Gaming

Face the facts: if you want a pre-built PC that can play virtually any game at high resolutions with high-quality settings, you're going to have to pay a princely sum. While you could probably build your own PC for less than a pre-built system, boutique builders typically offer a number of benefits in the form of guaranteed overclocks or custom component. Or maybe you just have no interest whatsoever spending all that time installing parts and hiding cables in your case. Though Digital Storm's Bolt 3 isn't the highest-end gaming PC we've tested, it holds its own for its not-so-insignificant price—delivering... Read more...
To say that BioWare has something to prove with Dragon Age: Inquisition is something of an understatement. The first Dragon Age: Origins was a colossal, sprawling, unabashed throwback to classic RPGs. Origins introduced gamers to the world of Thedas. As a newly-minted Grey Warden, players were tasked with stopping a deadly invasion of darkspawn -- creatures that had laid waste to vast swathes of the continent in ages past and ground entire nations into dust. The game took place over a relatively short span of time, but featured a wide array of memorable locations, landmarks, and NPCs. One of Dragon... Read more...
When Valve initially revealed its partners for the company’s Steam Machine, Alienware was one of the first on board. However, since the Steam Machine was delayed, Alienware decided to go ahead and re-package the device. Called the Alienware Alpha, the company has started shipping the device out to consumers who pre-ordered the PC console.The Alienware Alpha has a starting price of $549 with the low end version featuring an Intel Core i3 4130T dual-core processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 500GB hard drive, and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M GPU. The $799 model swaps out the i3 for an Intel Core i5 4590T quad-core... Read more...
We’ve seen our share of obscenely tricked-out systems as of late; rigs like the Maingear Rush and Epic Rush, the iBuypower Chimera 4SE FX Ultimate, and the Falcon Northwest Tiki (among others) are bursting at the seams with the hottest hardware, but of course, those systems typically have commensurate price tags. None of the above cost less than $2,700, and the Maingear Rush drains the pocketbook at a whopping $8,393 as configured. Digital Storm’s latest offering, the Vanquish II, take a completely different approach. It still has excellent components inside, but none... Read more...
The Intel Haswell-based gaming rigs keep coming. Digital Storm sent us a mid tower gaming machine dubbed the Digital Storm VIRTUE Level 3, which boasts some hot, next-gen components wrapped inside a stoic, unadorned chassis--rather like the CyberPowerPC Xtreme Gamer 5200 we just looked at. Digital Storm says that the VIRTUE was an effort to create a mid tower-sized option that evinced the same care and attention typically devoted to the bigger, showier gaming rigs we’re used to seeing. The VIRTUE is certainly well-made, and there’s surely a market for mid tower rigs, but like the... Read more...
Gaming is something we've done quite a bit of over the years, but sitting down to pick a list of the most addictive games ever proved surprisingly tricky. Addictive games aren't necessarily the top sellers, or record-smashing behemoths. Sometimes, their appeal is measured in near-perfect execution of a narrow concept, while other games keep us up 'til 3 AM because, despite their flaws, they offer a compelling, challenging experience. Orcs Must Die 2 has eaten more of my life than I want to admit in front of my employers. Here is our criteria: No mobile/pocket/Facebook games:  I've... Read more...
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... Read more...
Diablo III isn't just a game -- it's a sequel, a social service, and a financial experiment all wrapped up in one. We've discussed the game's structure and balance in our extensive preview as well as its security problems earlier this week. The third part of the game -- the Real (Money) Auction House, or RAH -- won't debut until May 29 at the earliest and therefore won't be covered here.  Diablo III will likely go down as one of the most polarizing games of 2012. What follows is a detailed examination of the game's best attributes and a frank discussion of its failures. Diablo III: Graphics,... Read more...
How do you make the experience of buying from a boutique system builder easier than it already is? If you're Digital Storm, you answer that question by offering a line of pre-configured machines that are fully loaded to meet your budget and ready to ship in 72 hours. Not only do you save the time and energy required to build your own system from scratch, you also skip the exercise in picking out each individual component and then crossing your fingers hoping you've made solid selections. Owning a high performance gaming system doesn't get any easier, and though it's true you rob yourself of the... Read more...
Dell's enthusiast gaming PC division has built a legacy on designing over-the-top desktops and notebooks, that push the boundaries of performance and style with an unmistakable design flair.  We've been pretty impressed with the Alienware systems we've looked at thus far, and though they tend to run a premium in terms of price, performance and design quality generally scale along with that higher price tag. On the test track, Alienware notebooks have racked up some of the best performance numbers we've seen and the company's desktops rank right up there as well.  One shape the Aliens... Read more...
It's been a busy spring for OEMs, and Digital Storm is no exception. Earlier this year, Intel was forced to suspend shipments of Sandy Bridge's accompanying Cougar Point chipset while it fixed a design flaw. This, in turn, left both system OEMs and retail motherboard vendors no choice but to suspend/delay their own Sandy Bridge-based products. Now the market is awash with product refreshes, making it more difficult than ever for any one product to stand out from the crowd. Digital Storm's new Enix appears to pull it off nicely, however, at a (relatively) cheap price compared to many of the... Read more...
When you think about the market for a pre-built, proverbial "Killer Gaming Rig," you have to consider the class of consumer that would have interest in this type of system. For the most part, the average do-it-yourselfer isn't going to take much interest here, save for perhaps the appreciation of all the bleeding-edge technology and design quality that is the hallmark of such a system.  That said, there is obviously a significant market opportunity for consumers that want top-of-the line components and build quality for enthusiast-class gaming performance and head-turning aesthetics,... Read more...
Boutique system builders tend to fall into three categories, there are the more custom or high-end offerings from some of the larger names like Dell/Alienware or HP/Voodoo (though you may or may not classify them as "boutique"), there are offerings from large e-tailers like Tiger Direct's SystemMax, and then there are independent companies as well, obviously.  A few of the major names in this third category are MainGear, Velocity Micro and the company whose product we have on the bench for you today--Digital Storm. Digital Storm as a company has been around... Read more...
Turn the clock back to the middle of this decade, and the idea of a Dell system using an AMD processor would be considered facetious at best. Dell, had been an Intel-only shop from the beginning, and had only toyed with AMD processors from time to time in highly niche market systems. Many AMD fans considered Dell's acceptance of AMD processors as the holy grail for mainstream adoption in the PC market, a single act which would save AMD once and for all. Intel-fans would no longer point to the PC making behemoth as proof that AMD processors were somehow sub-par and... Read more...
1 2 Next