Synthetic And Productivity Benchmarks
We used our custom-built Z170 test rig and the AVADirect Avatar that we previously reviewed to compare the performance of the Vanquish 5 to similarly-equipped systems. All of the aforementioned machines feature a water-cooled Intel Core i7-6700K at varying levels of tuning, 16GB of memory, an SSD, and a GTX 1080 GPU. We also wanted to see what AVADirect's $2,500 offering could do against Digital Storm's conservatively-configured (considering the company's reputation) system, which rings up for hundreds less than the Avatar system.
Digital Storm's Stage 1 overclocking service gets the processor to 4.4GHz on all four cores. The performance boost usually costs $49, but this service is free (and automatically applied) to the Vanquish lineup, so you aren't actually paying anything extra for the boosted clock rate. AVADirect clocks its quad-core CPU at a generous 4.7GHz (for an added $25, which is cheap by comparison to Digital Storm's normal fee), and our test rig is set to the default 4.0GHz (4.2GHz boost) clock rate of the i7-6700K.
Memory frequencies (and CAS timings) between the systems are different across the board as well, with the Vanquish 5 clocked the highest at 2666 MHz. The Avatar's memory is tuned to 2400 MHz, and our test system is set to a default 2133 MHz. We switched between Founder's Edition GTX 1080 and 1070 GPUs in our custom rig to see how the vendor's varying choice of graphics cards affects performance against Nvidia's reference design, but we likely won't see too much of a variance in GPU performance between these GTX 1080 samples, which all sport the same base and boost clock frequencies. The full specs of our test bench are listed below:
Test System Configuration
The Digital Storm Vanquish 5 places second throughout the 3DMark benchmarks, thanks primarily to the 4.4GHz overclock on the processor. This boosted the Physics and Overall scores of Fire Strike (regular, Extreme, and Ultra) and CPU score in Time Spy higher than our reference system (with a GTX 1080) at default clock rates, but it couldn't achieve the same heights as AVADirect's beefy performance boost, which puts the Avatar at 4.7GHz. Graphics scores between the GTX 1080-equipped systems were extremely close across the board, and our test system is in last place when we throw in a Founder's Edition GTX 1070.
The Cinebench results enforce the CPU performance hierarchy, with the Vanquish 5 falling in between the Avatar (clocked at 4.7GHz) and our custom test rig (set to the i7-6700K's default 4.0GHz). This shouldn't come as a surprise; both overclocked systems see impressive gains from their increased clock rates.
Looking at the CompuBench results, we see the Vanquish 5 in a familiar placement on the chart with the Video Processing results, which again slides in between the Avatar (at the top) and our test rig (in third place) thanks to its CPU performance. However, we see the Vanquish take its first win in the Bitcoin mining test, where GPU performance is the only factor. Since all of the GTX 1080-equipped systems have the same GPU clock rate, the victory isn't overwhelming (a measly 3.32 MHash/s), but a win is a win.
We didn't expect the Vanquish 5's 250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD to win a performance battle against its bigger brother (a 500GB Samsung 850 EVO) inside the Avatar, but that's exactly what happened in our 4K random read/write tests at QD2. However, the 4K random results are almost identical between the Avatar and the Vanquish, and we could just as easily flip a coin to discern the performance difference at these settings. The 128K sequential performance numbers put the Vanquish back into the second place position, which is no surprise considering that higher-capacity SSDs can achieve greater sequential performance in most cases.
Digital Storm's CPU overclock is effective in the PCMark 8 benchmarks, landing the Vanquish 5 in the middle of the other GTX 1080-equipped PCs in the field once again. The benefit of the CPU performance boost is less apparent in the Office portion of the test, where the Vanquish only beats out our test rig by about 375 points and trails the Avatar by 665 points.