Digital Storm Vanquish II: This mid-range gaming PC is ready to play. The Vanquish II is a well-rounded machine, but its motherboard and storage options, while adequate, aren’t ideal.
The PC gaming crowd can be hard to please. They want a high-resolution gaming machine that runs at 60-plus frames per second – but it can’t be a one-trick pony either. Every component needs to be upgraded and available on store shelves. Oh, and if someone else made it, it’s just as good as making it yourself.
You can imagine my surprise, then, when Digital Storm’s latest Vanquish II gaming PC put a checkmark in the book with what everyone needs.
You wouldn’t know it from the unassuming, jet-black case – there’s no green neon paint or random, LED light show – but under the hood of Digital Storm’s latest Vanquish II is a wallet-friendly gaming PC. The heart beats. That is, under the cool hue of steady blue light.
It starts with a 4th gen Intel Core i5 processor that acts as the brains behind Brown, while 8GB of Digital Storm-certified memory and a GeForce GTX 770 graphics card play this year’s biggest and best games. Provides the power required for The storage options included in the model sent to TechRadar – a 120GB SSD and a 1TB, 7200 rpm hard drive – are a good start, but will quickly fill up. Thankfully, the included power supply supports an additional SSD and two additional spinning drives, giving you plenty of expansion for years to come.
Digital Storm Vanquish II Design
Aesthetically, there’s a lot to like about Vanquish II. The Corsair Graphite Series Black 230T case is simple, unobtrusive, and should go with any decor around it. For a standard desktop, it’s an average size – neither too big for a local LAN nor too small to stray into mini-ITX territory. The unit measures 21.65 x 8.27 x 17.32 inches (W x D x H) and weighs 15 pounds, so it’s not that light either. The sweetest thing about this case is the room for expansion, with seven expansion slots and three optical drive bays for Blu-ray or secondary DVD drives.
Open it up, and it’s immediately clear that the Vanquish II is a smart, clean system with no cooling issues. After 12 hours of gaming/web browsing, the chassis didn’t feel too hot at all and surprisingly, the components inside the case were perfectly cool. It speaks volumes for the design philosophy of Digital Storm. They have prioritized positioning cables, creating a wide open space for countless fans to do their thing.
However, don’t think Vanquish is invincible. The Achilles heel of this rig isn’t found on its inconspicuous case, but on the motherboard itself. The Micro-ATX form factor looks as streamlined as ever. But check out the two DDR3 memory slots. With a starting 8GB of RAM, it’s ready to take on anything today’s gaming space can throw at it. What’s on the horizon, though, is another story.
Two RAM slots and an open PCIe slot mean there’s little in the way of modifications here. Thankfully, the board supports up to 16GB of DDR3 memory, so it will likely last a couple of years without needing an overhaul. Regardless, the limited amount of PCIe and RAM slots set a horrendous expiration date for one of the most expensive parts of the case.
Digital Storm Vanquish II Pros and Cons
- +Clean component placement
- +Good price-to-power ratio
- +Lifetime tech support
- –Motherboard offers little expansion
- –120GB SSD fills up fast
- –Case design lacks panache