Page 1

P r e s e n t s

handbook 58 pages of guides

PC gaming starts here

From overclocking to case modding: the advice you need

first edition

Digital Edition

84

PAGES OF HARDWARE REVIEWS INSIDE!

amd vs intel Intel core or amd ryzen — which cpu suits you? Reviewed CPUs I Cases I Graphics cards I Motherboards I SSDs I Monitors I mice I headsets


Contents 80

68

Build section 10 How to build a PC

Your essential guide to putting your own rig together

18 Today’s best upgrades Bring your system bang up to date with these hardware picks

28 Memory matters

Discover the complex state of DDR4 in 2018

38 Protect your tech

Protect your kit from theft and make your own alarm system.

46 Build it special: AMD versus Intel

Two CPU titans go head-to-head, but which build is the best?

56 Build it: Ryzen to the challenge

132

128 Hardware REVIEWS All the hardware you need to supercharge your PC

Our AMD build in depth

60 Build it: The Intel rig of damnation Our Intel rig in depth

64 The CPU scandal

What do Spectre and Meltdown mean for your gaming PC?

Head to head

68

74

80

86

92

If you’re building a new PC you’re going to need something to put it in. House your hardware in our pick of the best cases for under £100

We pit AMD and Intel’s chips head-to-head in a CPU brawl to find out which one truly delivers the ultimate in processing power

Lay the foundation of your new PC with our selection of the best Z270 mobos on the market

There’s no need to raid your savings for these great-value GPUs

Give your level load times a lift with these high-end solid state drives

budget CASES Processors Z270 graphics motherboards cards

6

solid state drives


104

98

110

134

145

136

98

104

110

Serve your CPU performance ice-cold with these frosty cooling solutions

Show off your graphics card’s capabilities on a high definition screen and get a graphical boost from our selection of seven of the best Ultra HD displays

We cherry (switch) pick our favourite from the best mechanical keyboard setups out there

all-in-one coolers

4k monitors

116

122

Set your mouse free from cables with one of these wireless mice

Turn your PC into a highquality media centre and make some noise with a set of high-end desktop speakers

keyboards wireless mice

speakers

7


F E at u r e Today’s best upgrades

Graphics Cards Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti www.nvidia.com Graphics cards are in a bit of an odd state right now. Nvidia has been left unchallenged, with AMD only providing any hint of competition in the mid-range. The RX 500 refresh was little more than a badge swap, and Vega a dud – a disappointing high-end solution, overhyped to its own detriment (although it struts its stuff nicely when it comes to cryptocurrency mining, annoyingly). So, how does the land lie if you’re looking to invest in a high-end GPU? How do you power a 4K gaming rig in today’s market? Well, fortunately, Nvidia hasn’t been resting on its laurels, and is still focused on trying to capture as much of that market share as it can. Recently it dropped the bombshell that is the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. Think of it as a cut-down Titan Xp, a warhorse of a GPU focused solely on gaming, but coming in at a far more attractive price point. The differences are slim, with its 1GB of GDDR5X being

ADVANCED

one of the few things cut. The Titan Xp is slightly more powerful – about 15 per cent or so – but it also costs £500 more, making it a superfluous product aimed solely at the affluent, or those who need the Titan’s very specific developer skill set, as limited as it is.

T O TA L £679

Graphics card Benchmarks High-End 4K GPUs (Over £550)

Nvidia Titan Xp

MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G www.msi.com

Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti Reference AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 PNY GTX 1080 XLR8 OC

Once upon a time, the card to have was the GTX 660 Ti. It was cost-effective, powerful for its day, and clocked like a champ. However, as the battle lines widen, and GPU prices extend ever upward, our idea of what a mid-range card actually includes has inevitably increased, too. The GTX 1070 is a prime example. With performance matching the height of Maxwell’s frame-rendering capabilities, it’s a card that makes the once-premium 9 series Titan X affordable, cutting the price by 66 per cent. MSI’s Gaming X variant provides a fine balance between noise reduction and thermal management. There’s no superfluous RGB lighting here apart from a hint of background colour. Couple that with a powerful stack of 8GB GDDR5X and its bunker-busting Pascal GPU, and the GTX 1070 dominates 1440p with ease, providing average frame rates well into the 60fps range that every enthusiast with a gaming habit covets. 22

