Don’t discount a gaming desktop just because it’s small. V3 Gaming’s new small form-factor (SFF) Devastator packs a new fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor and two Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 graphics cards, letting it punch above its weight-class and take on more expensive SFF gaming systems. It’s not the fastest compact gaming PC out there, but for $2,499 it can run with the best.
Design & Features
The V3 Devastator is a small form-factor gaming desktop, with a SilverStone SG10 case that measures 11.75 by 6.6 by 15.0 inches (HWD). This compact case features a large variable speed fan on the top, ventilation on all four sides of the case, and liquid cooling inside. The front panel features a slot-loading DVD+-RW drive, two USB 3.0 ports, and separate jacks for headphone and mic. On the rear of the system are another eight USB ports (four USB 2.0, four USB 3.0) along with Gigabit Ethernet, 8-channel audio, and an array of video outputs—three HDMI ports, three DVI-D ports, and two DisplayPorts.
The compact case opens by removing a panel that covers the entire right and top sides and half of the left side of the tower. The panel is a bit more difficult to open that others we’ve seen—on the back of the system the panel is secured with thumb screws, but the left hand side is also secured by a single Phillips-head screw, negating the tools-free appeal of thumb screws.
Once inside the case, you’ll find the V3 Devastator is equipped with an Asus Gryphon Z87 motherboard, sporting a fourth-generation Intel Core i5-4670K, 16GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz memory. A 750-watt power supply (Corsair TX750) provides power for the motherboard, two Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 graphics cards in an SLI configuration, a 256GB solid-state boot drive and 1TB 7,200rpm storage drive. There’s not a lot of rom in the case for expansion, and no available PCI slots or drive bays, but there are two open DIMM slots for additional RAM.
The system comes with Windows 8 (64-bit) preinstalled, but otherwise the system is immaculate, with only Nvidia drivers and a couple of system monitoring utilities (CPUID CPU-Z and HWMonitor) installed. V3 Gaming covers the Devastator with a three-year warranty on parts, and a lifetime warranty on labor.
The V3 Devastator comes overclocked, so the Haswell Intel Core i5-4670K is boosted up to 4.0GHz, up from the base speed of 3.4GHz. With the new processor it completed PCMark 7 with a score of 7,013 points, and a Cinebench score of 7.44 points. The hardware also equates to powerful performance in processor-intensive tasks, finishing Handbrake in 31 seconds and Photoshop in 2 minutes 40 seconds. Though it couldn’t match the performance of a system boasting a new Haswell Core i7 CPU—like the Falcon Northwest Fragbox (GeForce GTX 780 SLI) (which scored 7,322 points in PCMark 7 and a 9.91 in Cinebench) or the Digital Storm Virtue (which scored 7,042 points in PCMark 7 and a 9.59 in Cinebench)—the new processor is on par with the top Core i7 CPUs from the previous generation (Ivy Bridge). For example, the Maingear Potenza Super Stock scored 5,356 points in PCMark 7, and 9.57 points in Cinebench, while the affordable Editors’ Choice HP Envy Phoenix h9-1320t scored 4,033 points (PCMark 7) and 7.49 points (Cinebench).
The V3 Devastator’s two Nvidia GPUs also go a long way toward helping the system achieve top performance, scoring 12,439 points in 3DMark 11 (at Entry settings), and 3,547 points (Extreme). Even at high resolution and detail settings, the V3 Devastator cranked through our gaming tests with solid performance, pumping out 63 frames per second (Alien vs. Predator) and 60 fps (Heaven 3.0). The result is smooth gameplay with no stuttering and no lag, even with all the eye-candy on high.
The small form-factor V3 Devastator offers up the performance of an elite gaming PC with the price tag of mid-range system, trouncing most similarly priced competitors and keeping up with more expensive compact gaming rigs. It’s significantly more expensive than the Editors’ Choice HP Envy Phoenix h9-1320t, but you get dramatically better performance for your money, with the trade-off of losing expandability. With an overclocked fourth generation Core i5 processor and two Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 GPUs, the V3 Gaming Devastator doesn’t top the similarly priced (but better equipped) Digital Storm Virtue, but it’s still a smart pick, so long as future upgrades are optional.
|Primary Optical Drive||Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW|
|Processor Family||Intel Core i5|
|Storage Type||HDD, SSD|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GTX 770|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||1256 GB|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc