PC Specialist Vortex Enforcer review

14 Jun 2011

Noise and heat put the brakes on a system that’s otherwise impressively fast and well built

Price when reviewed: 
1,139(£1,139 inc VAT)
5

PC Specialist has used Cooler Master’s CM Storm cases in the past, and with good reason. They combine keen styling with decent build quality, and the case that houses the Enforcer – which takes a starring role in its latest desktop package – is no different.

Its bulging front is divided into a bottom section, with plastic slats across meshed sections illuminated by red LEDs, and a top section housing a sturdy door.

Stylish fins set off the side panel’s window nicely, and the top offers a recessed storage area as well as a pair of USB 3 ports, two USB 2 sockets and 3.5 audio jacks. There’s a card reader behind the door too.

Interior

The side panels feel sturdy, and the impression of quality continues on the inside. This is finished in matte rather than bare steel, and has a raised motherboard tray, which has helped PC Specialist keep the system impeccably tidy. This is important, because the case isn’t the biggest available, and the lack of cable tangle and the compact CoolIT Eco A.L.C. water cooling unit ensure the Enforcer’s upgrade options are all easy to access.

PC Specialist Vortex Enforcer

There are two DIMM sockets free, which can handle an additional 24GB of DDR3 RAM, and the Asus P8P67 Pro motherboard provides pairs of PCI and PCI Express x16 sockets, one of which runs at 8x speed if two graphics cards are used. There’s also a spare PCI Express x1 slot.

Five vacant 3.5in hard disk bays face the side of the case for easy access, and there are also two free 5.25in bays equipped with tool-free clips. That’s a good amount of upgrade room.

Performance

The components inside this fine chassis have an equally impressive specification. Intel’s Core i5-2500K has been pushed right out of its mid-range comfort zone thanks to an overclock that hits 4.8GHz, and it’s accompanied by 8GB of RAM.

Details

Price ex VAT £949
Price inc VAT £1,139
Overall rating 5
Performance 5
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 5

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,000GB
RAM capacity 8.00GB
Screen size 24.0in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 3.30GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 4.80GHz
Processor socket LGA 1155
HSF (heatsink-fan) CoolIT ECO A.L.C.

Motherboard

Motherboard Asus P8P67 Pro
Motherboard chipset Intel P67
Conventional PCI slots free 2
Conventional PCI slots total 2
PCI-E x16 slots free 2
PCI-E x16 slots total 3
PCI-E x8 slots free 0
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots free 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots free 1
PCI-E x1 slots total 2
Internal SATA connectors 6
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 2
Memory sockets total 4

Graphics card

Graphics card Nvidia GeForce GTX 570
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce GTX 570
Graphics card RAM 1.00GB
DVI-I outputs 2
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 1
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Western Digital Caviar Black
Capacity 1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 931GB
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Cache size 32MB

Drives

Optical disc technology Blu-ray reader/DVD writer combo

Monitor

Monitor make and model Iiyama Prolite E2473HDS
Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Pixel response time 2ms
Contrast ratio 1,000:1
Screen brightness 300cd/m2
DVI inputs 1
HDMI inputs 2
VGA inputs 1
DisplayPort inputs 0

Additional Peripherals

Sound card Realtek HD Audio

Case

Chassis Cooler Master CM Enforcer
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 229 x 523 x 484mm (WDH)

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 2

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 8
FireWire ports 1
eSATA ports 1
PS/2 mouse port yes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 8

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 2
Front panel memory card reader yes

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard Logitech wireless MK250 keyboard and mouse

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 131W
Peak power consumption 520W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 196fps
3D performance setting Low
Overall Real World Benchmark score 1.13
Responsiveness score 1.07
Media score 1.18
Multitasking score 1.14