Asus ROG Strix GTX 1080

Mid-Range 1440p GPUs (£300–£550)

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Nvidia GTX 1080 Reference MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G

MID_RANGE

T O TA L £549

Nvidia GTX 1070 Reference Sapphire Radeon RX 580 8GB

Budget 1080p GPUs (£120–£300)

Gigabyte Aorus RX 570 4GB

as the battle lines widen, our idea of what a midrange card includes has inevitably increased

Zotac GTX 1060 AMP Edition EVGA GTX 1060 3GB SC Gaming Asus ROG Strix GTX 1050 Ti 4GB EVGA GTX 1050 Ti SC Gaming 4GB


TODAY ’ S B E ST UPGRAD E S Feature

EVGA GTX 1060 3GB SC Gaming www.evga.com So, where is AMD in all of this? The sad reality is that AMD isn’t providing any competitive solutions at any of the right price points. Vega’s lack of availability and sub-par performance has left the upper echelons empty, while the mid-range and budget solutions suffer from cryptocurrency fever. Unless you absolutely cannot live without FreeSync, there is no justifiable reason to run with an AMD card, either as an upgrade or in a fresh build. At the budget end, there’s only one choice: the GTX 1060 3GB. We’ve recommended it all year, and for good reason: It’s at the price and performance sweet spot, even up against Nvidia’s own GTX 1050 Ti. Look at the figures—for £89 more, you get a card that’s 50 per cent faster than the next step down, gives the GTX 980 a run for its money, and masticates 1080p. Because Nvidia’s GTX 1050 Ti is

BUDGET

T O TA L £289 so unattractive, seemingly nothing more than a die shrink, and spec for spec almost identical to the 950, the 1060 3GB is incredibly appealing. And it won’t set you back as much as some others that offer less functionality.

It’s at the price and performance sweet spot, even up against Nvidia’s GTX 1050 Ti

vram

Total War: Attila

Far Cry Primal

The Division

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Power Draw Idle

Power Draw Load

3DMark: Fire Strike Ultra (DX11)

3DMark: Time Spy (DX12)

Price

12GB GDDR5X

16/29

54/62

35/61

12/32

49

365

7,166

9,097

£1,149

11GB GDDR5X

14/27

51/56

39/55

11/29

47

354

6,587

8,307

£679

8GB HBM 2.0

9/16

36/43

22/43

13/20

66

403

5,241

6,758

£570

8GB GDDR5X

9/19

39/43

26/41

8/20

53

334

5,077

6,597

£700

8GB GDDR5X

9/20

40/44

21/43

8/22

49

325

5,339

6,892

£999

Our test bed consists of an Intel Core i7-7700K, 16GB of Corsair DDR4, an Asus Maximus IX Hero, and a 500GB Samsung 850 Evo. All games tested on the highest graphical profile, with AA at 4K

vram

Total War: Attila

Far Cry Primal

The Division

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Power Draw Idle

Power Draw Load

3DMark: Fire Strike Ultra (DX11)

3DMark: Time Spy (DX12)

Price

8GB HBM 2.0

21/31

58/69

42/67

22/36

64

331

8,656

6,263

£450

8GB GDDR5X

23/40

65/77

39/73

16/42

48

252

9,371

6,537

£529

8GB GDDR5

23/36

55/65

47/63

14/35

53

306

8,221

5,753

£549

8GB GDDR5

21/34

53/62

34/59

13/33

47

288

7,805

5,542

£419

8GB GDDR5

19/25

40/48

25/49

11/26

59

297

6,033

4,515

£420

Our test bed consists of an Intel Core i7-7700K, 16GB of Corsair DDR4, an Asus Maximus IX Hero, and a 500GB Samsung 850 Evo. All games tested on the highest graphical profile, with AA at 1440p

vram

Total War: Attila

Far Cry Primal

The Division

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Power Draw Idle

Power Draw Load

3DMark: Fire Strike Ultra (DX11)

3DMark: Time Spy (DX12)

Price

4GB GDDR5

24/31

45/56

32/56

7/33

66

268

10,243

3,833

£360

6GB GDDR5

26/38

53/66

31/60

15/38

53

225

10,959

4,158

£289

3GB GDDR5

24/36

49/61

31/55

9/35

47

251

20,251

3,905

£289

4GB GDDR5

14/23

34/43

19/36

9/23

52

216

7,042

3,209

£145

4GB GDDR5

13/22

32/40

17/36

9/23

43

201

7,012

3,188

£200

Our test bed consists of an Intel Core i7-7700K, 16GB of Corsair DDR4, an Asus Maximus IX Hero, and a 500GB Samsung 850 Evo. All games tested on the highest graphical profile, with AA at 1080p

23


F E at u r e AMD vs. INTEL

AMD

Build it special AMD vs.

build it!

