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PC Specialist Vanquish X79 review

Verdict

Blistering speed across the board, cutting-edge parts and good build quality, although you pay for it both in cash and noise

Review Date: 20 Dec 2011

Reviewed By: Mike Jennings

Price when reviewed: £1,666 (£1,999 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Performance
6 stars out of 6

It only launched last month, but already PC Specialist’s Vanquish X79 is the third PC we’ve seen with a factory-fresh Intel Core i7-3930K processor in its LGA 2011 socket. It’s already a monster, but here it’s overclocked from its stock speed of 3.2GHz to 4.6GHz – not quite the highest we’ve seen, but still a mouth-watering prospect.

Last month we saw the Scan 3XS Velocity X79 SLI Extreme and Chillblast Fusion Photo OC IV both running at 4.7GHz, and they scored 1.34 and 1.39 in our benchmarks. The PC Specialist finished just behind them with an overall 1.31. Don’t let that gap put you off: by all other standards it’s a stupendously fast PC, and it excelled itself in the intensive video and 3D-rendering segments of our tests, with individual results of 1.91 and 1.83.

Like the Scan, this PC packs a pair of Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 cards. They’re not overclocked to the same degree as Scan’s cards – the 775MHz core is here boosted to 783MHz, rather than 797MHz – but it’s a pairing that packs a punch. An average of 85fps in our Very High quality Crysis test makes it one of the fastest gaming PCs we’ve seen below two grand.

PC Specialist Vanquish X79

The third limelight-hogging component is the SSD. Kingston’s Hyper X offers a middling 120GB of capacity, but performance is superb: large-file write and read speeds of 485MB/sec and 451MB/sec are faster than every SSD in our recent Ultimate PC Labs. Its small-file write and read results of 115MB/sec and 44MB/sec are slower, but still ahead of most SSDs. Alongside it, PC Specialist has gone for the standard 1TB hard disk, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a Blu-ray drive.

It’s all packaged into a familiar case, too. The Corsair Carbide 400R is tall and matte black, an undeniable head-turner, even if the build quality is slightly disappointing. There’s a bit of give in the bulging side panels, and the meshing at the front of the machine could be stronger.

But it’s far better on the inside. Cables are kept out of sight behind the motherboard tray, others are lashed down with cable ties, and the few spares that emerge from the 850W power supply are neatly bundled beneath the hard disk cages. Three side-facing and tool-free hard disk bays lie vacant, and although they’re flimsy, they do contain rubber mounts to absorb vibrations.

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User comments

And the Rest of the Bits?

I presume from the comments about getting a set of speakers that these are extra, and from the fact that there is no mention of keyboard, mouse and screen I assume that these come as extras as well?

By johnfair4 on 20 Dec 2011

Well, you'd hardly expect to get a screen, mouse and keyboard as well for a mere £2K, would you!

By JohnGray7581 on 20 Dec 2011

For £2K+ id expect gold plated speakers mouse and keyboard.

By curiousclive on 20 Dec 2011

THX Sound and Extras

If your gonna splash out on the latest high spec system the chances are that you will have a good THX sound system to go with your new toy.
At least a 24" screen, pro gaming keyboard and a pro mouse. otherwise that high spec is wasted.
Ideally 3 screens with this kind of PC.

By siddallj on 20 Dec 2011

A single 570 can handle max settings at 1080x1920 so if you're buying this for a single screen you're wasting money.

By mikes87 on 21 Dec 2011

This machine obviously calls for

water cooling, which shouldn't be a problem with the Corsair 400R case. That should effectively put «p» to the noise problem mentioned by Mike - I'm surprised the builder doesn't offer this option as default....

Henri

By mhenriday on 22 Dec 2011

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