Manufacturer: PC Specialist
UK price (as reviewed): £1,799.99 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): N/A
Building a high-performance PC is now arguably easier than ever. Mature platforms, plenty of choice between AMD and Intel CPUs, and a wide range of partners building decent graphics cards means that it's hard to build a bad one. That said, having someone else do the work for you, often at costs rivalling that of purchasing the individual components alone, ensures buying pre-built systems will always be popular.
PC Specialist takes a lot of what's good in early 2020 and wraps it all in an RGB-infused chassis. Let's take a closer look at the £1,799 Inferno X1.
Shipping with three tempered glass panels and a trio of 120mm RGB fans as standard, the MasterBox MB530P is a good choice for illumination, with punchy, vibrant colours from the spinners. The choice is good for lighting but not great for noise, as the PC can be clearly heard when idling. Given the premium nature of the build, it's a shame there is no front-mounted USB Type-C.
Build quality is first-rate, but it's a shame there's are no further RGB fans inside - they are also 3-pin, not the more favourable 4-pin - and the interior is somewhat at odds with the visually-impressive front.
Make no mistake, this is a high-performance bit of kit. PC Specialist sensibly goes down the AMD Ryzen route by using a 12-core, 24-thread 3900X, liquid cooled, sat on top of a decent X570 board from Asus. It's good to see the latest chipset, rather than the X470 sometimes used on cheaper systems. 16GB of RAM is the minimum we'd like to see, and having a couple of spare slots makes for easy upgrading in the future.
General cabling is also top-notch, leading to a tidy build on the front and back. PC Specialist makes the most of the chip and chipset's PCIe 4.0 connectivity by adding a 1TB Corsair MP600 NVMe SSD as the main OS-holding drive. Previous results have shown up to 5GB/s sequential reads and 3GB/s writes, so high hopes here. Backing this up is a 2TB mechanical HDD neatly hidden out of view. Note, however, since the review machine was submitted, PC Specialist has raised the specification by using a faster Seagate FireCuda 520 instead.
The machine adds in a specific PCIe card for WiFi duties, though it would have been tidier if the motherboard had baked-in support from the I/O panel.
Pushing pixels is a Zotac GeForce RTX 2070 Super card, clocked in at 1,770MHz boost on the core and 14Gbps memory, therefore making it mildly overclocked. The dual-slot form factor enables one to add another, at a later date, by moving the WiFi card down to the bottom-most PCIe.
It's good to see a clean install of Windows 10, with minimal updates required, and we should make a note of how well packaged the system was - amongst the best we've seen.
The specifications are well-rounded enough to ensure excellent gaming credentials and powerhouse application performance. Priced at £1,799, it's also competitive from a value perspective; adding up all the components and OS leads to around £1,750, or just a £50 surcharge for getting it built and warrantied from a top-tier system integrator.
December 11 2020 | 17:30