Very expensive but immensely powerful and beautifully built; you’d be mad not to covet this PC
4.6GHz Intel Core i7-4770K, 16GB RAM, 27in 2,560×1,440 display, Windows 8.1
In our challenging Crysis 3 benchmarks the PC produced a silky smooth average frame rate of 59.6fps at a resolution of 1,920×1,080 with 4x anti-aliasing and graphics quality set to High. Things became even more thrilling when increased the resolution to 2,560×1,440 and set the graphics quality to maximum with 8x anti-aliasing. These settings would destroy many other systems, yet the 3XS Vengeance SLI produced a full playable average frame rate of 44.7fps. That’s a stellar performance and it shows that you’ll have absolutely no problem playing the latest games at ridiculously high graphics quality and resolutions.
Between them, the graphics cards have four DVI outputs, two HDMI ports and two DisplayPort connections, but if you want to create a multi-monitor configuration you must connect all of your monitors to a single card. However, this PC ships with a single large and very high-resolution monitor, the Asus PB278.
The Asus PB278 is a stunning matt 27in display with a resolution of 2,560×1,440. You can swivel it into portrait mode if required, and its highly adjustable stand can be shifted up and down by 120mm and tilted through 25 degrees, making it easy to find the perfect viewing angle. The monitor has a full range of inputs: HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI and VGA. We were slightly annoyed by their position on the underside of the monitor where they’re hard to identify and connect, but that’s a minor irritation that’s unlikely to crop up once you have everything connected.
As the PB278’s screen is matt, there are no unwanted reflections, and we couldn’t fault the vividness of the colours on screen. Cheaper matt screens can look a little washed out, but there’s no such problem here. Even before calibration, we measured an sRGB gamut coverage of 96.9 per cent in addition to a contrast ratio of 935:1 and a black level of 0.31cdm2. These figures are fantastic for a non-calibrated screen.
The 3XS Vengeance SLI’s peripherals are of equally good quality, too. The Corsair Vengeance K60 mechanical keyboard is one of our all-time favourites for both gaming and typing. It comes with interchangeable WASD keys that are textured so you can feel them in the dark, as well as a contoured detachable wrist rest to support you while gaming.
The Corsair Vengeance M65 laser mouse is a similarly thoughtful piece of engineering that’s perfect for FPS games. It comes with a set of interchangeable weights and it has low-friction pads on its underside to ensure it glides effortlessly across almost any surface. The mouse has an 8,200dpi sensor, and there’s a sniper button that instantly switches the mouse’s resolution to make it easier to aim your shots. It’s not particularly attractive, but it fits well in even a small hand and it proved comfortable to use over extended periods.
It’s worth noting that if you don’t need the monitor, mouse and keyboard, you can buy the base unit only for £2,099. Scan provides the first year’s warranty service on-site, so if anything goes wrong you won’t have to return the system to the shop. The second and third years are return-to-base with full coverage of parts and labour.
The Scan 3XS Z87 Vengeance SLI is, at £2,699, very expensive. However, it’s also extremely well built and capable. If a gaming PC is your main source of entertainment and you have the money to spend, you’d be hard pressed to find one better than this. It wipes the floor with the most graphically challenging modern games and is powerful enough to keep you at the cutting edge of gaming for years to come.
|Intel Core i7-4770K
|Processor external bus
|Processor clock speed
|Asus Z-87 A
|USB2 ports (front/rear)
|eSATA ports (front/rear)
|Wired network ports
|Wireless networking support
|PCI-E x1 slots (free)
|PCI-E x16 slots (free)
|Free Serial ATA ports
|Free memory slots
|Free 3.5in drive bays
|Hard disk model(s)
|Samsung 840 256GB + Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001
|2x 3GB Nvidia GTX 780 SC
|4x DVI, 2x HDMI, 2x DisplayPort
|Creative Sound Blaster Z
|5.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, optical S/PDIF in, mic in
|Supported memory cards
|SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo, MMC, Compact Flash, microSD, M2, xD
|Optical drive type(s)
|HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, VGA
|Corsair Vengeance K60
|Corsair Vengeance M65
|Operating system restore option
|three years RTB (first year onsite)