Scan 3XS Z77 FT03 Nanu review
4.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K, 8GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Compact gaming systems are increasing in popularity, probably because the ubiquitous games consoles - the Xbox 360 and PS3 - are starting to show their age when it comes to graphics and power. If you have the money then a compact PC such as the Scan 3XS Z77 FT03 Nanu could be the ideal sitting room gaming system if your Xbox no longer fulfils your needs.
It's an incredibly tightly designed computer, both in terms of tidy construction and in terms of the sheer quantity of top-notch hardware that Scan has crammed in to it. The processor is water cooled, which means that the PC's operating sound, although noticeable, is a soft and low hum rather than the sometimes shrill whine of comparable air-cooled systems, although there are a couple of low-noise fans in there, too. It’s even quieter when the sides are on, but this is never going to be a silent PC.
That's hardly surprising when you consider the overclocked Intel Core i5-3570K processor, which runs at 4.4GHz, and whopping great overclocked EVGA Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti with 2GB of memory that are stuffed inside this little tower. The performance generated by all this hardware is certainly impressive. In our application benchmarks, the Nanu scored 142 overall, putting it among the most powerful overclocked Ivy Bridge systems we've seen. It can also more than hold its own against the most power-hungry 3D games, producing maximum quality frame rates of 79fps in Dirt 3 and 39fps in Crysis 2. You won't have any trouble running the very latest titles at their highest settings for quite some time. The graphics card has two DVI ports, an HDMI port and a DisplayPort, and you can connect monitors to them simultaneously.
There's no room on the tiny Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe Mini ITX motherboard for any other expansion cards, and they probably wouldn't fit in the case even if there were. There are only two memory slots, each occupied by a 4GB module of 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM, and four SATA ports. Two of these are SATA3. They're hooked up to the hard disks: a 120GB SSD and a 2TB HDD. The SSD system drive ensures fast boot speeds and blistering read/write access for critical applications. Although Windows 7 isn't generally as quick to boot as Windows 8, it's currently the more stable version for gaming, simply by dint of having been more extensively tested with all the games and drivers you're likely to need.