Digital Storm Vanquish II

An Affordable Prebuilt Gaming Desktop Option From A Premiere System Integrator

Digital Storm Vanquish II
Digital Storm

Digital Storm has stopped producing the Vanquish II systems in favor a new Vanquish 4 that is based around the new Intel Skylake processors. Check out my Best Desktop PCs from $700 to $1000 for some of my picks for comparable but currently available PCs.

The Bottom Line

Affordable gaming is challenging and Digital Storm's Vanquish II does an excellent job to achieve solid gaming at1080p resolutions for under $800.

It is nearly as affordable as building a system yourself from parts and comes with the company's excellent support and build quality. The downside is that a few compromises have been made to keep it cheap so the system lacks many of the upgrading potential that its more expensive options have. In addition, the general CPU performance falls behind what many others offer but it still handles gaming just fine right now.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Solid Gaming Performance At 1080p Resolutions
  • Excellent Build Quality and Support

Cons

  • Dual Core Processor Compared To Quad Core From Many Competing AMD Systems
  • Motherboard Choice Limits Upgrading Potential

Description

  • Intel Core i3-4330 Dual Core Desktop Processor
  • 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
  • 1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Burner
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB GGDR5 Graphics Card
  • HDA 7.1 Audio Support
  • Gigagit Ethernet
  • Four USB 3.0, Two USB 2.0, DisplayPort, HDMi, DVI
  • Windows 8.1

Review - Digital Storm Vanquish II

Apr 11 2014 - Digital Storm is generally known for their high performance and highly customizable gaming system. The Vanquish II is a bit different as they give you have a choice between a number of different levels but can't customized them from the offered configurations.

For this review, I'm look at the Better option which is price just below $800.

The case for the Vanquish II is the Corsair Graphics 230T mid tower case. This is a mix of steel and plastic typical of many lower cost case designs. For the styling, it features a pair of blue 120mm fans on the lower front behind a mesh panel to allow for strong airflow into the system. The side panel also features an acrylic window to allow seeing into the internals of the system. It may not offer many of the premium feature of some of Corsair's more expensive system but it is quite functional with good interior space for drives and expansion cards.

Powering the Vanquish II Better is the Intel Core i3-4330 dual core processor. This is a bit lower than many of the systems from your standard name brands that feature quad core processors from both AMD and Intel but the processor still does a good job with PC gaming which is the primary focus of the system. There are a growing number of games that can use extra processor cores so this could impact performance over the next couple of years. The processor is matched up with 8GB of DDR3 memory that offer a smooth overall experience with Windows. The only downside here is that the ASUS H81M-E only features two memory slots which means that there is limited ability to upgrade the memory without completely replacing it.

For the storage, Digital Storm has taken the standard of using a single one terabyte hard drive that provides it with a decent amount of storage space for applications, games and media files. Only a couple of systems in its price range offer larger drives and almost none include a solid state drive. Performance is decent but certainly not outstanding when it comes to loading programs or booting into Windows. If you need additional space, there are plenty of drive bays inside but the motherboard only features a total of four SATA ports, two of which are used. This means many people will probably have to use external storage.

Thankfully there are four USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external storage drives. There is a dual layer DVD burner for playback and recording of CD or DVD media.

Since Digital Storm made the Vanquish II for low cost gaming, they at least included a nice NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics card in the system. This new card offers a high level of efficiency that allows for most games to play at a full 1920x1080 resolution at high detail levels even though it does not require any external power connectors. The cards also have very low noise levels which is also nice as many high performance cards can get quite loud. Now, if that card is not fast enough, the system does feature a 430 watt power supply from Corsair that does allow for upgrading to a mid-range graphics card but it is not high enough for the top of the line graphics cards. In addition, the motherboard only features a single PCI-Express graphics card slot that means the system cannot have a second card added for additional performance.

Pricing for the Digital Storm system is around $780. This is very close both in pricing and configuration as my guide for building a gaming desktop PC for around $750. The primary differences is that my guide offers a higher performance Z87 based motherboard and a two terabyte hard drive. Of course, the savings is only $30 and Digital Storm has a strong reputation for support. In terms of prebuilt competition, the Avatar Gaming A10-7876 and Cyberpower Gamer Ultra GU2190 are the closest at roughly $800 for each.

Each of these use an AMD A10 quad core processor that offers comparable gaming performance but slightly improved general performance from the extra cores. The Avatar Gaming uses a non-Ti version of the GTX 750 graphics card so has slightly lower performance while the Cyberpower model uses a faster Radeon R7 260X and a 2TB hard drive but has more limited upgrad potential from a lower wattage power supply.

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