Step-by-step guide

Pg. 56

Two very different systems and two very different builds go head to head in this workstation showdown

W

e’ve spent a while bigging up how important Ryzen is in the grand scheme of processor development. Without it, Intel’s price gouging would likely have continued for the foreseeable future, with the red prodigy being relegated to a footnote in computing history. Ryzen, for better or worse, has changed everything, giving Intel’s R&D labs the gusto to push forward with core count and chip design, and reintroducing choice into an otherwise stagnant decision-making process. No longer is system spec purely tied to how much money you want to spend on an Intel chip, but which CPU you believe is right for you. With most multithreading professionals looking toward Ryzen for its cheap and affordable multicore applicational use, the question is, does it warrant the fanfare it’s received

AMD INGREDIENTS Street PRICE

PART Case

Corsair Carbide Air 740

£125

Motherboard

MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon

£190

CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X

£310

Memory

32GB (4x 8GB) Corsair Dominator Platinum 2666

£465

GPU

AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100

£625

PSU

Corsair HX1200i Platinum

£260

Storage 1

Samsung 960 Pro 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD

£276

Storage 2

Western Digital - Black 2TB 7,200rpm HDD

£102

Cooling

Arctic Freezer 33

£33

OS

Windows 10 Home 64-bit OEM

£80

Total

46

£2,466


A M D v s . I NT E L Feature

Intel so far in the workstation environment? We know what the situation is with our synthetic benchmarks, and for gaming, but what about the real-world tests? What about situations that really matter? Gaming is great and all, but it’s in the 3D workshops, the VR laboratories, the photomanipulation bunkers and the video-editing powerhouses that these processors are truly designed to shine. This all caused something of an argument in the office. So, to stop the squabble, we got a hold of ourselves and decided to settle the debate. A build-off, to the death. One side Intel, one side AMD. No budget constraints, no fluff, just a pure, fair, and balanced battle between processor, chipset, and GPU type, to decide, once and for all, which platform is the better workstation standard. So, then, the rules: Storage would be the same for each system, but we’d have free rein over the choice of processor, memory, motherboard, GPU, and cooling – and, of course, we’d have full access to any system and OS tinkering we wanted, including overclocking and memory frequency. With both builds completed, it was time to benchmark the mighty beasts to settle the quarrel, and put an end to the bickering.

INTEL INGREDIENTS Street PRICE

PART Case

Raijintek Asterion Plus

£140

Motherboard

Asus X99-E-10G WS

£500

CPU

Intel Core i7-6950X

£1,630

Memory

G.Skill Trident Z 64GB (4x 16GB) DDR4-3200

£900

GPU

Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Founder’s Edition

£750

PSU

EVGA SuperNova T2 1,600W 80+ Titanium

£440

Storage 1

Samsung 960 Pro 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD

£276

Storage 2

Western Digital Black 2TB 7,200rpm HDD

£102

Cooling

Noctua NH-D15 CPU heatsink

£83

OS

Windows 10 Home 64-bit OEM

£80

Total

intel

build it!

Step-by-step guide

Pg. 60

£2,466

47


Group Test Z27O Motherboards

1

2

3

Gigabyte Z270X-Gaming 7

ASRock Z270 Extreme4

www.gigabyte.com £215

www.asrock.com £160

This is a fully featured, powerful motherboard that comes with a few quirks but largely delivers. There’s certainly little missing in terms of design. A matt PCB? Check. RGB lighting? Check. IO shrouding? Check. Full colour coordination? Check.

This is one of the cheaper boards in this test but packs plenty of features and performance. Styling isn’t its strong suit, but it’s a step up from the Pro4 thanks to a matt finish to its PCB, more extensive plastic shrouding and RGB lighting.

