Digital Storm's Enix Gaming System Reviewed

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Performance Summary:  The Enix is a great performer. It's right at the the top of our gaming benchmarks and it offers a fabulous price / performance ratio compared to the previous boutique systems we've examined. The Shift, with it's overclocked Gulftown 6-Core CPU is ,generally speaking, the fastest we've ever tested—but the four-core Sandy Bridge is surprisingly close behind it. We've got nothing but praise for this aspect of the system.

The Enix's greatest strength is that it offers simmilar and sometimes more performance, more quietly, more efficiently, and for a fraction of the price. It's impossible not to like those elements, but the SilverStone FT03 chassis is only going to suit a certain kind of user. While it's a unique, attractive case, the number of available USB ports (six) is lacking in a high-end chassis; the problem is only exacerbated by SilverStone's decision to mount USB 3.0 ports at the top instead of USB 2.0.

Because putting devices on top of the top grate interferes with cooling, any buyer with a significant number of USB devices connected by wire will have an aesthetically displeasing number of cables and gear lying around it--likely on multiple sides. If you're a minimalist when it comes to USB devices, however, you may quite like the case.

We continue to have concerns about the way boutique builders are trying to balance on the very razor edge of acoustics, performance, and thermals. Consumers may be enticed by such marketing, but we believe they are served better by more durable products that can withstand sustained heavy workloads, dust buildup, AC failures and the like—even if all three become an issue at the same time. This trend, however, is not unique to Digital Storm.

The Enix is a great system for a consumer who had no issue with any of the FT03's limitations, but we'd recommend a more conservative configuration than the one the company shipped us. Specifically, we'd drop the CPU speed—Digital Storm offers free tuning up to 3.9 GHz, and Sandy Bridge has performance to spare. Less demanding GPUs might also improve system thermals and save a few bucks as well if you don't need an ultra powerful GPU setup. Here, Digital Storm doesn't disappoint--there's a vast array of GTX 570 cards available in SLI, as well as numerous midrange combinations.

  • Unique Form Factor
  • Great price / performance ratio
  • Great performance, period
  • Dramatically reduced power
  • consumption compared to 2010 systems.
  • SilverStone FT03 chassis not without flaws
  • Overclocked temperatures and high clock speeds threaten system stability under sustained load

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