The gaming world is ever evolving. Gaming companies are masterfully coming up with new ways to get you hooked. With these new ways comes the need for revolutionizing the delivery of this extreme user experience. Gamers everywhere are continuously demanding more power from their setups with the greater demand landing on the processing units.
Gamers are now getting their setups ready for the VR evolution, with innovations such as the Oculus Rift, which requires a mid-range setup at its minimum, set to revolutionize gaming.
Tech savvy gamers are coming up with better ways to build better performance at the cheapest costs. We are going to review these advancements in compressing the price without compromising on power.
The Alienware Alpha will be our low end gaming machine. The Alpha is a small form factor low end gaming pc that packs quite the punch. At face value the Alpha is quite boring to look at, with its console look, minimal LEDs and the giant Alienware logo as its power button that won’t stand out in a bright room.
Connectivity options on the Alpha are minimal and confined to at least five USB ports, version 2.0 in that case. The usual cohort of ports hangs around at the back panel, with an interesting extra HDMI port. The HDMI port is rather a pass-through port that apparently can be activated through the UI.
The Alienware Alpha will be our low end gaming machine.
Talking of the UI, the Alpha comes with a pre-installed UI that helps sell the console idea. On the bright side it comes with a wireless Xbox 360 controller!
Setting up the Alpha requires dancing through a Windows 8 setup with just the Xbox 360 Controller, some further hurdles rebooting, setting up the Alpha interface and swimming across the Pacific.
The rest is easy from this point on, many have reported needing a keyboard to enter the user names on a game and logging on to platforms like UPlay. Navigating through some games is not children’s play. You will require to write some few lines of code just to get the game running, or at least that’s what it felt like when I tried running EAs Origin on the console.
The base configuration running an I3 CPU at 4GB of memory, a custom NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU at 2gb of memory feels more like a laptop than a stripped down gaming desktop. Dell does say that it is indeed capable of smoothly running Witcher 3 at 60 FPS, quite a lot right? There’s also the lag from the base configurations HDD at 5400RPM.
The Alpha does outdo its competitors, the consoles, at graphics and play. This should be a step up from the PS4 and Xbox One but other than that it is indeed a hard sell for any serious gamer.
Digital Storm’s Bolt 3
The Bolt 3 gaming machine is quite the performer and for a mid-range gaming desktop it quite does outperform some of the high end setups running above the $3000 mark. It is a bar setting, small form factor gaming desktop. Featuring the latest of the 6th-gen Intel core i7 CPU and the Nvidia GTX 970, it does stand tall among its colleagues and seats comfortably among its seniors.
It is easily customizable to greater performance customizations while maintaining its small form factor but topping more from the high end range.It comes with a completely transparent panel that proudly displays all its neat underbellies, back-lit with stylish LEDs.
Digital Storm’s Bolt 3 is The best mid-range Gaming PC on the market
The LEDs are completely customizable with the included remote, with modes such as the pulsate, your personal nightclub. Its jet-black finish lets it stand handsome among its peers with the Digital Storm logo highlighting its beauty for all to see. In all its compactness, it does loose the console feel that its predecessor the bolt 2 features.
It however still packs the easy to swap side panel with the knobs, yes knobs, that allow for faster swapping of under the hood items such as the graphics card.
It does not stutter when it comes to gaming, it handles 4K gaming smoothly at plus 70 fps. It handles multi-tasking quite easily with no hesitation plus extra to go.
It takes everything thrown at it and churns out the best in performance. It does however falter at some 4k games, which it plays quite smoothly at full-HD, but then it is expected of a midrange gaming machine. The Bolt 3 is quite sufficient for a gamer with a limited budget, who needs to get the best for his money at the midrange end. Its greatest shortfall is the loss in compactness.
In conclusion, the gaming world has seen quite the innovations and is ready to take up more innovations.
Whatever requirements are thrown at the community; they definitely have a way of coming up with a better solution to solve it. As the next phase of Virtual Reality (VR) is ushered in, we do expect quite a shakeup in this industry, particularly at the low end where VR ready machines are significantly lacking.