Xidax X-8 Gaming PC Review: Skylake-X And Dual GTX 1080 Ti Cards For The Win
Xidax X-8 Gaming PC: Performance Summary & Final Thoughts
Performance Summary: What do you get when you combine a 10-core / 20-thread Core i9-7900X processor, with two GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards, 32GB of DDR4-3200 RAM, and a 512GB NVMe SSD for primary storage duties? One hell of a fast system, that's what.
As configured by Xidax, the X-8 placed itself at or near the top spot in every single benchmark. This is a system that's really built for playing PC games, and in most of our gaming benchmarks, it averaged triple-digit framerates. That was certainly true at 1080p and 1440p, though it also managed to top 100 frames per second in 4K in Shadow of Mordor, where it averaged 175 FPS. That said, the X-8 didn't always lead the pack, which we suspect is the result of the CPU being a bottleneck. Even though the Core i9-7900X is a monster processor, there were a few instances where the X-8 slipped to second or third place, in favor of systems that were aggressively overclocked to 5GHz. Overall, however, the X-8 lived up to expectations.
For some, it's simply easier and less stressful to task a boutique vendor with putting together a killer configuration, as Xidax did with the X-8 it sent us. Granted, a lot of what worked here came down to part selection—Thermaltake's View 71 with glass side panels is a stunning enclosure, and the glowing components inside brought it to life. But Xidax deserves credit for neatly assembling it all, for choosing top-shelf components and even making sure that the area behind the motherboard tray is not an eyesore.
So yes, there's nothing stopping anyone from building the exact same system, and by our math, you'd currently save yourself about a grand over the ~$5,500 asking price. If you have the skill set and desire, by all means, we encourage getting your hands dirty. But systems like this are for enthusiast gamers, not do-it-yourself gamers—two different, albeit similar breeds. Those who do buy from Xidax will also benefit from a lifetime warranty on every bit of hardware inside the PC. Xidax doesn't charge extra for this, either. To our knowledge, no other boutique builder or bulk OEM offers a lifetime guarantee on systems of this caliber (feel free to correct us in the comments section if we're wrong).
If you've decided to buy instead of build, the question then becomes, should you consider the X-8? And if so, is it worth splurging on the same component selection as our review unit? The answer to the first question is yes, absolutely you should consider the X-8, and by extension, Xidax. While relatively new to online boutique sales, Xidax has shown us it can build a fast, reliable, and decorative system.
As for shelling out over five large on a system, well, that's a little more difficult to answer. As we saw in Metro Last Light, running some games at 4K can be extremely taxing on single GPU configurations. Even with two GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards and other high-end hardware underneath the hood, the X-8 didn't exactly blow the doors off that benchmark, hovering around 59 FPS.
For most people, however, this level of excess is overkill. Even if you wanted to throw some big time cash at a high-end setup without going too crazy, you can pare the price down to around $3,000 by downgrading the motherboard, swapping out the Core i9-7900X for a Core i7-7800X, cutting the RAM in half to 16GB, and going with a single, custom cooled GeForce GTX 1080 Ti instead of two Founders Edition cards.
Xidax's website is easy to navigate when customizing a build, though part selection depends on timing. We noticed that Xidax's inventory changes. It doesn't seem to shift on the bigger components, but from when we started evaluating this system to being finished with the review, the 2TB Seagate BarraCuda found in this system disappeared from Xidax's website. Only WD's Blue and Black HDDs were listed the last time we checked. That's not a major deal, but if you have an affinity for a certain brand, you might be forced to go with a different one, or wait for Xidax to replenish its inventory.
Beyond the nitpick of changing inventory, there was some minor instability at the outset, until we updated the BIOS. It didn't happen often, but on a couple of occasions, the system locked up on us as we were benchmarking. This went away after applying the latest BIOS to the ASUS motherboard, so we're not too concerned. Still, we feel this is something that should have been caught prior to shipping, especially considering the price.
So, the X-8 is not perfect. Beyond the minor gripes, however, our first dance with Xidax left us generally impressed.