iBuypower Revolt A960 (AMD A10-6800K) review

The iBuypower Revolt A960 is a sub-$900, entry-level gaming desktop with an enthusiast-level Nvidia Kepler graphics card.
Photo of iBuypower Revolt A960 (AMD A10-6800K)

The iBuypower Revolt A960 (AMD A10-6800K) is undoubtedly presented as a specialized gaming rig. In addition to its outré appearance, the Revolt A960 shifts a lot of its power and purchase price to a Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 graphics card, which gives the system both multi-monitor support and 3D gaming prowess. As a specialized gaming rig, you can’t get much better for under $1,000. That makes the Revolt A960 our newest Editors’ Choice for entry-level gaming desktop PCs.

Design and Features
The Revolt A960 matches the previous model iBuypower Revolt R770 ($1,428). It has the same white plastic exterior, with triangular cutouts for both venting and aesthetics. The system has a tri-color lighting system that pulses red to green to blue in a cycle that lasts tens of seconds. It’s certainly more dramatic than the last Editors’ Choice for entry-level gaming desktops, the Maingear Vybe. Like the Alienware X51, the Revolt A960 is a compact small form factor desktop, while the Maingear Vybe is a full-sized mini tower.

Thanks to its compact chassis, the Revolt A960 should fit on or under just about any desk surface, even the compact desk you’d find in a dorm room or studio apartment. The chassis has plenty of external connectivity instead of internal space for upgrades. There are four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, a SD card reader, audio ports galore, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and a PS/2 port for your favorite old-school mouse or keypad.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 graphics card has a pair of DVI ports, HDMI, and DisplayPort, so it can support up to four simultaneous displays, something you used to need two graphics cards for. Inside the chassis, you’ll find an AMD A10-6800K processor, 8GB of DDR3 memory, a slot-loading DVD burner, and a 1TB 7,200rpm SATA hard drive. The A10-6800K is notable because it is based on the Richland architecture, and is clocked at 4.1GHz base and 4.4 GHZ Turbo speed. It’s a quad-core processor designed to go up against the mid-to-high level Intel Core i5 and i7 processors. Matched to the Nvidia graphics card, the combination gives the user a good gaming experience for not a lot of money.

The system comes with Windows 8, which is fully compatible with Windows 7 and Windows XP games. Aside from a vanilla build of Windows 8 and the drivers for the built-in hardware, there aren’t any additional apps loaded on the system. This is a good thing, since gamers don’t want extra pre-loaded software on their systems. The Revolt A960 comes with a standard three-year warranty, which is great for a consumer PC.

Performance

We realize that performance is the reason to buy a gaming PC as opposed to your run of the mill $500 desktops. The AMD A10-4800k in the system is clocked at 4.1GHz, but as we’ll see below, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the system performs better on all tests than other systems like the HP ENVY 700-090qe, which has a 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-4770 processor in it.

The Revolt A960 is well suited to playing 3D gaming titles, since it did so well on the gaming tests. The system performed admirably, with playable frame rates at both our medium (1,366 by 768 resolution) and maximum (1,920-by-1,080 resolution) quality settings at but Aliens vs. Predator and at the Heaven benchmark tests. The scores were upwards of 10 fps faster on the more strenuous maximum settings than the Maingear Vybe, our previous top dog among the entry-level gaming rigs. However, the Intel Core-powered Vybe and HP Envy were measurably quicker than the Revolt on the multimedia tests like Handbrake, Photoshop CS6, and CineBench. This means that the Revolt A960 is a better gamer than a builder, but that’s the tradeoff you make for this entry-level gaming rig.

The iBuypower Revolt A960 goes the classic route: It shoves a big engine (the Nvidia GeForce GTX 760) in a small package, and passes the savings on to its customers. It is a specialized gaming rig to be sure, but we’d rather game full time on this system than game part time on a multimedia system like the HP Envy. The Revolt A960 outpaced our previous Editors’ Choice Maingear Vybe and Alienware X51 on the game grid, and that’s what really counts for a gaming-oriented system. Therefore, we award the Revolt A960 our Editors’ Choice for entry-level gaming rigs.

Specifications
Primary Optical Drive Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW
Processor Family AMD A10
Storage Type HDD
Graphics Card Nvidia GeForce GTX 760
RAM 8 GB
Type Gaming
Storage Capacity (as Tested) 1000 GB

Verdict
If gaming is your only priority, then check out the iBuypower Revolt A960 (AMD A10-6800K), a sub-$900, entry-level gaming rig with an enthusiast-level Nvidia Kepler graphics card.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc