Scan 3XS Z170 Performance GTK4 Review

Manufacturer: Scan
UK price (as reviewed):
£1,091.57
US price (as reviewed): N/A

Scan's 3XS systems are well known in the SI space, although it's been a very long time indeed since we've had one in our labs. When it launched a couple of weeks back, the AMD Radeon RX 480 proved to be a pretty decent card on the price-performance scale and as such has quickly found its way into systems such as this one. The Z170 Performance GTK4 was originally designed as a £999 system, but the pound's recent turmoil means it now costs closer to £1,100. Still, this is something that's affecting all UK retailers. For this price, Scan has devised a system that should be very potent indeed when gaming at 1080p, and should offer a fair bit of punch at 1440p too.

Scan 3XS Z170 Performance GTK4 Review Scan 3XS Z170 Performance GTK4 Review
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The heart of the system is the Asus Z170-P motherboard. Retailing for around £100, it's towards the low-end of Z170 parts, so features you may be used to seeing in our motherboard reviews aren't present. For example, while we do like the presence of a USB Type-C connector, it is limited here to USB 3.0 speeds. The onboard audio is also fairly basic – you get the Realtek ALC887 codec and only three 3.5mm jacks on the rear I/O panel. Still, for anyone focused on gaming these aren't likely to be major issues, and the alternative Asus motherboards offered by the configurator have upgrades to the USB and/or audio should you need it. Alternatively, you can select any Z170 motherboard you like from Scan's website.

Scan 3XS Z170 Performance GTK4 Review
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The Core i5-6600K is the go-to choice for gaming PCs. Its four Skylake cores will be adequate for the vast majority of titles, and the -K suffix means it can be overclocked to alleviate CPU bottlenecks. Scan takes full advantage of this, as the CPU comes overclocked to a tasty 4.6GHz using, in our system, a vcore of 1.35V in adaptive mode. The 16GB of Corsair memory at 3,000MHz is another solid choice – you get two free RAM slots for future upgrades, although it's unlikely you'll need anything beyond this.

Scan 3XS Z170 Performance GTK4 Review
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A reference AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB is installed for gaming duties. AMD's reference cooler is not the best, so if you're particularly concerned about noise you could switch to a custom-cooled option for a little extra cash when they become available.

The Corsair VS 550W PSU has easily enough wattage on tap for the components used, although it's only rated at 80 Plus White; one step below 80 Plus Bronze and the lowest 80 Plus certification available. Still, it's very inexpensive, and Corsair is a reliable name in the market. Don't expect anything fancy, however – this is a non-modular PSU and the fan is always on.

The storage configuration is what we'd expect – a standard 256GB-class SATA SSD paired with a 1TB HDD, which gives you a good balance of cost, storage space and speed. Naturally there are a number of upgrade options if you want a better SSD or larger HDD, for example.

Scan 3XS Z170 Performance GTK4 Review Scan 3XS Z170 Performance GTK4 Review
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The NZXT Source 340 chassis in which the system is housed is a fine choice, and one of the best cases in its price category. It has a strong feature set, relatively compact mid-tower dimensions and a very tidy interior. Scan has made good use of this latter element, keeping the Z170 Performance GTK4 very clean, if a little bland – there are no LEDs or other customised elements here. Still, you can tell it has been built by professionals, and the cable routing is without fault – we'd struggle to do a better job ourselves. The chassis also gives you room for a few extra drives should you ever need more storage.

This is an air-cooled system through and through. Scan has opted for a Be Quiet! Pure Rock CPU cooler to strike a balance between low noise and cost, while the rear and roof 120mm exhaust fans will further help with keeping the CPU cool. They'll also create negative pressure, forcing air to be drawn in through the large front ventilated area, and this should help the GPU a bit. The system is guarded against dust at the front and at the PSU intake area, although the top fan is left unprotected – only really a potential issue if your system is off or on standby mode regularly. The two case fans are connected to the motherboard's onboard fan headers and all fans, including the CPU cooler one, are set to Silent mode in the BIOS to limit noise.

Scan 3XS Z170 Performance GTK4 Review
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Scan ships the system overclocked, and the OC profile is saved in the BIOS. There's also a standard profile – useful if you ever need to do any troubleshooting.

All in all, it looks like a pretty solid build. However, there's more to that when buying a pre-built system. For starters, there's the warranty, and with Scan 3XS systems you get three years, with the first year onsite where possible (i.e. Scan will send an engineer to you) or collect and return if not, and the full three years of coverage for parts and labour.

Scan 3XS Z170 Performance GTK4 Review
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All 3XS systems go through an eight-stage build process including a 24-hour burn test and 88 point quality control checklist. Real-time tracking, including photos, is offered for each stage of the build, and Scan boasts an impressively low lead time of five working days.

Lastly, there are a few benefits even after you've received your system. For example, a USB stick with an exact image of Windows as it shipped to you is included for easy recovery – you can see it just next to the SSD on the PSU cover in this system, attached with a Velcro pad. Scan also offers technical support in the evenings (until 10pm) and even at weekends, minimising the potential time you have to wait before being able to speak to someone in the event of any issues.

Specifications

  • CPU Intel Core i5-6600K (4.6GHz)
  • CPU cores Four physical, four threads
  • Memory 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3,000MHz
  • Graphics AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB (3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0b)
  • Storage 1 x 240GB Corsair Force LE SSD (OS), 1 x 1TB Western Digital Caviar Blue 7,200 RPM hard disk
  • Motherboard Asus Z170-P
  • PSU Corsair VS Series 550W (80 Plus White, non-modular)
  • Optical Drive None
  • Cooling Be Quiet! Pure Rock
  • Case / Dimensions (mm) NZXT Source 340 / 200 x 432 x 445 (W x D x H)
  • Networking 1 x Gigabit LAN
  • Audio 8-channel Realtek ALC887 Codec (onboard)
  • Operating system Windows 10 64-bit
  • Audio and USB Ports Rear: 1 x USB 3.0 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 3 x 3.5mm jacks; Front: 2 x USB 3.0, headphone, microphone
  • Warranty 3 years (1 year collect and return, 3 years parts, 3 years labour)

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