Digital Storm Bolt Small Form Factor Gaming PC Review

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Gaming PCs come in all shapes and sizes, but the small form factor gaming rig is not one that you see all that often. When it comes to tablets, notebooks and small form factor PCs, “thin and light” may indicate the latest and greatest in design and mobile components, but when it comes to gaming, a lithe chassis can be indicative of deep compromises on the performance inside.

Digital Storm has tackled the task of building a system that offers both high-performance parts and a small chassis with the Bolt series of custom PCs. Indeed, they nailed it on the compact size; the Bolt’s case measures just 3.6"(W) x 14"(H) x 15"(D), and while the components inside the Bolt we tested aren't the highest-end parts that money can buy, they're still fairly impressive.

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Tiny little powerhouse.

It's a shame about the noise.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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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

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Nice review. Thanks for the discussion. :)

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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

PC Specs:

  • AMD Athlon 64 x2 6400+  Cooled by a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus (push-pull)
  • 2GB DDR2
  • MSI Radeon HD 6450 2GB
  • Stock Dell motherboard
  • 250Gb HDD
  • XFX Pro Core edition 650W PSU
  • Stock Dell inspiron case


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Mattos replied on Sat, Nov 17 2012 11:25 PM

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

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Dorkstar replied on Thu, Nov 29 2012 12:20 PM

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.

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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.


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KierWest replied on Mon, Jul 15 2013 7:40 AM

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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