Digital Storm Bolt Small Form Factor Gaming PC Review

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Let it be said right off the bat that the Digital Storm Bolt is beautiful. The all-metal case is predominantly glossy black with smart-looking metal glossy battleship gray grills for heat dissipation and a striking fire engine red base for sexy-looking stability. There’s a matching red Digital Storm logo gracing the front of the case, whose profile otherwise eschews any front-panel ports and is interrupted only by the vertically-oriented optical drive.

Aside from the excellent paint job and color scheme, the case’s angles are it’s most attractive feature; in profile, it looks like the whole system is being blown back a bit, sitting at a slight angle and resulting in rear fins reminiscent of early-model Corvettes. The rear section of the base sticks out slightly, calling to mind a Flying V guitar shape.


The chassis is completely unique, because when the Digital Storm crew was looking for a case to house a slim gaming PC, they didn’t find one to their liking, so they just designed their own.

For the most part, the result is superb. However, when removing the sides and top of the case (which is actually one big piece), we found that it was a little tricky to get it off, and the top and side grills were constantly threatening to wriggle loose.

Further, although we appreciate that Digital Storm built the Bolt with off-the-shelf parts to facilitate easier future upgrades, there is no room inside that chassis for error.  If your cable routing is anything but professional-grade (from the factory it was wrapped fairly well), for example, you’re going to have a terribly difficult time wrestling the case back together and will likely have to deal with bulging side panels.

One notable design feature is that the system's 500 Watt power supply actually resides inside the system itself, unlike other recent SFF designs we've looked at that rely on a somewhat limited and large power brick.  Digital Storm's custom 500 Watt PSU (manufactured by Sparkle) is 80 plus certified and offers plenty of headroom for upgrades in things like GPUs.


Otherwise, the all-metal construction is solid as a rock, and the excellent paint job is a sight to see. 


The interior, as you can see, is a feat of creativity and engineering, akin to your mother inexplicably being able to pack everything for your summer camp adventure into a single suitcase. Hats off to Digital Storm for finding a way to fit all of these parts into so small a form factor.

Finally, we'd like to note that the Bolt ships with no bloatware, which is always nice to see, and they also opted for a cool custom desktop background to boot.

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realneil 2 years ago

Tiny little powerhouse.

It's a shame about the noise.

SecretAgentMan 2 years ago

that is a pretty sexy little beast. digital storm puts out some great stuff but you srsly pay a premium for it. it sucks. i ended up getting a prebuilt from last month for a lot less and i'm super happy with it. hopefully they don't raise their prices like ds

arabellabach 2 years ago

Nice review. Thanks for the discussion. :)

kidbest100 2 years ago

Nice little piece of hardware! Looks awesome, performs awesome!


oo bad it doesn't sound awesome... The sound would be pretty hard for some people to deal with, and others probably wouldn't be to impressed with those temps either.

But who gives a hey? Its still amazing how much they could fit in it :D

Nice review! Can't wait to see more :D

Mattos 2 years ago

I like how more companies are making these SFF PC's. Thanks for the review.

Dorkstar 2 years ago

I really like the fact that the GPU is facing outwards on the side of the case.  I know cards today don't run quite as hot as my GTX 285 does, but the heat coming off the GPU was always a large concern for me.  The exhaust fan points right underneath my CPU, and I always feared it would cause a heat issue for my cpu, which it hasn't, but seeing that the GPU is usually the hottest device inside the case, I think it would be a nice idea to get that hot hair blowing directly out of the case rather than circulating around inside.

kylevasher 2 years ago

This IMO is a work of art. With PC's becoming smaller that means people won't be so hesitant to bring their PC to the next big local LAN. I see it like this, smaller form factor + less work = more LAN.


KierWest one year ago

I dont get why anyone wants a small form factor PC.  It always comes with limitations.  
My first PC was a small form factor, and I couldn't upgrade it.  It was miserable and costly.  

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