Vibox is a brand that’s new to PC Advisor, but its new Fantasy system stands as a tidy showcase for many of today’s fast but not prohibitively priced desktop PC components.
The beating heart of the Vibox Fantasy is its third-generation Intel Core i5-3570K processor, from the Ivy Bridge line. It’s a 3.4GHz chip by default, can Turbo up to 3.8GHz when needed. Read more desktop PC reviews.
These Ivy Bridge chips don’t add an awful lot of speed to their predecessors, but they may be run very efficiently. And the i5-3570K is here backed up by 8GB of DDR3 RAM. The rather flamboyant Corsair Vengeance memory chips are ideally suited to high speeds, and they work well here.
A Samsung 1TB drive gives acres of storage space. And it’s joined by a Kingston SSDNow V+200 solid-state drive. Usually such SSDs greatly enhance responsiveness of the whole system, but have rather cramped storage capabilities. The Vibox’s SSD measures a usable 120GB.
Vibox Fantasy: Performance
The WorldBench 6 score of 186 points doesn’t match the rather impressive (and considerably higher clocked) Yoyotech Warbird system, but it’s still a very pleasing showing.
The Vibox Fantasy has a very nice graphics card in place, and the 2GB-memory Sapphire version of the AMD Radeon HD 7850 does a great job of pumping out impressive frame rates. Read more graphics cards reviews.
In a now rather simplistic game like FEAR, it notched up a pulsing 379 frames per second at Maximum settings. Crysis is far more of a challenge, but even here it excelled itself, posting scores of 186 and 138fps at Low and Medium settings.
Ratchet it up to a resolution like 1680x1050, and it’s still able to do over 140fps. Only when you go up to this resolution and keep detail settings pushed to the maximum do you start to see more modest frame rates of 46fps.
Vibox Fantasy: Build
The Cooler Master Storm Enforcer case is an extremely safe choice of case. Its brutal black shading (complete with a decidedly demonic red glow emanating from the front) makes for a rather uncompromising look. But the case gives plenty of space inside. Indeed, without taking up a colossal amount of desk space, the Storm Enforcer proves a very roomy environment to work in.
The memory and PCI slots are pleasingly free of obstructions, and there are another two spare DIMM slots available.
The system doesn’t have an advanced CPU cooler, and this partly accounts for the surprising amount of available space.
The power supply, a 600W Xigmatek NRP-VC603, is of adequate size. In use, the Vibox consumes around 72 watt when idling along, moving up to 163 watt playing Crysis. This is quite impressive, and shows how efficient the whole system is. Sound levels aren’t particularly high either, with the system adding around 12.5dB to background ambient.
The Samsung optical drive is CD/DVD only and doesn’t offer Blu-ray playback. There are also 802.11n wireless facilities built in.
The Vibox has plenty of ports and connectors. Eight USB 3.0 ports (two of them mounted on the front) are offered, along with a pair of USB 2.0 ports – also both on the front.
Two eSATA connectors are built in, and the many video output options include two HDMI, DisplayPort, and two Mini DisplayPort connectors.
The ample support includes a three-year labour warranty (the first year is covered for both parts and labour), and there’s also a free collect-and-return service for the first 90 days.
One nice touch is a short three-page information leaflet written by Vibox. This takes you through a few of the basics, and explains some of those points of confusion that can leave computer novices a touch befuddled – such as why PC hard drives generally appear to be showing a different capacity to the one advertised.