1

Not that the result is quite to our liking. It’s smart and premium-looking but we prefer the darker shades of the Asus Code. It is packed with features, though. Two M.2 slots, buttons for power, overclocking, eco mode, turbo mode and XMP mode, a POST readout display, excellent hybrid fan headers, strip lighting headers and much more. Connectivity is also excellent. There are six USB Type-A ports of various sorts, USB Type-C, two gigabit Ethernet ports and quality surround sound. It’s a different story when it comes to the UEFI. It was the only board on test that had a problem with mouse movement. We also struggled with manual overclocking, instead resorting to the quick “upgrade” options, which managed to push the CPU to 4.8GHz but not 5GHz. We’re sure this board could do better, but it shouldn’t be such a struggle. Also, it had by far the most aggressive nonoverclocked settings, bumping the CPU to 1.32V at stock speed, when every other board hovered around 1.2V.

83%

82

2

Something we’re less keen on is the backplate IO, which has just four USB 3.0 ports, no USB type-C and too many legacy video connections – who needs DVI, HDMI and VGA on a board like this? Otherwise the Extreme4 has a good all round selection of features with a layout that’s easy to work with. The two M.2 slots are easy to reach while all the fan headers and other connections are conveniently arranged around the edges. Some of the on-PCB labelling of those features is a bit hard to read but you can get by. What’s more, the UEFI of this motherboard is great. It’s nothing too fancy but it’s logically laid out and easy to get overclocking. Not that we quite reached our target of 5GHz for overclocking. The CPU wouldn’t go beyond 4.9GHz through basic multiplier and Vcore adjustment. It was also quite power-hungry once overclocked. Overall, though, this board offers plenty and is well worth considering, if rear IO isn’t your biggest priority.

80%


Z27O Motherboards Z27O Motherboards

4

ASRock Z270 Pro 4

Asus Maximus IX Code

www.asrock.com £120

www.asus.com £290

This is the cheapest board on test, and in many ways it shows: a shiny finish, lack of cover for the IO, plain silver CPU mount and a lack of lighting. It all adds up to a board that immediately looks less premium than the others.

This is just a couple of steps down from Asus’s most expensive Z270 motherboards and as such it’s packed with features and performance. The most striking thing about it, however, is that it’s covered head to toe in plastic armour.

3

That’s not to say it looks bad. The black and white design has its charm and most of the components are colour coordinated. More importantly, this board provides solid performance and overclocking, plus low power consumption. You also get all the features you should need. Two M.2 SSD slots, an M.2 W-Fi card slot, plenty of connectivity and some basic onboard sound. The only real stumbling block is the IO panel, which has too many legacy connections and too few USB ports, plus there are no USB 3.1 ports despite the presence of one Type-C connector. If you’re happy with the basic feature set, then the Z270 Pro4 delivers. It demanded the lowest power draw on test while having no problem running our fast RAM. Its UEFI is also a doddle to navigate, though try as we might we couldn’t get the 7700K up to 5GHz. We stuck with 4.8GHz instead, which still delivered performance within 2% of that of the fastest on test.

85%

4

This protects the board and makes it look better too. On the flipside, it can be quite an inconvenience if you drop a screw and get it stuck under that lot. There are also several RGB-lit zones, including a Republic of Gamers logo in the middle of the board. RGB lighting is getting a little out of hand at the moment but the balance here is about right and it can all be controlled from the desktop software. It’s a top-tier board, so you get masses of features including 2x USB 3.1 and 6x USB 3.0 ports on the backplate, with support for several more via headers. There are also two M.2 SSD slots, though their positioning is far from ideal. You also get top notch audio and inbuilt ac-Wi-Fi. All this, and extensive overclocking options from a UEFI that’s simple and quick to navigate. We couldn’t get the memory to hit its XMP-defined 3200MHz top speed but the board overclocked the 7700K CPU to 5GHz with no problems. Its resultant performance took second place in our charts.

87%

83


Group Test All-in-one CPU coolers

5

Coolermaster MasterLiquid 240 www.coolermaster.com £65

Coolermaster MasterLiquid Lite 120 www.coolermaster.com £40

The MasterLiquid 240 is astonishingly good value. It’s nearly half the price of most other 240mm coolers, and while similar cost-cutting measures have been applied here as to the Lite 120, the end result is more impressive.

The CoolerMaster MasterLiquid Lite 120 is by far the cheapest cooler in this group test, and in some ways it shows, but fundamentally this cooler still delivers in the areas where it counts.

