It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the keener a PC company is to sell you something, the more its name will sound like the title of a 1980s sci-fi cartoon series.
In this case the StormForce Infinity shtick might actually distract you from what Zoostorm considers this PC’s unique selling proposition: virtual reality (VR). Yes, thanks to the latest AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card, you can plug in one of this year’s new plastic helmets and prance about in a virtual world of your own.
Plain but powerful PC that’ll do everything you need.
Or not. Because, even if you don’t want to spend several hundred quid extra to re-enact Disney’s Tron films with an electric Viewmaster strapped to your face, this is an excellent (you could say ‘storming’) all-round PC. The RX 480 has a huge 8GB of its own memory and will satisfy all but the most extreme players of conventional 3D games, and -compatibility permitting – can speed up other programs that use Microsoft DirectX, OpenCL, OpenGL or Vulkan software. Nvidia’s GeForce cards are generally preferred by creative types, but AMD’s support has been catching up.
And that’s not even this machine’s best performance feature. The central processor is a Skylake i7-6700, the fastest chip Intel sells right now. It didn’t so much run our benchmark tests as sprint without pausing for breath. Whatever you want to do with your Windows 10 PC, this will probably do it.
3.4GHz Intel i7-6700 quad-core processor – 16GB memory – AMD RX 480 graphics card – 1TB hard drive – 4x USB 3.1 • 2x USB 3.0 • 3x USB 2.0 • Gigabit Ethernet • HDMI port • DVI-D port • VGA port • Windows 10 Home «451x232x521mm (HxWxD) • Three-year warranty
The only reservation we have concerns storage. We all know by now that SSDs are faster than conventional hard drives. They’re getting so fast, in fact, that traditional SATA-storage connectors can’t keep up, so the latest drives connect to the PCI-Express (PCIe) interface, either through a PCIe card or, in a more compact form, using an M.2 connector. Here you get a 256GB SanDisk M.2 SSD, but it might as well have been on SATA: the fastest read speed we achieved was 512Mbit/s, while write speeds topped out at 319Mbit/s. Those are still good results – just not top of the range. You also get a standard 1TB hard drive for more space, and a DVD writer for old times’ sake.
There’s pretty good scope for expansion within the case, which is a plain Fractal R5 Blackout. There’s nothing really missing here, making this a solid system, albeit for quite a lot of money.
There are fancier systems at this price, but with an excellent CPU and CPU in a practical case, this one will be fast enough for most people
If you prefer Nvidia graphics, this system pairs the new CTX1060 with a more modest ¡5 processor
There are fancier systems at this price, but with an excellent CPU and CPU in a practical case, this one will be fast enough for most people.