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Scan 3XS Gamer review: The best sub-£1,500 PC for 4K gaming

Stuart Andrews
8 Jan 2019
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,500
inc VAT

Other PCs are faster in some areas, but this is a killer 4K games machine for a competitive price

Pros 
Runs cool and quiet
Large and roomy case
Impeccable airflow and neatness
Cons 
It's fast, but the competition is faster
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Scan’s choice of a Corsair Carbide 275R tower case is practically minimalist in comparison to the Palicomp Intel i7 Nebula's Kolink Observatory, although it’s actually larger and roomier. Look through the tempered glass side panel, and you’ll spot some subtle illumination at the front, plus glowing accents on the motherboard and GPU, but no crazy light shows.

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Scan 3XS Gamer review: Features

Scan is one of the few gaming PC manufacturers that opts for AMD over Intel, going with the all-new Ryzen 2600X. It’s a six-core, 12-thread CPU based on the enhanced Zen+ architecture, with a die shrink and improved Precision Boost technology pushing clock speeds up to a base 3.6GHz with a 4.2GHz maximum boost.

Scan also hasn’t prioritised overclocking here, sticking to the stock AMD Wraith Spire cooler and fitting 16GB of relatively conservative 2,666MHz DDR4 memory. There’s one 120mm system fan at the front and another at the rear, and for all its lack of watercooling the 3XS Gamer runs cool and quiet. Only when running games at 4K resolutions does the sound rise above a gentle hum.

The GPU, meanwhile, is an 8GB EVGA GeForce 1080 SC Gaming, with the SC standing for superclocked. This version pushes the GTX 1080 from its 1,607MHz base clock and 1,733MHz boost clock speeds to 1,708MHz and 1,847MHz respectively, with an impressively efficient cooling system to keep temperatures under control.

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Scan 3XS Gamer review: Storage

For storage, Scan partners a 256GB Western Digital Black M.2 NVMe drive with a 2TB Western Digital Blue hard disk. The SSD isn’t quite as speedy as the Samsung 960 Evo drives on the Wired2Fire Diablo Nemesis and Chillblast Fusion Titanium systems – we measured sequential read and write speeds of 1,531MB/sec and 294MB/sec – but we’re still talking extreme levels of performance.

The hard disk gives you enough space for 4K video, RAW photos and a whole lot of games, though the 5,400rpm spindle speed means it’s slightly slower than the 7,200rpm Seagate Barracudas fitted on rival machines.

Scan 3XS Gamer review: Connectivity

All these components connect via Asus’s Prime B350 Plus motherboard. Its excellent UEFI BIOS offers plenty of tweaking and upgrade potential. Alongside the four USB 3.1 ports on the back, you’ll find four of the newer, higher-bandwidth USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, with a further two USB 3 ports easily accessible at the front of the case.

As well as the motherboard’s Gigabit Ethernet port, Scan fits an Asus Wi-Fi card with two screw-in antennae. This still leaves one PCIe 3 x16 slot and one PCI slot available for further cards.

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Scan 3XS Gamer review: Performance

The Scan is every inch the thoroughbred, high-performance system. The only problem is that the competition’s even faster. Powerful as it is, the six-core, 12-thread Ryzen 2600X is up against eight-core, 16-thread i7-8700K processors running at higher clock speeds.

This, therefore, leaves the 3XS Gamer sitting relatively low down the table in our 2D benchmarks, particularly in the video-editing and multitasking tests where more threads and faster clock speeds really tell.

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The news is better in the gaming benchmarks, where the Scan pulled out solid frame rates at both 1080p and 4K resolutions in Rise of the Tomb Raider and Metro: Last Light, while the EVGA graphics card soars in Far Cry 5, giving the Scan a great score in 4K.

Scan 3XS Gamer review: Verdict

Given that more exotic, watercooled systems come at a slightly higher price, this keeps the Scan in contention as a high-end gaming monster. Especially so when you consider that anyone can configure this exact machine on its website, or enter LN89436 into the search bar and it will be pre-configured for you.

If you simply want the highest frame rates in games at 4K resolutions, then the Scan is the best PC under £1,500.