Gamers on a budget who dwell in cramped living quarters are a tough lot to cater to. Most gaming rigs usually sport price tags that rival a mortgage payment for a large home or are nearly as big as one. The iBuypower Revolt R770 is a solid solution for this disenfranchised demographic, serving up a Windows 8-equipped gaming rig in a trim, small-form-factor desktop with a reasonable price tag (as compared with other gaming systems, of course).
Design and Features
At 16 by 4.6 by 16.2 inches (HWD), the Revolt R770′s slim plastic chassis can easily be tucked away into a dorm room or studio apartment without constituting a major fire hazard. While it’s not nearly as compact as the Alienware X51, the left side of the Revolt R770′s chassis sports grippy rubber feet that conveniently gives gamers the option of positioning it in a shelf-friendly horizontal fashion. LED lights on the case—which can be set to red, blue, green, or a combination of the three—pulsate along the Revolt R770′s front panel and sides, making for a cool effect that complements the system’s nifty black and white two-tone finish. That, along with a series of triangular vents on the side of the system, makes for an overall more striking design than the similarly-priced Acer Predator AG3620-UR12.
The Revolt R770′s front panel houses a pair of USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, a slot-loading DVD burner, and headphone and microphone jacks. The rear, meanwhile, sports four additional USB 3.0 ports, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port, a PS/2 port (for older mice and keyboards), analog and optical audio connectors, and Ethernet. Lastly, the Revolt R770′s Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 GPU provides two DVI ports and an HDMI port. Our review unit also featured 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, which added $29 to the $1,399 price tag.
The only real downside to the Revolt R770′s trim size is its inability to accommodate any internal expansion, a problem that we also encountered with the Alienware X51. Unscrewing two bolts pops open the case, where you’ll be met with a tightly packed system whose components are held firmly in place with multiple screws and an imposing metal cage. Since the Revolt R770′s motherboard is hidden beneath this mélange, getting there requires the removal of the hard drive (our review unit sported a HDD and SSD affixed to the same metal plate), the optical drive, and the 500W PSU.
After popping out both hard drives, I had gained access to the motherboard’s two RAM sockets (our review unit packed a single 8GB module). After removing the rest of the components and finally reaching the motherboard, the futility of my efforts became pretty clear. For starters, both PCIe x16 slots were occupied by the GeForce GTX 670 GPU, and there weren’t any PCIe x1 slots whatsoever. Moreover, both of our review unit’s 3.5-inch bays were occupied by a 1TB 7,200rpm HDD (for data) and 120GB SSD (for the operating system), respectively. That said, I was impressed by the remarkable amount of components stuffed into the Revolt R770 and the meticulous arrangement that it entailed. My journey to the motherboard was sprinkled with a few surprises along the way, like the NZXT Kraken X40 liquid cooling system that chills the Revolt R770′s Intel Core i7-3770K processor as it chugs away.
Aside from Windows 8 and a 60-day trial of Microsoft Office, the Revolt R770 is blissfully free of bloatware, so gamers can hit the ground running as soon as they set the system up. iBuypower covers the Revolt R770 with a three-year limited warranty as well as lifetime phone support.
The Revolt R770′s 3.5GHz Intel Core i7-3770K quad-core CPU and 8GB RAM gives it plenty of muscle to handle work and media creation in addition to gaming. Its PCMark 7 score of 5,730 points surpassed that of our current Editors’ Choice for mid-level gaming desktops, the HP Envy Phoenix h9-1320t (3,055 points) and the Digital Storm Bolt (5,397 points) while nipping at the heels of the pricier Maingear Potenza Super Stock (5,956 points). The Revolt R770′s Cinebench R11.5 score of 7.48 points nudged past that of the Acer AG3620-UR12 (7.47 points), though it fell short of both the HP Envy Phoenix h9-1320T (7.49 points) and Digital Storm Bolt (8.33 points).
The Revolt R770s’ ability to process graphic-intensive applications was apparent in its 3DMark11 scores (11,690 points in Entry-level settings and 3,087 points in Extreme settings). Its sure-footedness also continued in our multimedia tests, where it finished Handbrake in a brisk 34 seconds and ran through our dozen or so Photoshop CS6 filters in 3 minutes 7 seconds.
The Revolt R770 produced excellent frame rates in on the gaming tests. Its performance in Alien Vs. Predator (169fps in medium detail settings, 54fps in high detail settings) was nearly on par with the class-leading HP Envy Phoenix h9-1320t (167fps and 73fps). Although its performance in Heaven (140fps and 56 fps, respectively) fell short of the class-leading Digital Storm Bolt (167fps and 73fps), there’s no denying the Revolt R770′s capabilities as a robust gaming rig.
With its compact chassis and affordable price tag, the iBuypower Revolt R770 is a good choice for gamers that don’t have tons of space or cash to spare. However, it will inevitably induce grumbling from speed-demons or hardcore component-swapping enthusiasts. For its ability to satisfy these folks—albeit for a price—the HP Envy Phoenix h9-1320t continues its reign as Editors’ Choice for midrange gaming desktops. But for gamers uninterested in tweaking that are on the market for a something to check out the latest games on Steam, it’s worth checking out.
BENCHMARK TEST RESULTS:
Check out the test scores for the iBuypower Revolt R770
|Primary Optical Drive||DVD+/-RW (Plus Minus)|
|Processor Family||Intel Core i7|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GTX 670|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||1120 GB|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc