Overclockers UK ForceBox Gamer Review

Written by Antony Leather

November 16, 2016 | 09:36

Tags: #gtx-1050-ti #intel-core-i5

Companies: #overclockers-uk

Overclockers UK ForceBox Gamer Review

Manufacturer: Overclockers UK
UK price (as reviewed):
£805.96 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): N/A

While we usually expect a review PC to be kitted out with premium hardware and featuring a hefty overclock, not everyone wants or needs the kind of power that comes from splashing a grand or more on an all-singing, all-dancing gaming PC. If 1080p is your goal and you're happy with frame rates in the region of 40-50fps in the latest games, then overclocking and expensive graphics cards simply aren't needed. However, we still want to see a unique and enthusiast-orientated twist on a gaming PC with this in mind, and that's hopefully what Overclockers UK's ForceBox Gamer delivers.

Taking advantage of Nvidia's new and ultra low power GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (the model used here doesn't even need power in addition to what's provided by the PCI-E socket so has no power connector) the PC is absolutely tiny, housed in SilverStone's fairly ancient but still very mini-ITX friendly SG05. This measures less than 280mm in every direction and is just 220mm wide and 176mm high. Think of it as roughly shoebox size or a little smaller. As such, it's supremely portable and takes up less desk real estate than most large monitor stands.

Overclockers UK ForceBox Gamer Review
Click to enlarge

The case sports a single 120mm NZXT FZ-120 fan with a green LED but otherwise relies on vents and the PSU fan to remove warm air from the case. This might be a problem with more powerful heat-generating systems, but the Inno3D GeForce GTX 1050 Ti won't be pumping out a lot of heat. Further improving the cooling prospects for this dinky chassis is the CPU.

Overclockers UK ForceBox Gamer Review
Click to enlarge

We've seen some cheap systems sporting Core i3 CPUs in the past - there's nothing wrong with that, especially if you're keen on keeping costs to a minimum, but even with hyper-threaded dual-cores, they're no match for a fully-fledged quad-core in many tasks, including games. Overclockers UK has done the sensible and perhaps interesting thing of meeting in the middle here - it hasn't gone for an expensive K-series CPU, but neither has it dipped down to a dual-core. Included is a Core i5-6400, which can turbo-boost to 3.3GHz. It's clearly going to trounce the dual-core Core-i3 CPUs out there with four physical cores, although the Core i5-6600K, does offer a substantial clock speed advantage (3.9GHz Turbo) and an unlocked multiplier, albeit for significantly more cash.

Overclockers UK ForceBox Gamer Review
Click to enlarge

That money saving has been put to good use, though. Despite the system just tipping the scales at £800, you also get 8GB of Team Group Elite 2,400MHz memory and, rather than opt for the paltry Intel stock cooler, Overclockers UK has picked a Raijintek Zelos low profile cooler; a far quieter choice, especially under load. It might not be visible from a side window, but it's a good move nonetheless.

Gaming grunt is provided by an Inno3D GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, with Nvidia's budget-conscious GPU usually nailing the latest games at 1080p and snapping at their heels at 1440p too. As with most of the rest of the specification, though, you can tweak the configuration online using Overclockers UK's configurator, upgrading to a GTX 1060 3GB for an extra £45 or GTX 1060 6GB for £96, for example.

Overclockers UK ForceBox Gamer Review
Click to enlarge

Storage is something that's often neglected in budget systems, with SSDs being given the chop. However, we'd be pretty disappointed not to see an SSD at this price or even something costing £100 less, for the simple reason that it makes such a huge difference to your PC. Thankfully, there's a 250GB Samsung 750 Evo at the helm with a copy of Windows 10 Home 64-bit, plus you get a 1TB hard disk for some extra storage too. This should be enough for a couple of hefty top titles such as GTA V and Battlefield 1 to be installed at the same time on the SSD without worrying about storage space, unlike 120GB SSDs we've seen in cheaper systems such as the CCL Elite Strix 100.

Overclockers UK ForceBox Gamer Review
Click to enlarge

The Sugo SG05 is an SFX-only case, so it's a rare opportunity to play with a truly mini gaming system. The PSU of choice is a Kolink KL-SFX350, and thankfully it proved to be extremely quiet in games, with no screaming fan, and it's 80 Plus Bronze-rated too. Finally, the motherboard is an Asus H110I Plus. It's fairly basic but does sport a fully-fledged Asus EFI with the benefits of its Windows-based software, although its worth noting for any newcomers to PC building that you won't be able to overclock a K-series CPU with this board - you'll need a Z170 chipset-equipped board for that, but for this system it's a great choice seeing as it sports a Core i5-6400.

Specifications (as reviewed)

  • CPU Intel Core i5-6400 (2.7GHz base, 3.3GHz Turbo)
  • CPU threads Four
  • Memory 8GB (2 x 4GB) Team Group Elite 2,400MHz DDR4
  • Graphics Inno3D GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Compact X1 4GB (1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x DL-DVI-I, 1 x HDMI 2.0)
  • Motherboard Asus H110I Plus
  • Storage 1 x 256GB Samsung 750 Evo SSD, 1TB Seagate BarraCuda
  • Case SilverStone Sugo SG05
  • Dimensions (mm) 222 x 276 x 176 (W x D x H)
  • Cooling Raijintek Zelos CPU cooler, 120mm NZXT FZ-120 fan
  • PSU Kolink KL-SFX350
  • Networking Realtek RTL8111H, 1 x Gigabit LAN
  • Audio 8-channel Realtek ALC887 (onboard)
  • Operating system Windows 10 64-bit
  • Audio and USB ports Rear: 2 x USB 3.0, 4 x USB 2.0, 3 x audio jacks; Front: 2 x USB 3.0, headphone, microphone
  • Warranty Three years (two years collect and return, three years labour)

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