Overclockers UK Kinetic H1 review

The Kinetic H1 from Overclockers UK is one of the lowest-cost gaming PCs you can get which doesn’t make silly compromises in order to grab high frame rates. See also: Best gaming PCs

Priced at £650, the PC delivers enjoyable gameplay at mid-to high resolutions and will also serve as a speedy general-purpose PC. Despite the company name, the Kinetic H1 doesn’t feature an overclocked processor, instead the system uses a dual-core Intel Core i3-6100 running at 3.7GHz.

Overclockers is exploiting the fact that, more often than not, a high clock speed will deliver a bigger advantage in many games than having multiple cores. So here, we get a high-speed dual-core chip rather than the more expensive quad-core alternatives running a couple of hundred megahertz slower.

Saving costs on the processor enables the inclusion of an AMD RX 470 graphics card. This particular model is Sapphire’s 8GB Nitro+ OC model which has been factory overclocked to boost gaming performance. It’s not going to get you RX 480 speeds, but it’s a great choice for the limited budget of this system.

The Kollink Victory Micro ATX gaming case housing this system is certainly nothing fancy, but its highly-compact proportions will appeal to those with limited space. Unusually for a gaming system, it comes with no transparent side panel, but does feature a cool blue LED at the front which lends a more expensive look to what is otherwise quite obviously a low-cost case.

Inside, there’s no built-in cable management, although Overclockers has done a sterling job of tying everything back and keeping the internals tidy. Access to components is quite limited, but there’s precious little room for upgrades anyway. Both memory sockets are already full and there are no accessible PCI Express slots available on the motherboard. Even the hard drive has had to be mounted vertically on the side of the case. We feel these compromises are quite reasonable in order to deliver a low-cost PC with decent performance, but you should be aware of the limitations if you’re thinking of upgrading in the near future.

 Overclockers UK Kinetic H1 review

The budget doesn’t allow for a solid state drive (SSD), but rather than leave you with a sluggish hard drive, Overclockers has installed a 1TB Seagate Hybrid drive which incorporates a small amount of built-in flash memory to deliver some of the performance benefits of SSD while maintaining the capacity of a hard drive. We feel this is an excellent choice for a low-cost system like this as the whole PC feels much snappier to use.

Performance

The Kinetic H1 from Overclockers is capable of gameplay up to 1440p resolution, thanks to its AMD RX 470 graphics card. Designed to be capable of entry-level VR gaming, the RX 470 achieves a quality rating of 6.7 in the Steam VR Performance Test which is designated ‘High’ performance.

To keep costs lower, Overclockers has selected a dual-core Core i3-6100 processor rather than a more expensive quad-core model often found in pricier systems. Because the chip retains a high 3.7GHz clock speed, it’s still able to play the majority of games without difficulty. This will vary from game to game, as some games make better use of multiple cores than others, but in general we didn’t notice and dips in performance other than in the PCMark 8 Creative test where multiple cores are stressed in multimedia editing scenarios.

When it comes to standard gaming, you can expect good performance at 1440p as long as you keep the quality settings under control and steer clear of 4K.

The hybrid drive also turned in respectable performance, achieving a PCMark 8 storage score of 3339 points, which is around 1,000 points faster than a hard drive alone, although still some way behind a decent SSD which will score nearer 5,000 points.

Our only performance-based criticism of the Kinetic H1 is how well it deals with heavy loads. When running our temperature torture tests the CPU touched 80 degrees C which is several degrees hotter than we would have liked. Such extreme loads are very unlikely in general use however.

Benchmark results

Service and Warranty

Overclockers gives a generous 3-year warranty of which the first two years cover both parts and labour with a free collect-and-return service. The third year is on a return-to-base basis and covers only labour costs.

Overclockers UK Kinetic H1: Specs

  • 3.7GHz Intel Core i3-6500
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • 8GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM
  • 1TB HDD
  • Aerocool Quiet 500W PSU
  • Asus B150M PRO Gaming motherboard
  • AMD Radeon RX 470 8GB Graphics Card
  • 7.1 onboard sound
  • 5 x USB 3.0, 5 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x 10/100/1000 (LAN), 1x HDMI, 1 x Line In, 1 x Line Out, 1 x Mic-In, 1 x PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse Combo, 4 x USB 2.0, 4 x USB 3.0
  • Kolink Victory Micro-ATX case
  • Dimensions: 380 x 170 x 370mm
  • Front ports:1x USB3.0, 1x USB2.0, Headphone and Mic 3.5mm
  • Fans: 1 x 120mm, 1 x 120mm (front / rear)
  • 3-years return to base (3 years labour, 2 years parts) warranty
  • 3.7GHz Intel Core i3-6500
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • 8GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM
  • 1TB HDD
  • Aerocool Quiet 500W PSU
  • Asus B150M PRO Gaming motherboard
  • AMD Radeon RX 470 8GB Graphics Card
  • 7.1 onboard sound
  • 5 x USB 3.0, 5 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x 10/100/1000 (LAN), 1x HDMI, 1 x Line In, 1 x Line Out, 1 x Mic-In, 1 x PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse Combo, 4 x USB 2.0, 4 x USB 3.0
  • Kolink Victory Micro-ATX case
  • Dimensions: 380 x 170 x 370mm
  • Front ports:1x USB3.0, 1x USB2.0, Headphone and Mic 3.5mm
  • Fans: 1 x 120mm, 1 x 120mm (front / rear)
  • 3-years return to base (3 years labour, 2 years parts) warranty

OUR VERDICT

As a budget system with a strong emphasis on gaming, the Overclockers Kinetic H1 sacrifices multi-core processor performance, instead to sinking most of the budget into the graphics card. Photo and video editing performance may suffer a little, but you’ll be able to enjoy decent gaming frame rates up to 1440p. The inclusion of a hybrid hard drive also keeps the system responsive in general purpose computing scenarios.

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