iBuypower Revolt 2 Review: A Powerful, Portable Gaming Desktop

Revolt 2 Design and Layout

If you like to show off your system’s hardware, the Revolt 2 is your kind of PC. The case is designed so that the SSD and graphics card are visible from the window, which appears at the top of the case. Need a better look? You can lift the window to expose both components. This sort of window isn’t really a necessity, but it is a convenience, and in a LAN-party PC, it’s pretty slick.

revolt 02 04

The icing on the cake is that the Revolt 2 has internal lighting so your components are visible, even in a dark tournament room. Included software lets you choose from a massive color palette and provides motion options. You can have the light pulse or move from one end of the system to the other at whatever speed you prefer. Most of the options support a single (customizable) color, but the software also offers a rainbow setting. Those who like a little bling in their system will appreciate the Revolt 2’s lighting arrangement.

The Revolt 2’s design is a far cry from the typical, box-like PC. The white, wing-like side panels give the system an unmistakably gaming look. Although there’s nothing about the system’s design that would qualify as “understated,” the Revolt 2 isn’t tacky. In fact, it’s one of the better-looking PCs we’ve seen of late.

revolt 02 02

The rig is very small, though not quite as diminutive as some competitors in this class. The front panel has a built-in handle that makes two-handed carrying a little easier. Two USB 3.0 ports sit at the front, along with headphone and mic ports and the power button. We expected to find an SD card reader on the front, too, but the Revolt 2 lacks a card reader entirely.

revolt 02 05 revolt 02 06

revolt 02 07

Most of the ports are at the back of the system, including the GeForce GTX 980 Ti’s array of DisplayPort, DVI and HDMI ports. We like that the antennas are detachable, as they would be vulnerable when the system is being carried to and from tournaments. The case’s design makes reaching the thumbscrews (which secure the side panels) a little tricky. If you keep the screws lightly tightened, you can remove them without a screwdriver, but even then, the going is slow and we resorted to a screwdriver every time we opened the case. You’d think the thumbscrews would be easier to reach on a system that’s meant for the traveler, but they're tucked away on this machine.

revolt 02 08 revolt 02 09

Take the side panel off the Revolt 2 and you’ll see its biggest shortcoming right away: The interior is cramped, leaving virtually no room for expansion. The hard drive is easy enough to reach, thanks to its placement just behind the SSD bay. But you’ll need to remove the PSU to reach the processor. You should be able to replace the memory without removing any other parts, but even that minor upgrade task looks like it will be a bear, thanks to the nearby cables and power supply. That said, iBuypower did a solid job when it comes to cable management. All of the cables are neatly tied and, as much as possible, tucked out of the way. As cramped as the system’s interior is from an expansion perspective, airflow doesn’t look like a problem.

revolt 02 10

revolt 02 11 revolt 02 12

revolt 02 13

IBuypower cools the processor with a Corsair Hydro Series H90 liquid cooling kit. The PC maker’s commitment to customization extends even to the cooling systems: you can choose from four cooling kits when configuring your computer.

revolt 02 14 revolt 02 15

Both the MEK mechanical keyboard and the gaming mouse have backlit iBuypower logos on them. The keys feature red switches and have individual, red lights. You can download iBuypower’s free Hera software to use the keyboard’s gaming-oriented macro features. And the mouse has a DPI switch for better control in first-person shooters or other games that require multiple levels of mouse precision.

Related content