Digital Storm Launches The Upgraded BOLT 3 SFF Gaming Systemby Brett Howse on April 2, 2015 9:00 AM EST
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Normally when one thinks of a gaming system, a Small Form Factor (SFF) computer is not what you would expect. Gaming, especially when done with some of the top end components, can generate a tremendous amount of heat which can be difficult to cope with in a small chassis. However this is quite a popular segment, and the advantages of a SFF device can be quite compelling. Gaming can move from the office to the living room, and small form factor cases can be tucked away with the other A/V components. Digital Storm is certainly not the only company in this space, but they are launching a new model today which builds on their successes with their previous models. Today they are launching the BOLT 3, which is their third generation SFF gaming system.
Aesthetics are very personal, but quality of materials can more easily be commented on. The BOLT 3 case is constructed entirely from brushed aluminum, with an anodized black finish. The side panel is made of glass to allow a glimpse inside the case. Looking inside, you can see some unique features. The BOLT 3 features a custom liquid cooling system to cool the processor, and below the motherboard is a GPU which sits parallel to the board, rather than perpendicular, to allow the case to be much smaller in height while keeping a full GPU. The case dimensions are 18.3 x 15.1 x 5.8 inches.
And speaking of the GPU, Digital Storm offers quite a range from the GTX 960, all the way up to the Titan X. Processor options include Intel Core i5-4590, i5-4690K and i7-4790K choices, and the systems can be configured with 8 to 16 GB of memory. This should allow for almost any gaming scenario to be covered, assuming your pockets are deep enough.
Attention to detail was paid to upgradability as well, with the GPU being placed away from other major components to allow basically any GPU to fit in this case. The power cables and cooling tubes have been placed to allow for an easier time with replacing components in the future.
If you are interested in a pre-built SFF gaming PC, you can check out all of the options and pricing for the different models at http://www.digitalstormonline.com/bolt-3.asp. The entry level system can be customized, but starts at $1547, and the top tier as configured goes all the way up to $3569.
Source: Digital Storm
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DanNeely - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkAre these photos or renders? I'm asking because the two embedded in the article don't appear to match with each other. The first shows what appears to be a pair of vented slot covers next to the GPU; the second shows the back of the case and there doesn't appear to be room for anything beyond the two slots the GPU takes.
DanNeely - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkThe Lian Li gallery makes it clear what's going on. The case does support dual GPUs; but the back cover with the weird holes partially covers the 2nd card; and the angle of the photo above hid the remainder as well.
foxtrot1_1 - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkI would love to build one of these systems on my own, but the SFF options are a lot less accessible for the consumer. The EVGA Hadron case/cooling system is about the closest thing you can get, and it doesn't come cheap.
GDanteAT5325 - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkHave you seen the Silverstone RVZ or FTZ line? I am hoping the RVZ02 will fix its ugly and filterless panels because it could be one of the best mini itx cases I have ever seen.
foxtrot1_1 - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkYes, but they're still relatively big. I would like something under 12" by 12", more like one of the Steambox prototypes with a vertically oriented card.
SirKnobsworth - Friday, April 3, 2015 - linkThe RVZ01, FTZ01, and ML07 all have rotated graphics cards. The BOLT 3 is larger in every dimension than these cases. The upcoming RVZ02 will be slightly smaller than the current offerings but not by much. If you want smaller than that then you can't have an ITX motherboard and a PCIe graphics card - you need a custom-designed solution like the Alienware Alpha or Asus GR8.
DanNeely - Friday, April 3, 2015 - linkNone of those will support SLI/xFire though, which the Lian-Li will. I suspect the Lian-Li also performs significantly better with water cooling setups. While two of the cases you mentioned make it possible to cram a 240mm rad in, they both put it right over the GPU; it doesn't look like there'd be much airflow available for it that way.
SirKnobsworth - Sunday, April 5, 2015 - linkDoes the Lian-Li support SLI/xFire? There are 4 expansion slots but it looks like it only comes with a PCIe riser to one of them.
djboxbaba - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkThis is the Lian Li PC-O5S
Gigaplex - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkOr more specifically, a custom version. The front panel is barely recognisable.