Digital Storm Bolt 3 SFF Gaming PC: A Compact Powerhouse

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Digital Storm Bolt 3 Conclusion

The Digital Storm Bolt 3 has just about everything you'd need in a pre-built, small form factor gaming PC. However, it may not be the system for you if you like to tinker with hardware and regularly upgrade components. What the Bolt 3 saves in space, it lacks in upgradability—two spots for storage, one video card, and two sticks of RAM. For most people, that's more than enough for a formidable gaming machine. If you're looking for something that can blow up benchmarks on a 4K system, though, the Bolt 3 isn't the ideal solution.

Digital Storm Bolt 3 Front View

That said, the Bolt 3 did great in our benchmarks, and it's priced well for what you get — a system that's one of the best for single-card gaming, with plenty of fun extras (USB 3.1, liquid cooling, and nice lighting) for what you're spending. Noise remains the system's key weakness. However, that problem is a bit more personal: Some people might not think it's that loud, some might not care if they're gaming with headphones or a great speaker system, though some people might really be put off by it. It wasn't a deal breaker for us, but we'd also probably find a way to configure our desk or home entertainment setup to minimize the sound.

We were generally impressed with the system's build quality as well as the number of options Digital Storm gives you to customize a PC to your liking. We only wish there was a soundproofing option, or even a way to minimize the lovely acrylic paneling in favor of more noise reduction. We love the giant, clear side panel, and the system looks great when it's powered on, so we're torn: Less attractive setup and less noise, or a gorgeous rig and more noise. 

Digital Storm Bolt 3 Cooling

Otherwise, we were generally impressed with the Bolt 3's great performance on our tests. It's a solid, svelte system, and it does a great job handling what most people will throw its way. We also like the the Bolt 3's design language, clean software setup, and Digital Storm's plethora of configuration options.

  • Lovely-looking SFF PC
  • Amazing graphical capabilities
  • Beautiful lighting
  • Detail-oriented construction
  • No bloatware
  • Good price for its general performance
  • Not much room to upgrade
  • Very loud
  • Bit of a reach to access front-facing USB ports (if upright)

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