Digital Storm Bolt II: Devil’s Canyon Inside

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Design and User Experience

We’ll come right out and say it: the Digital Storm Bolt II is a good-looking PC. It cuts a slim, but sturdy-looking profile and has a matte-black finish that makes the Bolt II disappear into the shadows when the lights are dim – save for that bright-red Digital Storm logo on the front.



Logo aside, everything about the rig is understated. It’s small and slim at only 4.4 inches wide. The ports and buttons are out of sight (from the front). Even the side panel window is smaller than most case windows. But nothing about the system is bland, in our opinion. Those ports? They’re present, and they’re right where you need them. The window? It spotlights the CPU and the liquid cooling system’s water block. The vents on the side panel? They show off your GTX 780 Ti while providing adequate airflow. The system is a hardware showcase, but it’s sophisticated, rather than gaudy.




The Bolt II’s complement of ports includes two USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports at the front, which also houses a media card reader. They sit on the system’s left side when the computer is standing up, or at the top when the system sits flat. The power and reset buttons are at the top of the Bolt II when standing. So what’s on the front? Not a heck of a lot, and we like it that way. The Digital Storm logo is bold and looks great, but unless you look close, you might miss the “Bolt II” at the bottom and the slot-loading Blu-ray player in the middle.




Release the thumbscrews (no screwdriver needed), pop off the side panel, and you’re looking at a very carefully-packed, but surprisingly user-friendly, system interior. The 240mm radiator for the liquid cooler and the storage drive bay are both marked “Removable” and are held in place by easy-to-reach screws. A meticulous cable management job means that you have unobstructed access to the Corsair Vengeance memory DIMMs and the processor. It’s a clean setup that isn’t likely to fall apart when you upgrade parts.

The case is designed to provide some breathing room between the Bolt II and the desk (or shelf), whether it’s standing up or sitting. The four metal feet for the system’s sitting position detract from the system’s overall sleek look (when it’s standing), but you can remove them with a screwdriver.


Digtal Storm HydroLux Control Center

We spent plenty of time using the Bolt II to perform day-to-day tasks and we got in more than a little gaming. Setting up the system was easy and took minutes and the Xbox controller was ready instantly. Steam’s Big Picture mode looks and works great; the games looked even better. The system never once crashed and was rock solid throughout testing.

We liked Digital Storm’s HydroLux feature too, which is a hardware/software package that handles temperature monitoring and management. The software keeps tabs on several locations in the system, including the graphics card, storage drive, and CPU areas, and lets you adjust cooling features to fit your preferences – though it can handle things automatically as well. The software also lets you choose the lighting configuration for the windowed area of the system.
 

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