It’s one of a raft of machines that have abandoned Intel for AMD – no surprise when you consider how effective the red team’s Ryzen processors have been since their March debut.
Yoyotech’s machine uses the Ryzen 7 1700, which sits right in the middle of AMD’s latest high-end range. It’s got a mighty eight cores that support sixteen simultaneous threads, and it has the other benefits of Ryzen – so you’re getting a huge efficiency boost, a new manufacturing process and performance-per-clock that matches Intel’s Kaby Lake chips.
The Ryzen 7 may have the core count of pricier chips, but in other areas it’s cut back. Its stock speed of 3GHz is a mediocre figure, and its Turbo peak of 3.7GHz remains in the middle of the road. It also only has AMD’s lesser version of XFR, which means a single core boost of 50MHz rather than 100MHz.
The middling clock speeds may see this chip fall behind in single-threaded tasks, but its high core count means it’ll excel in multi-threaded scenarios – a theme we’ve seen develop across all of AMD’s new chips.
Elsewhere, there’s 16GB of DDR4 memory clocked to 2,400MHz, and there’s a 250GB Hynix SSD that’ll deliver typical SATA speeds – so far better than a hard disk but miles behind an NVMe drive.
MSI has built the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 inside the Yoyotech. The GPU’s original speed of 1,506MHz has been overclocked to 1,556MHz, and the Turbo clock has risen from 1,683MHz to 1,746MHz.
The 8GB of memory has a tiny 8MHz overclock to improve its speed to 8,008MHz, and this Pascal-powered part has 1,920 stream processors that deploy the efficient, power Pascal architecture and its huge performance gains over the previous generations.
The card looks good, too: black and white with two large fans and exposed piping that shows off the aluminium beneath the plastic.
The Asus Prime B350-Plus motherboard is an affordable product that concentrates on the basics – no surprise considering it has the mid-range B350 chipset that means it doesn’t support a second Nvidia graphics card.
It does support the usual 64GB of memory, and it’s got plenty of USB 3 ports, SATA sockets and a free M.2 connector. It’s got pairs of PCI-Express x1 and PCI sockets, but the second PCI-Express x16 slot is only able to run at 4x speed, so it’s no good for graphics.
There aren’t any on-board USB 3 connectors spare, and the audio and networking equipment is only entry-level – there’s no room in the budget for that to be boosted. The backplate is only able to offer three audio jacks rather than five, and there aren’t any USB 3.1 Type-C connectors.
The power supply is similarly basic. The EVGA W1 unit serves up 500W, which is ample for this machine, but it’s not a modular unit and it only has a basic 80Plus certification.
Yoyotech’s machine squares up against the Box Cube Jaguar Elite. That system has a Radeon RX 580 graphics card that won’t be as quick as the Redback’s GTX 1070, but it does have a Ryzen 7 1700X processor – so it’ll be quicker in application tests.
The Box system also has slightly faster memory and a gaming motherboard with more features – like two M.2 sockets, better multi-GPU abilities and more lighting.
CPU: 3GHz AMD Ryzen 7 1700
Memory: 16GB 2,400MHz DDR4
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB
Motherboard: Asus Prime B350-Plus
Hard disk: 240GB Hynix SL308 SSD, 1TB hard disk
Ports: Front: 2 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, 2 x audio; rear: 6 x USB 3.1, 2 x USB 2, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x PS/2, 3 x audio
Case: Game Max Vega RGB Mid Tower
Dimensions: (W x D x H): 210 x 491 x 516mm
Extras: EVGA W1 500W
Warranty: 3yr RTB (1mth C&R, 1yr parts & labour, 2nd/3rd yrs labour only)
The Game Max Vega case mixes white metal and tempered glass to impressive effect: the front and top sections are white, and they’re sandwiched in between two thick slabs of tinted glass.
The trendy looks are matched with good build quality and a solid set of features. There are four USB ports on the roof and a button that changes the colours on the RGB LEDs that are installed along the PSU shroud.
There are loads of spare fan connectors behind the motherboard, and the motherboard tray has plenty of cable-routing holes. Yoyotech has done a good job of keeping the system tidy both in front of the board and around the back, even though the cables themselves are still multi-coloured.
Our only other issue with this case is its size. The ATX motherboard doesn’t offer much more than a micro-ATX product could provide, and neither the GPU nor the AMD Wraith cooler are particularly large – and there’s only one case fan in this machine, too.
That means you’re paying for a lot of hot air with this machine. The Redback certainly fits the bill if you’re looking to upgrade, but if that’s not in your plans then this machine offers a lot of unnecessary space.
There’s not much to choose between the Yoyotech and Box designs. Both are conventional towers with little storage room, RGB LEDs and good looks – the Box has more room to grow, but that’s more to do with its motherboard.
The GTX 1070 is a powerful graphics card that easily outpaced the Box machine’s Radeon RX 580 at all levels of performance.
Its weakest average at 1080p was a superb 62fps in Witcher 3, and it topped out with a result of 136fps in Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. The Box machine, in contrast, had 1080p framerates that ranged between 50fps and 90fps.
The Yoyotech’s overclocked GTX 1070 proved itself capable at 2,560 x 1,440 too. It ran the demanding Crysis 3 with a solid minimum of 47fps, and ran Fallout 4 with a minimum of 50fps – while the Box could only manage 31fps in both of those games. The Yoyotech then hit a 65fps minimum in Shadow of Mordor, which is almost twenty frames quicker than the Box machine.
Those framerates are good, but the GTX 1070 can’t quite handle 4K. Its minimums dipped to 23fps and 24fps in most of our test games, which means sluggish gameplay – even if average framerates sometimes did creep up over 30fps.
The Yoyotech’s dominance over the Box was finalised in theoretical tests. The GTX 1070 scored 13,819 points in 3D Mark Fire Strike – two thousand points more than the Jaguar.
The Yoyotech’s Cinebench score of 1,275cb is good thanks to Ryzen’s multi-tasking – but the Box and its higher clock speeds scored 1,478cb in the same test.
The Yoyotech then returned scores of 3,776 and 17,012 in the Geekbench single- and multi-core tests, but the Box Jaguar outpaced it with results of 4,224 and 20,395. Those chips have the same number of cores, but the Box’s higher initial clock speed and better XFR abilities give it a leg-up.
Yoyotech’s machine isn’t slow: it’ll run any current game, any general computing application and most work tools. But be aware that the Box will always be better when it comes to CPU ability.
The large case and mid-range components did mean that thermal issues never arose. The graphics card peaked at a chilly 73°C, and the processor was three degrees cooler. The single exhaust fan ensured that the system remained near-silent in all tests, too, which is impressive.
That’s good, but the Box was similarly quiet and its processor was cooler because it had a proper water-cooling unit.
Yoyotech’s machine delivers top-quality gaming performance from its GTX 1070 graphics card, and it’s solid elsewhere – the Ryzen processor is quick, there’s plenty of memory, and there’s an SSD and a hard disk.
The case is fine, if a little large, but the Yoyotech suffers elsewhere. Its motherboard is basic, and the Box Cube Jaguar Elite is a strong rival – it’s got a better motherboard and noticeably quicker application performance, even if it is a little more expensive.
Yoyotech’s machine is a good buy if you’re primarily interested in gaming, or you need a solid system on a budget – but remember than the Box Jaguar system is faster in applications and has better expansion potential.