Digital Storm's Bolt II Battle Box Edition Brings 4K Gaming to an ITX System
"4K" has been quite a strong buzzword this past year, and things are only bound to heat up as displays capable of handling the resolution continue to drop in price. But let's face it: While the extra pixels are nice in principle, the amount of GPU horsepower required to deliver smooth gameplay at that resolution is enormous. Consider the fact that 4K, with its 3840x2160 resolution, has four times the number of pixels as 1080p, and over two times the number of pixels as 1440p. Yup - we're dealing with something that requires some serious grunt.
On the NVIDIA side, that's where a GPU like the GeForce TITAN Z comes in, a card with a staggering 12GB of VRAM, and 5,760 CUDA cores. It means business, and that's the reason Digital Storm decided to integrate it into its Bolt II 'Battle Box' edition. While Battle Box might seem like Digital Storm's branding, it's actually NVIDIA's: The company one year ago introduced Battle Box badging to signify a PC that was capable of handling current and near-future games at 4K resolution with great detail settings. It takes a true beast of a PC to earn one of these badges.
The first thing that stood out to me after checking out the configurator for the Bolt II Battle Box edition was its $5,000 price tag. To help put into perspective what kind of value this is, consider this: The GeForce TITAN Z costs $3,000 by itself, this Bolt II includes Digital Storm's high-end Hardline water cooling system, and also a "Copperhead" exotic paint finish. Further, we're dealing with a mini-ITX system here, so the amount of power per cubic inch is extreme. The motherboard included is ASUS' MAXIMUS VI IMPACT, while CPU duties are left to Intel's highest-end Haswell part, the Core i7-4790K.
Really, it's almost bizarre how Digital Storm can let this go for $5,000; either it has struck some killer deals with vendors, or it hopes to make it up with options. Either way, the configurator page states that the regular price of this build is $6,658, and I believe it.
Personally, I am having a hard time buying into the 4K hype, as I'd much prefer using all of that extra GPU horsepower for a 3x1 Surround configuration, but that's something that this system would be able to easily handle as well. Either route you want to take, this Bolt II will offer enough power to get your gaming job done.