Cube’s Raptor Gaming PC currently costs £669.99 with free delivery at Box.co.uk. This makes it a fairly attractive price for a gaming system coming in at the lower end of where most gaming systems normally start. As you can see it fairs very well against the Braebo Titan which it matched consistently and frequently beat in our testing. Note that the Cube Raptor Gaming PC also comes with a 2 year warranty which is a great thing to have.
The question a lot of people may be wondering by now is “would it be cheaper for me to build it myself?”. The answer to that is yes, but I think you’ll be surprised just how close it is. Let’s do a quick analysis of the components and the total cost to buy them all yourself:
- In Win GT1 mid tower case – £45~
- MSI Z97-G43 – £80~
- Intel Core i5 4590 – £145~
- Kingston 1 x 8GB HyperX Fury 1866MHz DDR3 Module – £60~
- Seagate 1TB SSHD – £60
- MSI R7 265 OC 2GB graphics card – £120~
- Cooler Master Elite 500W power supply – £30~
- Super WriteMaster DVD-RW optical drive – £12~
- TP-Link TL-WN781ND PCIe 150mbps 2.4GHz WiFi card – £10~
- Windows 8.1 64 Bit – £70
Therefore based on retail prices you could build this system for approximately £635~ which is £35 less than the price of this system. In my books £35 to have the system built, pre-configured, delivered to your door and provided with a 2 year warranty is a cracking deal. There is really no way you could feel like you’re getting a bad deal from this system from a component perspective.
Having spent a whole day with this system I think it is fair to say I am a little surprised. First up the component selection is excellent, the parts chosen really compliment each other and allow the cost to kept very low while the user experience is still very high. I think the star of the show for me is the Seagate 1TB SSHD, it has nearly all the snappiness of an SSD but at a fraction of the cost because it barely costs more than a normal 1TB drive. What’s more the decision to use the latest Intel Core i5 Haswell Refresh CPU means the system is really fast on the CPU side – to the point where we observed it beating another gaming system which uses the R9 270 (a better GPU) and an AMD CPU. I was also pleased to see Cube choose a respectable brand for the power supply and case, I always hate it when Gaming PCs use cheap case and power supply combinations to bring the cost down: a cheap case just means a bad cooling set-up and a cheap power supply is asking for a disaster. The motherboard chosen is Z97 which is another nice addition because it has all the bells and whistles you’d expect like Gigabit ethernet, USB 3.0, SATA III and good quality audio.
There are still a few things that I think Cube might want to consider about their build because I do see room for improvement. Firstly, I think using a single DDR3 module is a bit strange, it saw the system perform quite weakly in memory-dependent applications because it is forced into single channel mode when it can run in dual channel. You can buy the 8GB HyperX Fury kit with two 4GB DIMMs for the same price as one 8GB DIMM – I think this would look better and perform better. If the motherboard only had two memory slots I could understand it on upgradeability grounds but it has four so there’s really no need. Secondly, I felt like the system was let down by a noisy front fan. Our acoustic results show about 10 dBA of extra noise over the background level even from a distance. I did manually stop the fan with my hand just to check, and it definitely was the front fan. This isn’t too much of an issue because it’s an easy fix – a fan speed reducer cable or plugging the fan into the motherboard and using the BIOS fan control would do the trick. However, this isn’t something that should have to be done by the customer so the onus is on Cube to sort that one out. Lastly, it would be nice to see more customisation options available for this specific PC. I know Cube offer a custom PC configurator but they should offer some options on this model so you can just swap out a single thing – for example I personally would swap out the R7 265 for an R9 270, would upgrade to a better motherboard and ditch the wireless card. The only variation they offer is on the CPU side, you can get exactly the same PC just with a Haswell Refresh Core i7 4790 model for £749.99.
- Pricing is very reasonable
- Good overall system performance
- Smart component selection
- Great cable management
- 2 year warranty support
- Power efficient
- Front fan is too loud
- Single DIMM forces system into single channel mode
- Customisation options for this model are minimum
“If you’re looking for a lean mean 1080p gaming machine then Cube have got the system for you. Offering up great value for money, a smart selection of components and a very tidy layout the Cube Raptor Gaming PC is a great choice for a premium gaming PC without the premium price tag.”
Thanks to Box UK for providing this review sample.