Every time I post a review of a boutique gaming PC, someone in the comments has to mention that they could build a similar machine themselves for less money. That's still true for Digital Storm's newly-launched Vanquish line of gaming PCs, but it's a narrow truth — we're talking $20 to $60 narrow.
Digital Storm's more expensive systems can run upwards of $8,000. Those premium systems are for hobbyists with money to burn. Then there's the Bolt, a custom-engineered slimline system aimed at people looking to pay a premium for a small footprint.
The Vanquish line, as far as I can tell, is for people that just want a damn gaming PC. It's a box with a window that runs computer applications and games, the only concession to flash a pair of red LED lights in the bottom of the case. Inside there are name-brand components, exactly the sort of name-brand components you can purchase at a place like Newegg.com.
In fact, to prove their price point, Digital Storm went ahead and priced out each of the four Vanquish models as parts at the online retailer's website.
The low-end Vanquish is $38 more than parts. The high-end, which I've been trying out for the past week, is $58 more. That's $58 worth of assembly, testing, warranty and lifetime tech support. As far as I'm concerned, Digital Storm made its point right there. I don't even know why I was sent a system to try out for the past week. Maybe they wanted me to make a video.
Not quite as comprehensive and informative as their own, but I'm just a guy sitting in front of a computer desk, asking it to love me.
I could discuss performance, noting that the Intel Core i7 3770K 3.50 GHz processor and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 6600 Ti, while not my first choice of CPU and graphics card, did an admirable job of playing the games I'm likely to be seen playing these days. It ran Tomb Raider on ultra at 68 frames-per-second, BioShock Infinite at 82 and Shogun 2: Total War at a respectable 64 on highest settings. It's not a machine meant to break land-speed graphics records, but it's a damn fine starting point with plenty of room to expand. It's exactly the sort of system I would build if I still had the time or inclination to make my PC gaming a little more personal.
I could also show you this really cool picture of the cooling pipes bathed in red LED light.
Digital Storm's aim with the Vanquish line is to end the age-old DIY Vs. pre-built debate. It will not do that, not because it doesn't deliver what it promises, but because folks that build themselves PCs can always go to eBay or one of the hundreds of discount online stores with websites from the late 90s and find bargains. The Vanquish will not likely silence them.
What the Vanquish can do is make those that would rather not build their own PC an excellent system backed by warranty and support that feels like a computer they could have put together themselves, because they certainly could of.
The Vanquish line is available for purchase now at Digital Storm.