Digital Storm Launches The Upgraded BOLT 3 SFF Gaming Systemby Brett Howse on April 2, 2015 9:00 AM EST
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Normally when one thinks of a gaming system, a Small Form Factor (SFF) computer is not what you would expect. Gaming, especially when done with some of the top end components, can generate a tremendous amount of heat which can be difficult to cope with in a small chassis. However this is quite a popular segment, and the advantages of a SFF device can be quite compelling. Gaming can move from the office to the living room, and small form factor cases can be tucked away with the other A/V components. Digital Storm is certainly not the only company in this space, but they are launching a new model today which builds on their successes with their previous models. Today they are launching the BOLT 3, which is their third generation SFF gaming system.
Aesthetics are very personal, but quality of materials can more easily be commented on. The BOLT 3 case is constructed entirely from brushed aluminum, with an anodized black finish. The side panel is made of glass to allow a glimpse inside the case. Looking inside, you can see some unique features. The BOLT 3 features a custom liquid cooling system to cool the processor, and below the motherboard is a GPU which sits parallel to the board, rather than perpendicular, to allow the case to be much smaller in height while keeping a full GPU. The case dimensions are 18.3 x 15.1 x 5.8 inches.
And speaking of the GPU, Digital Storm offers quite a range from the GTX 960, all the way up to the Titan X. Processor options include Intel Core i5-4590, i5-4690K and i7-4790K choices, and the systems can be configured with 8 to 16 GB of memory. This should allow for almost any gaming scenario to be covered, assuming your pockets are deep enough.
Attention to detail was paid to upgradability as well, with the GPU being placed away from other major components to allow basically any GPU to fit in this case. The power cables and cooling tubes have been placed to allow for an easier time with replacing components in the future.
If you are interested in a pre-built SFF gaming PC, you can check out all of the options and pricing for the different models at http://www.digitalstormonline.com/bolt-3.asp. The entry level system can be customized, but starts at $1547, and the top tier as configured goes all the way up to $3569.
Source: Digital Storm
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Zap - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkI am a fan of small form factor, and do like me some bling. With that said, I am a bit disappointed with this machine for these reasons:
- Waste of space. For the actual components it contains, the overall volume is huge.
- Optical drive. The last game I purchased on disc was Titanfall, and I still had to download! I could have merely punched in the key code into Origin. Everything is streaming these days, so the (albeit slim) optical drive really interrupts the front of the case and is IMO unnecessary. I have a slim USB optical drive which fills all my disc needs among all my computers. Heck, my last four notebook computers had not come with optical drives.
- Front ports also interrupt the aesthetics. Maybe have them side or top mounted?
- Liquid cool the CPU but not the GPU? Why? GPUs use a lot more electricity than CPUs, and thus can benefit much more from liquid cooling.
- From the pictures, chassis airflow appears nonexistant. Where does the air cooled GPU get cool air from? Certainly not the aluminum front, nor the clear side. Unless, this is just some renderings or a "show" build.
DooDoo22 - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkThey are using the new lian li cases and a Swiftech AIO. Anyone could assemble the same system at home.
foxtrot1_1 - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkWhich Lian Li case is that?
djboxbaba - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkLian Li PC-O5S
DanNeely - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkThe front panel is mesh; but there's not room to mount a fan. That's probably why the system was built using a blower card instead of the more common open air cooler. Open air cards need additional fans to expel hot air the just dump into the case; a blower dumps all its hot air directly out the back as long as there's an opening somewhere else in the case for fresh air to flow in to replace it.
Siba - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - link26 liters is most definitely not "SFF" anymore
edzieba - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkYeah, for a single GPU, ITX board, SFX PSU and 240mm rad system it's positively GARGANTUAN. The Ncase M1, for example, fits the same components into less than half the volume, and without a PCI-E riser.
Mushkins - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkThis price is flat out ridiculous. I could see the entry level clocking in around $1000, but $1500 for those components is nuts. It's close to a $700 markup just for them to put the thing together for you, not including shipping and tax.
metayoshi - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkThat's what I was thinking. The internal components are a nice combination, but holy crap, those prices are crazy.
djboxbaba - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkEveryone PLEASE.. this is the Lian Li PC-O5S