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CCL Reaper GT review: A beast of a PC

Stuart Andrews
5 Apr 2019
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,500
inc VAT

This PC's beauty isn't skin deep: it's a great spec for a great price

Pros 
Very quiet
Great value for money
Stylish black and white finish
Cons 
Longer loading times than rivals
Not one of the very fastest gaming systems
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Other enthusiast PCs have style and a whole lot of lighting, but the CCL Reaper GT is the only one with its own aesthetic.

Forget bombastic displays of pulsating colour: here it’s all about gleaming whites, with a white Corsair Carbide 275R case, a matching white MSI B350 Tomahawk Arctic motherboard and prominent white cabling, white DIMMs and a black-and-white fan on the MSI graphics card. It’s a beautifully imagined high-end PC.

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CCL Reaper GT review: Features

There’s substance to match the style, starting with one of AMD’s second-generation Ryzen processors – the eight-core, 16-thread Ryzen 2700. In terms of clock speed, it’s not much different to the 2600X in the Scan Gaming 3XS, but the extra two cores and four threads can make a significant difference in heavily multithreaded applications, including video encoding, 3D rendering and recent high-end games.

CCL chooses a Corsair H110i watercooling system to keep things cool. It exchanges heat from the CPU through a heavy-duty radiator at the front of the case, itself cooled by two 12cm fans. While the Ryzen ran hot during testing, reaching peaks of over 90°C, we encountered no problems with stability and no serious levels of noise. In fact, after a fierce roar at startup, the CCL is very quiet.

That’s helped by efficient cooling on the MSI GTX 1080 Armor 8G OC graphics card, which itself overclocks the GTX 1080 GPU with a 50MHz increase on the base clock and a 64MHz bump on the boost clock. You could even push both higher using the bundled MSI Afterburner app – this card will happily reach over 1,800MHz base speeds while gaming.

The B350 Tomahawk Arctic is also an interesting motherboard. As well as three USB 3.1 Type-A ports, USB-C and Gigabit Ethernet with gaming-focused bandwidth management, it supports 3,200MHz DDR4 memory. CCL hasn’t pushed things quite that far, fitting a 3,000MHz Corsair Vengeance LFX instead, but that’s sensible given the minimal speed difference and the costs involved.

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Given the temperatures at the current speeds, we wouldn’t be inclined to overclock the Ryzen 2700
further, but MSI’s UEFI BIOS makes it tempting to try. It has some of the slickest tweaking tools around, complete with useful in-line help.

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CCL Reaper GT review: Performance

For storage, the Reaper relies on a 250GB Samsung 860 Evo M.2 SSD and a 3TB Seagate Barracuda 7,200rpm hard disk. The 860 Evo uses a SATA3 controller and V-NAND flash, so it can’t compete with Samsung’s 960 Evo drives on raw performance.

We measured sequential read speeds at 527MB/sec and write speeds of 287MB/sec, where the faster SSDs reach speeds of nearer 2,500MB/sec and 1,800MB/sec, respectively. There’s compensation in an extra terabyte of hard disk space, but you wonder if CCL has hobbled the Reaper GT.

Not really. The CCL is still among the best performers in our media and multitasking benchmarks and delivered a decent score in the Cinebench 3D rendering benchmark, where its eight cores, 16 threads and fast memory subsystem count more than SSD speeds.

And while the CCL isn’t quite up there with the fastest gaming systems, it’s still a contender: it nearly matches the Scan 3XS Gamer in both the Rise of the Tomb Raider and Metro: Last Light benchmarks, and isn’t far behind in Far Cry 5. While the Palicomp Intel i7 Nebula, Scan 3XS Gamer and CyberPower Infinity X88 GTX PCs will load your game slightly faster, the CCL doesn’t fall behind while it’s actually running.

READ NEXT: Palicomp Intel i7 Nebula review

CCL Reaper GT review: Verdict

With some fantastic high-end components and great attention to detail, the CCL is a beast of a PC. That it’s also something of a beauty is the icing on the cake. If you’re looking for ultimate performance, choose the aforementioned Palicomp or CyberPower systems; but if we were splashing out on a £1,500 system, we’d take the icy cool CCL Reaper GT every time.

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