Price Analysis And Conclusion
Price Analysis And Conclusion
Digital Storm surprised us with what it can do at the mainstream level, when it isn't cramming $3,000 worth of hardware into a case painted like a sports car and overclocked like you're going for some kind of record. The Vanquish 5 is a simple configuration that still allows for some serious horsepower under the hood, with a modestly-overclocked Intel Core i7 processor, a GTX 1080, and 16GB of DDR4-2666 (the speed of which is above average compared to the other systems we tested).
Some could see the 250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD as minimalist (in capacity), but a higher-capacity SSD won't make your games run any better once loaded, and it's adequate for the OS and a few of your prioritized apps. Furthermore, the 2TB HDD offers plenty of space for your games and files, and the total storage capacity (SSD + HDD) of the Vanquish 5 exceeds that of the Avatar, which is priced considerably higher.
The Vanquish 5's gray metal panels set it apart from the typical black cases saturating the market, and the components under the hood are easily accessible if you want to tinker or upgrade. The side panel window showcases everything you would want to see (water cooling, GPU, PSU) while hiding the less glamorous internal devices (storage, optical drive, and their cages). The front intake LED fans illuminate the case and front grill in a blue hue, and Digital Storm further increased the aesthetic value with an added software-free remote-controlled RGB LED light strip, making the Vanquish 5 stand out even more.
Whereas the Avatar's form factor, Founder's Edition GPU, Gold-certified PSU, and feature-rich motherboard could be grounds for a premium, Digital Storm offers a system that meets (or exceeds, in a few cases) the Avatar's performance for hundreds of dollars less. The Vanquish 5 can't hang with the Avatar in productivity benchmarks and games that favor CPU performance, but the Avatar's 300MHz CPU performance boost obviously helps it here. If performance is the single most important buying factor, the negligible differences between the Vanquish 5 and the other systems we've tested (so far) make Digital Storm stand out as a value choice at $2,045.
DIY enthusiasts will argue that you can just build a similar system for even less money (a recurring topic in the comments section of our desktop reviews and news coverage), but Digital Storm's pricing is considerably closer to what you would spend on a similarly-configured PC if you decided to give it a go yourself. Our own benchmark system would run around $2,000. Furthermore, remember that not everyone is technically savvy enough to construct a computer on their own (the meme with thermal paste inside a CPU socket comes to mind), and these types of custom-built desktops are an ideal choice for uninitiated consumers looking for a powerful, non-cookie-cutter gaming rig.
USB connectivity is a drawback to the Vanquish 5's entry-level Z170 motherboard, but if you're hurting for more places to plug in, you could add a front-panel USB hub or PCIe card. The Vanquish 5 has plenty of room for expansion, with another PCIe 3.0 x 16 lane (which operates at x8 with the already-occupied slot), a PCIe 3.0 x2 slot, three PCIe x1 slots, and room for more SATA drives and an M.2 SSD. If the Vanquish 5 is lacking something you want, you can definitely find a place to add it later. We weren't thrilled with the zip-tied PSU cables (tie wraps would have been more enthusiast-friendly), but otherwise, we can't say we'd do a better job with the interior cable management (considering the case's limited cable-hiding space).
The Vanquish 5 is the embodiment of Digital Storm's conservative side, offering the most bang for the buck that the company can muster. To that point, it didn't let us down, and we were impressed at not only the base components, but also the tweaks and extras that make it feel like you are getting serious value behind every dollar you spend on your new VR-ready gaming desktop. We'll hold off on awarding a prestigious Tom's Hardware Recommended or Editor's Choice award until we see what our other upcoming reviews bring, but we're more than convinced Digital Storm's Vanquish 5 deserves to be Tom's Hardware Approved for its compelling performance, aesthetics, and price.
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