Performance Summary & Conclusion
You can only expect so much from a system with an Intel Core i5 chip and a single GPU inside. Digital Storm wanted to build a medium-cost system with hopefully better-than-medium performance. This is a get-what-you-pay-for type rig, and what you get is decent performance and good build quality, without breaking the bank. If you want to play newer titles at high resolutions with the settings reasonably high, you’re going to need a bigger boat, as it were, but for less intensive gaming the Vanquish II will suit most users just fine.
What the Vanquish II has going for it is high-quality construction, good looks, a few excellent components (namely, the storage drives and RAM), and a strong warranty to fall back on if need be. It’s also extremely quiet even when under load.
However, we must carp about the motherboard situation. Digital Storm opted for a $60 ASUS H81M micro ATX motherboard, and it’s not clear why. True, a more mainstream motherboard will cost a few dollars more, but why skimp? You’re losing a number of ports--there are only six total USB ports, for example--and there’s only a single expansion slot beyond what the installed graphics card covers. A system like this practically begs to be upgraded or enhanced, but you'll have minimal options with the Vanquish II.
Of course, the price is righte. As we mentioned at the top of this article, many of the gaming systems we’ve seen lately cost far, far more than the $1,259 Vanquish II. Only the CyberPowerPC Zeus Mini-I 780 comes anywhere close, and that system costs $600 more at $1,859.
Thus, you should think of the Digital Storm Vanquish II not as a budget rig, but a budget-friendly gaming system. If you want to truly go budget here, opt for Level 1, 2, or 3 of the Vanquish II. If you want to get a bit more serious about gaming performance, though, you’ll need to drop some more coin.