The GLADIATOR APOCALYPSE is currently available for £749.99 including shipping. At this price point, the system is targeting consumers looking an affordable PC without making too many compromises. It’s a common misnomer that PC gaming is very expensive and requires a huge budget. Nowadays, the advent of cheap CD key resellers and low-cost components featuring a fantastic price to performance ratio makes it the perfect time to switch from the current crop of consoles. As with any pre-built system, the most common question revolves around its value compared to a self-build. To provide the best information possible, we endeavour to outline the current market price of each component and accurately judge the price variation between this package and building it yourself
- Case: AeroCool Aero-800 Windowed Midi Tower – £44.49
- Motherboard: ASUS Z170-E – £114.98
- Processor: Intel i5-6400 2.70GHz Quad Core Skylake CPU – £160.98
- Processor Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX3 Evo – £19.99
- System Memory: 8GB DDR4 3000MHz – Corsair Vengeance LPX – £46.99
- Main Boot Drive: 1TB Seagate Barracuda SATA III Hard Drive – £40.97
- Graphics card: ASUS STRIX NVIDIA GTX 970 4GB GDDR5 – £294.99
- Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 Challenger 600W 80+ Certified – £39.96
- Optical Drive: 24x LiteOn DVD Re-Writer –£11.48
- Fans – Game Max Galeforce Blue 120mm LED Fan – £7.19
- Lighting – Gladiator 30cm White LED Strip with 18 LEDs – £3.95
Once totalled up, an identical self-build equates to £785.97 and costs £35.98 more than the GLADIATOR APOCALYPSE. Furthermore, the pre-configured build comes with a 4-year labour warranty, excellent customer service and has been constructed by a trained engineer. As a result, the GLADIATOR APOCALYPSE offers superb value for money and is well worth considering.
The system features an understated aesthetic design while adding a hint of colour through the white LED strips and front LED fans. This accentuates the clean build without becoming too flashy and detracting from the professional construction. The neutral theme manages to cater towards a wide range of users with varying tastes. Personally, I had very low expectations of the budget chassis and thought it might contain too many cutbacks. I’m pleased to say that this initial judgement was unwarranted and the chassis’ build quality is ridiculously good for such an affordable price! I didn’t detect any manufacturing defects, sharp edges, or flex when attaching the side panels. Granted, it’s far from being a premium case but there aren’t any major limitations which negatively impact on the system build.
Another highlight is the cable management which looks sensational given the chassis’ design and non-modular power supply. Throughout the build, we can see a logical cabling arrangement, use of zip-ties and tight cable runs. The rear cables remain perfectly flush with the chassis which makes it remarkably easy to close the side panel door without any force. There’s little touches which showcases the attention to detail from Gladiator’s engineers. For example, the additional PCI-E connector which hangs around the GPU is neatly tucked away and held firmly in position. Similarly, the excess cabling on the rear fan header is wrapped around the motherboard’s heatsink to form a very clean finish. It can be very challenging to work with a non-modular power supply because of the difficulty moving cables on an individual basis. Often, cable management is the one area consumers struggle with and a system’s value greatly depends on the quality of workmanship. I have to commend the build process in this system because it showcases the kind of finish a professional can achieve.
In terms of component selection, Gladiator has meticulously found the best combination to provide a stellar gaming experience. The GTX 970 is capable of taming very demanding games at 1920×1080 and even manages to attain great figures on a 1440P display. To keep the price down, Gladiator decided to opt for a non-K series, i5 processor based on Intel’s latest architecture. This is a sensible decision because you get the benefits of DDR4 memory and CPU efficiency without spending a fortune on the i7-6700K. Currently, this processor retails around the £320 mark and doesn’t actually have a benefit in the majority of games using 2-4 cores. During synthetic testing, the reduced frequency and lack of hyper-threading does impact on performance. However, it’s not going to become bothersome for the core gaming demographic who buys a system to primarily play games and browse the internet.
One significant oversight is the omission of a solid state boot drive. SSDs with a 120-250GB capacity can be procured for less than £50 and really enhances the Windows desktop experience. I honestly believe consumers would be more than willing to pay a little bit extra to reap the benefits of fast storage media. Thankfully, this is only a minor gripe and the end-user can customize each system to their specific needs. On another note, the system does not come with an operating system and you must plan ahead to make sure you have a license ready for when the PC arrives. Once again, you can add a copy of Windows to the build. Please be very careful when scouring the internet for discounted Windows codes, because some of these are from a MSDN subscription and have a limited amount of activations.
Finally, the system’s noise output is absolutely staggering and one of the quietest we’ve encountered under extreme load. This is surprising because the CPU cooler is relatively cheap, and stock fans on a budget case are usually quite loud. I strongly believe the dual Game Max Galeforce Blue 120mm fans improved the airflow significantly while exhibiting a subtle fan curve. Of course, it helps matters that the CPU is so efficient and running at its stock frequency. Nevertheless, the extremely quiet operation in both idle and load scenarios makes for a wonderful PC experience.
- Ample supply of dust filters
- Elegant styling
- Exceptional cable management
- Fantastic 1080P gaming experience
- Generous warranty
- Great value
- Impressive thermals
- LED strips and fans
- Ridiculously quiet
- Superb packaging
- Very balanced system
- Lack of an SSD boot drive makes Windows feel overly sluggish
“The GLADIATOR APOCALYPSE is a brilliant choice for anyone moving into the PC gaming stratosphere and wants the best possible price to performance ratio. Furthermore, the adept cable management and almost silent running makes it one of the best pre-built systems on the market today.“
GLADIATOR APOCALYPSE Gaming PC Review
Thank you Gladiator for providing us with this sample.