As compact as it is capable, this workhorse PC is only letdown by a noisy power supply fan
Saying something is “no-frills’’ tends to be damning with faint praise. A bit dull, you might imagine. A nothing kind of object. Yoyotech’s Renatus e-RSi is certainly a no-frills machine, especially compared to the terrific-value Yoyotech Warbird RS10 gaming machine on our A-List, but I’m not using the phrase unkindly. Instead, Yoyotech has wisely invested its budget in cost-effective components that do the job.
Consider the CiT S012B chassis, a budget microATX case available on Amazon. Yes, it’s not the prettiest case you’ll see, but what it lacks in flair, it makes up in practicality: with a footprint of only 448 x 160mm and height of 366mm, it will fit onto any desk and can also be laid sideways with a monitor perched on top. This is a workhorse PC.
Yoyotech bases the Renatus e-RSi on a mid-range Intel Core 15-6400 processor from the latest batch of i4nm Skylake silicon. This quad-core chip runs at a base clock speed of 2.7GHz with a maximum Turbo Boost frequency of 3.3GHz. There’s 8GB of DDR4 memory onboard, which is plenty for a PC that won’t be touching high-end workloads. If you want to upgrade, you must replace both 4GB sticks with 8GB modules, at some cost.
The e-RSi managed an overall score of 96 in the PC Pro Benchmarks, which reflects its all-round speed.
It’s only when faced with highly challenging workloads such as 4K video editing that you’ll wish for more power on tap.
Under full load, the stock Intel processor fan remains quiet. Or that’s what I assume is happening, since nothing else is audible over the droning of the power supply fan.
“With a footprint of only 448 x 160mm and a height of 366mm, the case will fit onto any desk and can be laid with a monitor on top”
It’s a compact PSU, which means the fan is smaller and generates more noise. It only has one speed mode, so there’s no escape. If you are annoyed by low-level noise, take note.
Interestingly, the e-RSi has an Nvidia GeForce GT 720 graphics card with iGB of memory. This card isn’t as powerful as the processor’s integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 (only managing 3ifps in Dirt: Showdown at 72op), which is a rare thing for a modern PC. Arguably, it takes the load – and therefore heat – off the processor, making the system run more smoothly when applying effects to videos and running 3D software, but the benefits will be marginal at best. Its most obvious advantage is the ability to hook up three external monitors via its HDMI, DVI and VGA ports, which is probably worth the tiny asking price for users serious about multitasking.
Connection options are two USB 2 ports and an SD card reader at the front, plus two 3.5mm jacks. The MSI H110M PRO-VH motherboard offers a further four USB 2 and two USB 3 ports, alongside Gigabit Ethernet and three 3.5mm audio jacks.
Internal expansion is more limited: the case has capacity for one 2.5m drive, one 5.25m optical drive and a 3.5m disk drive. Yoyotech has only installed the latter, picking a 1TB Toshiba hard disk for storage. Due to the case’s small dimensions, only half-height graphics cards will fit. There are few cards available that meet this criterion and only the Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti (around £100) will offer anything like decent performance if you want to upgrade in the future.
The Renatus e-RSi without peripherals, or if you want a bundled monitor, keyboard and mouse. The keyboard and mouse aren’t worth the boxes they come in, with the keyboard in particular offering an unpleasant, harsh typing experience. The mouse is about as basic as they come, too.
The monitor, a 22m Iiyama ProLite E2283HS, is better. It’s a Full HD TN panel with a brightness of 2b7cd/m2 and sRGB color coverage of 89.5%.
I measured contrast at a reasonable 898:1. Horizontal viewing angles are fine, but you’ll need to make vertical adjustments to ensure you get the best experience when you set it up.
Again, this is a workaday system with flaws. But if you’re looking for a compact workhorse, it’s terrific value for money. MICHAEL PASSINGHAM
2.7GHz Intel Core i5-6400 CPU • 8GB DDR4 RAM (2 x 4GB) • MSI H110M PRO-VH motherboard • MSI GeForce GT 720 graphics • 1TB hard disk • CiT S012B chassis • 300W integrated PSU • 2yr RTB warranty (parts & labour) plus lyr RTB (labour-only) • 448 x 160 x 366mm (WDH) • Windows 10 Home