Gaming Performance

As I mentioned before, the Intel Core i5-3570K at the core of the DigitalStorm Bolt Level 3 is really a gaming chip first and foremost. The i7-3770K looks great in synthetics and multimedia work, but for gaming the i5-3570K is the best value and generally not worth moving past. Along the same lines, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti in our review unit may not be the fastest card on the market, but it's one of the best values and one of the most balanced, and it pairs well with the CPU.

Batman: Arkham City

Battlefield 3

Civilization V

DiRT 3

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Portal 2

While the crippled 192-bit memory bus on the 660 Ti makes testing at surround resolutions more or less pointless, the card positively shines at 1080p. It meets or beats last generation's champion GTX 580 under most circumstances (barring a loss in Civilization V, where Kepler in general has had a little more trouble pulling away from Fermi.) Most gamers on garden variety 1080p panels are going to have no issues enjoying the 660 Ti, with anything faster really only becoming relevant in Battlefield 3.

System Performance Build, Noise, Heat, and Power Consumption
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  • just4U - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    Stand up systems like these could really benifit from a slot loading DVD. Don't know why you don't see them around any more. I really liked my pioneer ones from back in the day.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    I personally love slot-loading drives. The uh...the Alienware X51 has one.
  • CaptainDoug - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    So does the falcon northwest tiki.
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    Speaking of the X51, when will we see a review of the new IvB/660 version?

    I love the Bolt review, but I agree that the X51 might be a better value for those of us that only want a midrange system. I can't wait to see it in your lab.
  • Menty - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    Probably just the price difference between tray and slot-load. For some reason, everytime I try to find a slot-load, it winds up being twice as expensive as a tray-load :(.
  • MadMan007 - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    Do you have actual noise measurements and forgot to put the chart in the article?
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    I tend to just measure systems individually and only point out noise when it's a serious issue.
  • ursulache - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    under what load was the power consumption measured?
    Thank you.
  • landerf - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    Not sure how I feel about a sleeve bearing fan on something as critical as the cpu... especially a scythe. Every slip stream me an my friend ever had leaked oil and seized up.
  • nevertell - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    I believe that if they had gone with a closed watercooling loop for both the gpu and cpu, it would make it even better. It's the small form factors that would actually benefit from wc at the time when cpu's sip power and kepler is the most efficient gaming architecture ever built by nvidia. Of course, then it wouldn't be as narrow, but the temperatures would be low even if they used just a 240mm long radiator. This would save space, since both of the major coolers are pretty big. If they wanted to make it even quieter, they could opt for a watercooled PSU.

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