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Scan 3XS Node Titan review

Verdict

Titanic gaming power in a tiny package, matched by an equally huge and unpalatable price tag

Review Date: 29 Apr 2013

Reviewed By: Mike Jennings

Price when reviewed: £1,705 (£2,046 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
3 stars out of 6

Performance
6 stars out of 6

We're all for high-end PCs that push hardware boundaries, so we salivated when the Scan 3XS Z77 Node turned up in the Labs. It's built around the Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan, which is the world's most powerful single-core graphics card – and the most expensive, too, costing a mighty £800 inc VAT.

In fact, the Titan is so expensive, it alone costs more than most PCs, and shunts the price of this one up above £2,000. You cannot but be impressed by its specifications, though: it sports a huge 2,688 stream processors, a number that far surpasses the 1,536 of Nvidia's previous flagship card (the GTX 680); it packs in double the number of transistors, at a shade over seven billion; its 6GB of GDDR5 memory is more than we've ever seen soldered to a graphics card; and it uses a super-fast 384-bit memory interface. Only the core clock looks low, at 836MHz, but it's able to dynamically up that to 876MHz using Nvidia's GPU Boost feature.

Scan 3XS Node Titan

As a result, this Scan PC is a gaming beast, brushing aside our 3D benchmarks with effortless ease. Its score of 93fps in the 1,920 x 1,080 Very High quality Crysis test is a massive 18% faster than the Wired2Fire HAL 4000. It's enough to play any top title on any single monitor at its maximum settings, and there's enough grunt to handle demanding games across a trio of monitors.

An overclocked processor means the Scan doesn't just excel in our games benchmarks. The 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-3770K has been tweaked to run at 4.6GHz, and the 3XS romped through our application tests to a score of 1.25. That's on a par with the record-breaking Wired2Fire, which used an overclocked Core i5 chip.

Scan 3XS Node Titan

One area where the Scan's performance can't match its rival, though, is storage. The 3XS system's single 256GB Samsung 840 SSD can't compete with the Wired2Fore's twin SSDs arranged in RAID0. The Samsung drive returned sequential read and write results of 514MB/sec and 247MB/sec – the Wired2Fire scored 818MB/sec and 183MB/sec respectively.

Still, the Scan is one of the most powerful machines we've ever seen, which is even more impressive given that it's all been squeezed into Fractal Design's tiny Node 304 chassis. It's the same case used by the Wired2Fire, and it remains one of the most impressive small-form-factor enclosures on the market. The brushed aluminium front looks classy, and the plain metal side panels will withstand trips to LAN parties despite a little flex. The Scan's 10kg weight and modest dimensions make it easier to lug around than the average tower system.

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User comments

Power consumption

What' the powerconsumption like on this beast in comparison to your recent reviews of other monster systems?

By TigerUnleashed on 30 Apr 2013

RE: Power consumption

TigerUnleashed,

Thanks for the comment - I've now added this information to the review.

Mike

By Mikey_Jennings on 30 Apr 2013

Fast and hugely expensive...well at least till some nutter puts together a Tri-SLI Titan rig together for around 4K !!!!

:-)

By Jaberwocky on 30 Apr 2013

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