5

It’s got an illuminated logo and the hose mounts rotate, which is useful, but there’s none of the fancy materials or clever infinity mirror lighting of the more premium models on test. However, you get a chunky radiator, quieter rubber-tipped fans and the convenient thumbscrews for mounting them. CoolerMaster has also upgraded the tubing from the Lite 120. Here, it’s much thicker and braided. This makes it more difficult to move around, but it’s a lot tougher. When it comes to performance, the MasterLiquid 240 is surprisingly good. At no point does it take the crown in either silent or standard modes, however it holds its own and is relatively quiet in standard mode when under load – hitting just 40dB compared the Silent Loop 120’s 44dB. Just as with its 120mm sibling, the MasterLiquid 240 can’t help but impress. For raw performance you can’t really go wrong for the price, especially if this is your first time buying an all-in-one cooler.

90%

102

6

You do get a few nice extras, too. While plastic, the pump/block is topped by an illuminated CoolerMaster logo. The radiator is also well made, though it is a touch bigger than others. The fan also comes with integrated rubber pads on its corners to help reduce transfer of vibrations and reduce noise. Plus, the screws for mounting the fan are thumbscrews, which means there’s one less reason to grab a screwdriver when installing it. The mounting system of this cooler is also good, particularly for AM4 motherboards. It uses the standard AM4 motherboard bracket, so there’s no need to fit a base plate. In terms of performance, it came dead last for overall cooling, both in silent and standard mode. It was also the joint loudest in silent mode – due to the pump making noticeable burbling noises – though it was the quietest in standard mode. The end result is that this is a perfectly decent budget cooler. It’s not perfect, but for the price it more than delivers.

85%


A ll - in - o n e C PU c o o l e r s Group test

STACKED UP PRICE (£)

TEMPERATURE (°C) Standard Silent

NOISE LEVEL (dB) Standard Silent

1

BeQuiet! Silent Loop 240 120 31.5

41 52

6

55

2

BeQuiet! Silent Loop 120 95

7

32.5

44 56

61

56

62

3

Corsair H60i V2 70 33.5

40.5

4

Corsair H100i V2 105 36 37.5 51

55

5

Coolermaster MasterLiquid 240 65 32,7

40 55 57

6

Coolermaster MasterLiquid Lite 120 40 33.5 38

NZXT Kraken X52

58

65

7

NZXT Kraken X52

www.nzxt.com £135

135 32.5

Radiator + fan dimensions (mm)

Radiator material

Fans

1

277 x 124 x 55

Copper

2 x 120mm

2

153 x 128 x 95

Copper

2 x 120mm

3

120 x 152 x 52

Aluminium

1 x 120mm

4

120 x 275 x 52

Aluminium

2 x 120mm

5

80%

61

ESSENTIALS

277 x 119.6 x 52

Aluminium

2 x 120mm

6

7

The top of the CPU block uses a piece of mirrored plastic and clever lighting to create an illusion of depth as the ring of light around the outside appears to continue deeper into the block. Less impressive is the mass of cables that is needed to get this thing fully hooked up. It requires a proprietary connection from the block to the USB header, plus a SATA power connection. But the end result is a cooler that can be controlled by NZXT’s excellent software that offers various default fan presets and the ability to customise the profiles. The default silent and standard modes had the fans spinning very slowly, which meant the cooler didn’t excel when it came to cooling, but also meant it was among the quietest – although not by much. As such, in terms of performance it’s basically on par – spin the fans up more and it would be in line with the other 240mm coolers on our test. Instead, the appeal of this cooler comes down to that snazzy but ultimately superfluous infinity mirror effect.

55

157 x 119.6 x 52

Aluminium

1 x 120mm

7

As the most expensive cooler on our test the NZXT Kraken X52 has a burden of expectation resting heavily on its shoulders, and thankfully it largely justifies its asking price.

38

275 x 123 x 55

Aluminium

2 x 120mm

103


R E V IE W S Hardware

1

X370 Chipset

Combine the 1300X with a solid X370 board, such as the Asus Prime X370-A, and you’d be well on the way to a well-equipped machine.

2

Single-Core Performance

Unfortunately, this is still a little bit lax – at least, until AMD refines that core architecture.

www.amd.com £125 CPU

3

Integr ated Graphics?

4

O v e r c l oc k i n g h e a d r oo m

We’re still missing this, and it could be a while until we see Vega GPUs baked into these as well.

