Scan 3XS Scorpion-X PC Review

Written by Harry Butler

March 24, 2011 | 14:39

Tags: #3xs #elmcrest #gtx-590 #sandy-bridge

Companies: #scan

Scan 3XS Scorpion X PC Review

Manufacturer Scan
UK Price (as reviewed) £3,700
US Price (as reviewed) Not Available

Thanks to the Sandy Bridge chipset recall, we’ve sadly not yet had the opportunity to test a PC based around potentially the fastest gaming CPUs ever made. Thankfully, no sooner had Scan started work on a super-luxury LGA1155 system with which to wow us as soon as it had taken delivery of its first batch of revised B3-stepping motherboards. Needless to say, the potential of a water-cooled Core i7-2600K overclocked to its limits soon had us salivating. The icing on the cake comes from the recently launched Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 3GB – Scan not only managed to build us a PC with this card before it had even launched, but it's even water-cooled and overclocked it.

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Despite such incredibly fast components, the real lure of this PC is its presentation – Scan has been producing luxury PCs based around animal themes for a while, and the Scorpion-X design is the latest in its menagerie. Scan has taken one of the best cases currently on the market, the Silverstone FT02B, and extensively modified both side panels and the case’s front panel. The standard black aluminium has been laser-cut with the same great looking scorpion motif on both sides, before being backed with metal mesh and painted in glossy white.

The result is a beautiful case, with the black and white contrasting stylishly. The case’s fascia has also received the pimp-my-case treatment, and sports its own smaller, scorpion laser-cut motif and venting.

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As the FT02 is a vertically orientated chassis, the motherboard and expansion card I/O panels are found under the removable roof panel on the top of the case rather than the rear. The roof section pulls off if you give it a firm tug via the gap in the roof towards the front. You need to remove the roof panel to remove the side panels, and as Scan uses non-static bubble wrap to securely pack the system during shipping, you’ll need to remember to do this.

With the bubble wrap removed, you can see the immaculate build of the Scorpion-X. Scan has used angled barbs to connect the various parts of the water loop, which has led to a minimal of tubing clutter and no chance of kinks in the loop. The black tubing looks fantastic, and the huge EK-Coolstream XT 360 radiator dominates the bottom of the case. Meanwhile, the radiator is sandwiched between two banks of 120mm Akasa Black Apache fans, with three below and two above (the 11in length of the graphics cards means that a third fan cannot be fitted on top).

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Oddly, though, the fans are configured to exhaust air out of the base of the case, reversing the FT02’s default cooling layout, where air is sucked in through the floor and exhausted through the roof. When we asked Scan why it had made this decision, the company told us that while exhausting heat upwards makes more sense, the hot air rising through the chassis effectively cooked the hardware. Exhausting air out the bottom of the case might not be intuitive, but it means the heat gets removed from the case, away from the hardware. The 120mm roof fan is also still configured as an exhaust, which could lead to some airflow contention.

Scan has used an EK-Supreme CPU waterblock and a full-cover EK-FC590 GTX waterblock for the graphics card. The coolant is driven through these by a Swiftech MCP355 pump with a flow rate of 454l/hr at 22psi, which is easily enough to get the coolant flowing through the loop back to the XSPC reservoir on top of the pump. The result is a great looking loop, and there’s even a separate fill-port tube tucked behind the drive bays to make draining and refilling the loop that much easier.
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