PC Specialist Vanquish 270X System Review

Final Thoughts


Pricing 

PC Specialist charge an incredibly attractive price of £579 for this system including delivery. This makes it cheaper than the Cube Raptor Gaming PC and the Braebo Systems Titan PC, both of which it comprehensively beat in pretty much every test. The PC Specialist Vanquish 270X comes with a 3 Year Warranty (1 month collect & return, 1 year parts, 3 year labour). You can purchase this special edition PC Specialist Vanquish 270X right here for £579 as configured in this review. At the time of writing the PC Specialist Vanquish 270X also ships with an AMD Silver Voucher for the Never Settle games program and a Corsair Raptor HS30 headset which is available for a limited time only (for 1-2 weeks), both are included in the price and are complimentary.

Like our readers I am interested in asking the question “would it be cheaper for me to build it myself?”. This is because you should never have to pay a significant premium for a system build, the market is so competitive these days that the system price should never be more than 5-10% higher than what it would cost you to build it yourself. Let’s go through and analyse all the parts PC Specialist have used and whether it would be cheaper to build it yourself:

  • Intel Pentium G3258 CPU – £45
  • Corsair 230T case with Window – £60
  • Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming 3 motherboard – £100
  • Kingston Hyper X Beast 1 x 8GB 2133MHz – £75
  • Seagate 1TB SSHD – £60
  • Powercolor R9 270X TurboDuo – £130
  • Corsair VS450 – £35
  • DVD-RW Optical Drive – £12.50
  • Titan Universal CPU cooler – £20
  • Arctic MX4 – £4
  • Windows 8.1 64 Bit – £70

Based on the cheapest retail prices of all this system’s components the PC Specialist Vanquish 270X would cost £615 to build. PC Specialist are charging £579 meaning it is £35 cheaper to buy the system from PC Specialist pre-built and configured than it is to build it yourself….impressive stuff! PC Specialist are able to offer such a competitive price due to the volume of their production and the economies of scale they benefit from, for once this isn’t something in life that is too good to be true!

Overview

So I’ve spent a couple of days playing around with the PC Specialist Vanquish 270X and I am really impressed by what is on offer here. Many system builders will just put a range of components together that do not make sense because they have specific agreements with specific hardware vendors that they need to fulfill. This often leads to poor component selection, for example I’ve seen system builders pair up flagship AMD APUs with discrete graphics cards that leave the integrated graphics on the APU unused, this means that you’re paying for something you do not need: you could get the equivalent AMD APU without the integrated graphics (meaning an Athlon CPU) for less money. I’ve also seen system builders putting in overkill power supplies, like a 650W when only 400W is needed. I’m not going to name and shame any brands here today because that’s not the point i’m trying to make, what I am trying to do is show that PC Specialist are not one of those brands. They have paired up components that make sense and they done so in a way to ensure that they can offer you the best price. There is nothing in this system that does not need to be there.

In terms of performance the PC Specialist Vanquish 270X shoots well above its price point matching systems that cost more than £100 extra. The combination of the 4.7GHz Pentium G3258 with a 2GB R9 270X works a treat in gaming. The 1TB SSHD gives SSD-like performance in most applications yet allows you to get a cheaper system still with adequate storage. The choice of motherboard is also great because it provides high quality audio and Killer E2200 networking which as our results showed gave impressive networking performance – much better than Realtek Gigabit of other low-end Z97 motherboards. PC Specialist have done a good job to keep the system fairly quiet, sure it isn’t silent but the noise is not offensive and during “normal” usage scenarios, like gaming, you’ll find the noise is only mildly noticeable. At idle and during light usage the system is more or less silent.

There are a few things I think could be improved. As our temperature tests showed the CPU gets very hot, as high as 90 degrees when placed under extreme stress tests. This is due to the high 1.35 volts that is applied in the overclock, I think PC Specialist should most definitely lower the volts to 1.3 and if that means lowering the clock speed a little too, then so be it. I also think the system would benefit from a top exhaust fan to help that CPU cooler tame the overclocked Haswell CPU better, this would’t cost PC Specialist more than a few pounds to add and I think it would improve cooling performance a lot. Lastly I think PC Specialist should configure the system with dual 4GB modules instead of a single 8GB module, this allows the system to perform faster by using dual channel mode instead of single channel mode. It is also unlikely that a system of this price point is going to be bought by a user who wants to use more than 16GB of RAM so populating two memory slots makes sense.

Pros

  • Cheaper to buy than build yourself
  • 3 Year warranty
  • Genius component selection
  • Outperforms more expensive systems
  • Extremely high build quality and cable management
  • Good acoustics

Cons

  • High CPU temperatures
  • Only single channel memory
  • No top exhaust fan, gets a bit toasty at the top of the case
  • Case is a bit of a finger-print magnet

“PC Specialist’s Vanquish 270X is a high-end system without the high-end price point. Smart component selection, unbelievably good pricing and excellent all-round performance make it a no-brainer to anyone looking for their first PC. PC Specialist have thrown down the gauntlet for other system builders, can anyone else beat this?”

PC Specialist Vanquish 270X System Review

Thanks to PC Specialist for providing this review sample.