Like most Ryzens, you can clock this up to around 4 GHz across all the cores, adding an extra 160 points in Cinebench.

144

Ryzen 3 1300X This CPU U has got one of the more price-conscientious processor parts. Don’t be fooled by the naming scheme, this is a fully-fledged four-core, four-thread part, more akin to a Core i5 than anything else, but at half the price. We’re seeing a war occur between the two major processing powerhouses. With AMD and Intel gearing up to pit ever-more powerful models of their ranges head-to-head, it’s looking like a exciting time to be a CPU enthusiast. It’s the low end that interests us, though, and the 1300X hits the nail right on the head. It’s a four-core processor, with 8MB of cache, and 3.7 GHz turbo. It doesn’t have the multithreading of the 5 series, but it comes with a decent cooler and uses 65W of power.

In CineBench R15 the 1300X managed 562, with 154 points for single-core performance, putting it in line with a Core i5-4670K. In-game, the 1300X performed well, scoring 70 fps in Far Cry Primal. Ultimately, the Ryzen 3 1300X, is a sound quad-core part. We would’ve liked to have seen higher clock speeds for better single-core performance, but aside from that, it’s a solid chip.

94%

Base/Turbo Clock: 3.5 GHz / 3.7 GHz / Cores/Threads: 4/4 / Lithography: 14nm / Cache: 8MB / Memory Support: 64GB DDR4 @ 2666 MHz / Max PCIe Lanes: 16


hardware Reviews

ROUND-UP

Asus Radeon RX 580 4GB www.asus.com £380

Asus TUF X299 MARK 1 www.asus.com £285 MOBO

It’s weird to think that this is one of the most affordable X299 motherboards out there right now. TUF hasn’t ever let us down in the past, and, as a brand, it’s one of the few we go to without question. If the brash styling of Asus’s ROG Strix line doesn’t cut it for you, perhaps TUF’s armour-based X299 boards can sway you instead. The integrated PCB/M.2 cooling, memory support and clean RGB lighting makes this a solid choice for anyone looking to build a crisp-looking setup.

The RX 580 might not be anything other than an overclocked RX 480, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good card. Although the price of these is through the roof, once they come back down to that £220 sweet spot (goddammit, cryptocurrency), it’ll definitely be the card to get, especially if you game % at 1080p.

84

We managed to reach an impressive 4.4 GHz on my Core i9-7900X with relative ease. Asus’s BIOS is also one of the easier to work with if you’re new to overclocking. Chipset/Socket: X299 / LGA 2066 / Form Factor: ATX /

91%

Memory Support: 128GB DDR4 @ 4133 MT/s / M.2 / U.2 Support: 2x M.2 / SATA Support: 8x SATA 6Gb/s

Bitfenix Portal

www.bitfenix.com £120

Corsair Void Pro Wireless www.corsair.com £100

HEADSET

It’s been a while since we first took a look at Corsair’s Void series of headsets. We’ve always had a penchant for wireless headsets, and so when Corsair announced a V2 of its Voids, we had to get a pair. So what’s new for the headset? Well, the audio drivers have been tweaked to provide a more resonant sound, the microphone has been redeveloped from the ground up for greater sensitivity, and, more importantly, the ear cups have been changed out for memory foam additions. That last bit is a big deal. Previously, the ear cups on the Voids always felt like they were leaking sound out of the bottom of the circumaural cups, but with the memory foam in place, this seems there’s a tighter fit – isolating more noise, whilst also being far more comfortable than its counterparts.

90%

Driver Technology: 50mm Dynamic / Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 KHz / Impedance: 32 Ohms /

Bitfenix has always designed some bonkers cases, whether it’s the Prodigy or the Shinobi, it has always been at the forefront of pushing those case design boundaries further. The Portal is no exception. Its crazy cylindrical ITX design is impressive, the materials used exceptional and the % cooling acceptable.

88

Asus ROG Strix B250i www.asus.com £125

And what’s better to go with the ITX Portal than a solid Asus motherboard. This B250i Strix is packed with features, including an M.2 PCIe SSD heatsink, eight-pin CPU power, a ton of USB and SATA ports, RGB lighting and even Wi-Fi. Couple that with a stunning price and solid performance. % It’s a winner.

92

Connectivity: USB / Wireless

145


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