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Digital Storm Bolt 2 SFF Gaming Desktop PC Review

Digital Storm Bolt 2 SFF Gaming Desktop PC Review
Trace takes a close-up look at Digital Storm's new Bolt 2 SFF gaming desktop PC. It's incredible to think how much performance they've managed to pack in.
| Gaming Desktop PCs in Computer Systems | Posted: Sep 2, 2014 9:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Digital Storm

Introduction

 

TweakTown image content/6/6/6631_01_digital_storm_bolt_2_sff_gaming_desktop_pc_review.jpg

 

Today, we're getting the chance to look at another Digital Storm system. This system is an upgrade from a previous model that we've looked at in a prior review. This is one of our favorite things to do, as it allows us to show a direct comparison on how it has been improved--or hurt--by the changes.

 

Digital Storm is a custom PC builder based out of the California Bay Area. Many of Digital Storm's PCs make use of custom cases that are designed and manufactured in the United States. This is the case (pun intended) for the Bolt 2.

 

One of the most interesting improvements from the original Bolt comes in the case. It has seen a bit of a remake and now has better fit and finish. We noted in the prior review that the custom case of the Bolt had a few small issues. We are happy to report this isn't the case for the Bolt 2.

 

But enough about that. We'll be interested to see all of the improvements Digital Storm has packed into the Bolt 2. So, without further ado, let's dive into the meat of this review.

 

 

Specifications, Configurations and Pricing

 

We've got a ton of computing performance stuffed into a tiny package. The heart of the system is Intel's latest Core i7-4790K. This 4GHz CPU can boost all the way up to 4.4GHz when thermals and power consumption allow. It features four cores and four threads and is the successor to the i7-4770K, a favorite for gaming.

 

Cooling the CPU is a custom watercooling setup. This compact system makes use of a 240mm radiator, allowing for plenty of cooling potential for massive overclocks.

 

One of the most important components, the motherboard, in this system is the very capable ASUS Z97I-PLUS. This mini-ITX motherboard makes use of Intel's latest Z97 chipset. It features just one PCIe x16 slot for expansion, along with four SATA III 6Gbps ports, six USB 3.0 ports, four of which are on the back I/O panel, and six USB 2.0 ports, again with four on the back I/O.

 

Digital Storm has slotted two 8GB sticks of Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3 RAM into the motherboard. These sticks come with a rated speed of 1866MHz and timings of 9-10-9-27, or an SPD speed and timings of 1,333MHz and 9-9-9-24, respectively.

 

Graphics are provided by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB GPU. This is one of NVIDIA's best GPUs and is a very capable video card. We have a feeling it will do quite well in our charts, which is incredible based upon the size of the overall system.

 

Windows 8.1 64-bit is installed upon the 500GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD. Mass storage is provided by a 2TB Western Digital 7,200RPM Black drive. Digital Storm has overclocked the 4790K with a "Stage 2" overclock, which sees the speed being boosted to between 4.5GHz and 4.8GHz. Our specific unit comes clocked at 4.6GHz.

 

This configuration is available from Digital Storm for $3,489. A wide range of customization is available through Digital Storm's online tool. You can choose from different GPUs, including both AMD and NVIDIA offerings, different motherboards, and different processors.

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