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Yoyotech Warbird Nightblade 1.1 review

Kat Orphanides
12 Jun 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,019
inc VAT

If you don't have room for a monster gaming PC, you should buy the Warbird Nightblade 1.1

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Specifications

4.3GHz Intel Core i5-4670K, 8GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 8.1

We're big fans of compact gaming PCs. After all, if you only need a graphics card and a couple of hard disks then there's no point having a giant case or full-size ATX motherboard. The Yoyotech Warbird Nightblade 1.1 is built using MSI's compact Nightblade mini ITX barebones system, so you can have a gaming system that won’t take up a huge space in your living room.

Yoyotech Warbird Nightblade 1.1

This PC is equipped with an MSI MS-Z87I Gaming Nightblade motherboard, which has five SATA3 ports, two memory slots, a PCI-E x16 slot, an integrated 802.11ac wireless adaptor and a built-in Bigfoot Killer E2200 Gigabit Ethernet adaptor. Both of these networking options cater to the Nightblade's gaming-oriented image and gamers' need to ensure fast and a stable network connection for both online and local network play.

The chassis has space for a single 3 1/2in hard disk, a slot loading disc drive and two 2 1/2in bays. One of these is equipped with an adaptor that takes two mSATA devices instead of one 2 1/2in disk. Yoyotech has installed a DVD-RW slot loader, a 3 1/2in 2TB hard disk, which should take even the most enthusiastic collector of digital media ages to fill, and a 2 1/2in system disk in the form of a 128GB Toshiba SSD.

Yoyotech Warbird Nightblade 1.1

For the Warbird Nightblade’s processor, Yoyotech has chosen for the ever-popular Intel Core i5-4670K, which has been overclocked to 4.3GHz. It's accompanied by a single 8GB module of 1,600MHz DDR3 memory, but you can add a matching module to take the system up to its maximum capacity of 16GB. The Warbird Nightblade’s performance is rather impressive, as you'd expect, gaining an overall score of 127 in our benchmark tests. It’s therefore well equipped to breeze its way through any desktop application you're likely to use.

This PC uses a liquid cooler to keep the Core i5-4670K cool, and the cooler’s exhaust fan is attached to an optional side fan bracket. It's this cooler that produces most of the system's not inconsiderable noise, although the graphics card fan adds to the racket when you’re playing a high-end 3D game. If you're looking for peace and quiet, the Warbird Nightblade probably isn't the compact PC for you. It's sturdily built, though, with a solid and well finished metal chassis that’s heavier than it looks. Unfortunately, the cramped interior makes it a little bit awkward to dismantle and build, but Yoyotech has already done the job for you.

Yoyotech Warbird Nightblade 1.1

The installed graphics card is an MSI Radeon R9 270X, which has a massive 4GB of onboard graphics memory. As you'd expect, it put in a good performance in our 3D gaming tests. Dirt Showdown is a fairly forgiving game, so we weren't too surprised when our test, conducted at a resolution of 1,920x1,080, Ultra quality and 4x anti-aliasing, produced a frame rate of 87.5fps. Crysis 3 is a rather more challenging proposition, but we were pleased with the system's performance here too. The Warbird Nightblade produced an average frame rate of 44.9fps at High quality, a 1,920x1,080 resolution and 4x anti-aliasing. You’ll have no problem playing the latest games at high settings. The card has a pair of DVI outputs, as well as one HDMI and one DisplayPort output.

We've seen better-looking mini PC systems, but the Warbird Nightblade is certainly capable, and has plenty of connection ports. There are two USB and two USB3 ports on the front panel, along with 3.5mm microphone and headphone ports. At the back are four USB3 ports, two USB ports and an eSATA port. There's also an optical S/PDIF output, six configurable 3.5mm stereo ports for up to 7.1 surround sound and a PS/2 port for legacy keyboards and mice.

Yoyotech Warbird Nightblade 1.1

The Warbird Nightblade 1.1 isn't the best looking or most portable compact gaming PC we've seen, and it's certainly not the quietest. However, its powerful graphics card and fast wireless networking make it excellent value. It compares well and performs better than the Chillblast Fusion Mammoth. If you don't mind a bit of noise, this is a great compact gaming system for your living room.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorIntel Core i5-4670K
Processor external bus100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplierx43
Processor clock speed4.3GHz
Processor socketLGA1150
Memory8
Memory typePC3-12800
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardMSI MS-Z87I Gaming Nightblade
Motherboard chipsetIntel Z87

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)4/6
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000Mbit/s
Wireless networking support802.11ac

Internal Expansion

Casemini-ITX
PCI-E x1 slots (free)0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports2
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Toshiba THNSNH128GMCT + Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001-1CH164
InterfaceSATA3

Graphics

Graphics card(s)4GB AMD Radeon R9 270X
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC1150
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, headphone, microphone
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Screen modelN/A
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

KeyboardN/A
MouseN/A

Software

Operating systemWindows 8.1
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

WarrantyThree years RTB (one year parts, three years labour)
Price£1,019
Detailswww.yoyotech.co.uk

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