-AD1000 shows what the 12th gen Intel Core i9 can deliver when optimised. The range-topping 12900KS variant here offers a 3.4GHz base clock for the eight P-cores with a 5.5GHz Thermal Velocity Boost frequency, while the eight E-cores can jump from 2.5GHz to 4GHz in the Max Turbo mode.

    Armari gives the chip two speed-oriented partners in both the Asus ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming motherboard and 64GB of DDR5 5,200MHz memory. These come as two 32GB DIMMs, leaving two slots free for expansion up to the motherboard's 128GB maximum.

    Graphics acceleration comes in the form of the PNY Nvidia Quadro RTX A4500. This combines a considerable 7,168 CUDA cores with 20GB of GDDR6 memory offering 640GB/sec bandwidth. This will be a great GPU for visualisation with excellent ability for co-processing acceleration.

    Only one storage device has been included, although the 2TB Western Digital SN850 offers enough capacity unless you perform activities with heavy media usage. It's one of the faster M.2 PCI-E Gen 4 units, with 6,959MB/sec sustained reading in CrystalDiskMark 8 and 4,919MB/sec writing. If you need more storage, the Asus motherboard offers three more M.2 slots, while the Fractal Design Meshify 2 chassis supports up to 14 drives, although only six mounts are included as standard.

    Armari Magnetar face on

    In the PC Pro benchmarks, this system delivered one of the fastest overall scores we have seen of 684, with just 32-core and 64-core AMD Ryzen Threadrippers ahead of it. The Cinebench R23 result of 28,167 shows just how much multi-threaded power this CPU has, despite only half its cores supporting Hyper-Threading.

    In SPECviewperf 2020, the Quadro RTX A4500 graphics pushed this workstation to 160 in 3dsmax-07 and 495 in maya-06, showing excellent 3D animation modelling power. For more industrial activities such as CAD, engineering and product design, the system is equally adept. It delivered 129 in catia-06, 190 in creo-03, 469 in snx-04 and 299 in solidworks-05. And a LuxMark 3.1 score of 13,641 illustrates how great the A4500 is for GPU-accelerated rendering workloads as well.

    The Armari Magnetar CXI-AD1000 is an exceptionally competent £4,500 workstation. The only thing to add would be secondary media storage if your work demands it. Otherwise, this system will despatch content creation workloads with ease.

    James Morris

    Dr James Morris has worked as a technology journalist for over 25 years, including spending nine years on the staff of market-leading computer magazine PC Pro, the last five of which were as the publication’s editor. He specialises in enterprise-grade software and hardware, with a particular focus on content creation. He launched a pioneering video channel for in 2006 and ran the video reviews channel for for four years. He also runs a successful online digital content and commercial video production company, t-zero communications Ltd.

    Dr Morris is a prolific technology writer and contributes commercial content for major IT brands including AMD, BlackBerry, Dell, Cognizant, HP, and IBM. He published a book on artificial intelligence, Can Computers Create Art? in 2009. He is also an academic, and is currently Pathway Director of the MA, Interactive Journalism at City, University of London.

    Previously, he was course leader for the BA in Web Media Production at Ravensbourne University. He has a PhD in Philosophy, Art and Social Thought from the European Graduate School in Switzerland, a Master's in Media Arts from the New School in New York, USA, and a Bachelor's in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics.

    Dr. Morris can be found on Twitter at @Cyberwest, or emailed at