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Digital Storm Vanquish 5 Gaming Desktop Review

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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Derek Forrest
Derek Forrest is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes hardware news and reviews gaming desktops and laptops.
  • esco_sid
    Hmm did pcpartpicker build of same for $1553 not sure if its worth it for ~$500 markup i think would be more reasonable for about +300 and they pay less for the parts than costs us to build it.
    https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ZqbJpb
    Reply
  • kewlguy239
    19033383 said:
    Hmm did pcpartpicker build of same for $1553 not sure if its worth it for ~$500 markup i think would be more reasonable for about +300 and they pay less for the parts than costs us to build it.
    https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ZqbJpb

    I'm not going to debate that it's entirely possible to source the components for less money. However, I'll gently remind the community that these types of systems aren't meant for DIY enthusiasts. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, there is a market for high-end PCs for customers with zero technical knowledge. The price point is low for the market it's aimed at (see the AVADirect Avatar at $2,300), and its all about perspective. A $500 markup (as you estimated) may be (and often is) worth it to someone who lacks the expertise to build it themselves.
    Reply
  • neieus
    19033383 said:
    Hmm did pcpartpicker build of same for $1553 not sure if its worth it for ~$500 markup i think would be more reasonable for about +300 and they pay less for the parts than costs us to build it.
    https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ZqbJpb

    I would agree with you also but I think their justification is not just trying to turn a small profit but also the after sale support warranty they'd provide as added value.
    Reply
  • MWP0004
    19033414 said:
    19033383 said:
    Hmm did pcpartpicker build of same for $1553 not sure if its worth it for ~$500 markup i think would be more reasonable for about +300 and they pay less for the parts than costs us to build it.
    https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ZqbJpb

    I would agree with you also but I think their justification is not just trying to turn a small profit but also the after sale support warranty they'd provide as added value.

    To be fair, building a computer is an incredibly daunting task for a first time builder. Let alone buying $1500 worth of parts and then being concerned about damaging something while building, incompatibilities, etc. So I can see where high-end prebuilts have their place. Not every PC gaming enthusiast is a PC enthusiast as well, I suppose.
    Reply
  • neieus
    19033406 said:
    19033383 said:
    Hmm did pcpartpicker build of same for $1553 not sure if its worth it for ~$500 markup i think would be more reasonable for about +300 and they pay less for the parts than costs us to build it.
    https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ZqbJpb

    I'm not going to debate that it's entirely possible to source the components for less money. However, I'll gently remind the community that these types of systems aren't meant for DIY enthusiasts. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, there is a market for high-end PCs for customers with zero technical knowledge. The price point is low for the market it's aimed at (see the AVADirect Avatar at $2,300), and its all about perspective. A $500 markup (as you estimated) may be (and often is) worth it to someone who lacks the expertise to build it themselves.

    Right after I posted my comments that thought came to mind also. This isn't a system for DIY like most of us here as they've done all the work for you. I see nothing wrong with their price personally and glad to see it wasn't in the $3000+ area which they sometimes can reach. After all this is the reason some of us decided to build our own being that it would be cheaper and having more control over what's placed in. That trade off however is that we have to do our home work on the parts and provide our own support with RMA etc.
    Reply
  • esco_sid
    19033406 said:
    19033383 said:
    Hmm did pcpartpicker build of same for $1553 not sure if its worth it for ~$500 markup i think would be more reasonable for about +300 and they pay less for the parts than costs us to build it.
    https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ZqbJpb

    I'm not going to debate that it's entirely possible to source the components for less money. However, I'll gently remind the community that these types of systems aren't meant for DIY enthusiasts. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, there is a market for high-end PCs for customers with zero technical knowledge. The price point is low for the market it's aimed at (see the AVADirect Avatar at $2,300), and its all about perspective. A $500 markup (as you estimated) may be (and often is) worth it to someone who lacks the expertise to build it themselves.

    I would have to disagree there are way cheaper systems with similar components such as http://www.microcenter.com/product/467634/G426_Desktop_Computer for $1700 its pretty close to what it actually would cost us ourselves and has same(almost) specs than the Vanquish shouldn't this win the award ?

    Reply
  • why_wolf
    hrm, at that price point if you're going to have an optical drive it should at least be a blu-ray capable one.
    Reply
  • mitchyams
    this is such an ugly looking build who would pay 2 grand for this garbo lmao
    Reply
  • sillynilly
    That case is so nasty - reminds me of the $10 cases you could pick up at Fry's (probably still can!)
    Reply
  • ashburner
    I paid around $1600 in November for a similar build from ibuypower. Except the ddr4 is 3000, the primary Ssd is an Intel 600p 1tb, and it has a secondary ssd in the form of an ADATA 480 gb. It also came with a bluray writer, mechanical keyboard and decent mouse, gaming headset, 3 free games, and a $100 Windows store credit. I definitely could not build it for that price.
    Reply