The Stormforce Prism i7 8700K GTX 1080Ti SLI is a beast – on the inside, at least. This monster machine serves up an overclocked Intel processor and two Nvidia GeForce graphics cards – so you’re going to have enough power to handle virtually any computing task. The rest of the components are top-notch, too, and the build is excellent. But can this machine justify its £3,500 price? Read our Stormforce Prism i7 8700K GTX 1080Ti SLI to find out.
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Stormforce Prism i7 8700K GTX 1080Ti SLI PC Review – Components
The two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards deliver a fearsome amount of power. For starters, they use the Nvidia Pascal architecture, which means more efficiency and cleverer task delegation. In turn, that delivers even more power than older cards while consuming even less electricity.
On paper the two cards have a spectacular specification. There are 24 billion transistors and 7,168 stream processors between the two, and 22GB of GDDR5X memory across the boards.
The cards come from Asus. That means they’ll be reliable, but we’re a little disappointed that they’re not overclocked. The GTX 1080 Ti’s base speed of 1,480MHz remains excellent, of course, but the Scan 3XS Vengeance Aura SLI deployed two GTX 1080 Ti GPUs at 1,609MHz.
The Core i7-8700K is the current chip of choice among many consumer PC companies, and it’s easy to see why. The chip has six Hyper-Threaded cores, which gives it enough multi-threaded ability to handle high-end work applications and tricky multi-tasking. It’s also got the beefed-up Coffee Lake architecture.
Stormforce has also taken this chip to a different level with enthusiastic overclocking. The stock speed of 3.7GHz has been boosted to a monster 4.8GHz. And, while the extra cores of the Coffee Lake architecture mean you’ll get more multi-tasking ability with this chip, the overclock will deliver better single-threaded performance – important for gaming, web browsing and Office applications.
We’ve rarely seen an i7 chip that’s more powerful than the Stormforce’s processor, but the overclocked chip still faces some strong competition.
The Scan machine is a couple of hundred pounds more expensive, but it runs the i7-8700K with a whopping 5GHz overclock.
Also look to the CyberPower Ultra Threadripper Xtreme. This monster rig was actually a tiny bit cheaper than the Stormforce Prism machine. It only had one GTX 1080 Ti graphics card, but its AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X processor has sixteen multi-threaded cores and a 3.4GHz base clock – less impressive in single-threaded, perhaps, but formidable in multi-tasking.
There’s familiar, powerful hardware elsewhere. The 32GB of GDDR4 RAM is clocked to a pacey 3,000MHz. Windows 10 Home is installed on a 512GB Western Digital Black SSD, and there’s a 2TB hard disk.
Broadly speaking, that’s the same sort of memory and storage configuration that you’ll get from the Scan and CyberPower machines.
The Prism’s components slot into an Asus ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming motherboard. It’s a solid bit of kit – virtually identical to the Asus board inside the Scan machine, and with many of the same features as the X399 board inside CyberPower’s Threadripper rig.
The board has the usual big metal heatsinks full of RGB LEDs, and the board also has a spare RGB header if you’d like to add more lighting.
The Asus board has numerous USB 3 ports and a USB 3.1 Type-C connector at the rear alongside dual-band 802.11ac wireless. There’s also beefed-up SupremeFX audio.
It’s a great bit of kit, but it doesn’t have on-board buttons or a POST display – that only appears on even more expensive motherboards. It’s also tricky to upgrade on this board, largely because of how much hardware is already installed in this PC. All four memory slots are already occupied, for instance, and the two graphics cards make it tricky to reach any of the PCI slots or SATA ports.
The only easy and obvious upgrade paths here are the second M.2 socket and the top PCI-E x1 slot. That’s fine, especially as this system is so powerful – but it may not be ideal for keen tinkerers.
Interested in an AMD Ryzen build? Check out our in-depth guide to AMD AM4 motherboards – and our top recommendations for every budget and form factor!
Stormforce Prism i7 8700K GTX 1080Ti SLI Review – Design
The high-end hardware is packed into a Cooler Master MasterCase MC500M enclosure. It’s a smart-looking case, with a matte black front panel and a tempered glass side panel. Solid build quality comes alongside the eye-catching looks.
Cooler Master touts this enclosure’s modular ability – and, while it’s certainly accessible, there isn’t much on offer inside this case that you won’t find on a dozen other flexible cases at this price.
It’s certainly not a bad bit of kit, though. The front panel is attached magnetically, and underneath you’ll find a full-height dust-filter and two 140mm fans. A Cooler Master 240mm water-cooling unit sits in the rig’s roof, and its CPU heatsink has its own RGB LEDs.
The bottom of the case doesn’t have the traditional PSU shroud, but it does have a horizontal cover across the base of the chassis – and this holds one of the Stormforce Prism’s most interesting features. The clear Perspex slab that is used at the bottom of this case is actually filled with RGB LEDs. It’s the first time we’ve seen this feature in a case, and it certainly brightens up the interior. Thankfully, software controls the illuminations.
The two hard disk bays at the front of the machine can be easily accessed, and they’ve got smart tool-free trays inside. It’s possible to add another hard disk cage in this modular chassis – it’s removed in our review sample, but they’re in the box. Cooler Master also sells various hard disk cages and accessories for further modular personalisation.
The Cooler Master has a good selection of ports. The front of the rig serves up three USB 3.1 connections and a USB 3.1 Type-C port – a rarity on PC cases right now. Just behind the bank of ports you’ll find a handle. It’s a little unwieldy compared to the carrying gear found on other cases, but it still does make it a little easier to lug this machine around.
The Stormforce’s case is sturdy, easy to access and looks good, but rival machines do go a step further in some areas. The Scan, in particular, is more visually striking. Its Corsair Crystal 570X chassis makes an impact with a honeycombed front pattern and three fans, and the entire machine is lit with dramatic red lighting.
Stormforce Prism i7 8700K GTX 1080Ti SLI Review – Gaming Performance
If you want to play the latest games on a VR headset, they’ll run smoothly. If you want to use a 4K monitor of a widescreen panel, it’ll handle those too. High refresh-rates for syncing will be absolutely fine with this setup, and so will multi-monitor screens.
Importantly, the two graphics cards won’t just run today’s top games in any conceivable resolution. It’ll handle games in the future, too, like Cyberpunk 2077, Elder Scrolls VI and Anthem.
Instead of finding out just what this PC can handle, then, it’s more pertinent to find out how it stacks up against its high-end competition.
In that regard, the stock-speed GTX 1080 Ti cards do sometimes lose a bit of pace when compared to the overclocked chips inside the Scan.
Its 84fps average in Fallout 4 at 4K, for instance, is five frames behind the Scan machine, and its Shadow of Mordor average of 156fps is two frames slower. In some other tests it was a little quicker, though – so you’re not going to lose out on any noticeable way by not having an overclock on these cards. At most, it’ll be a couple of frames.
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Stormforce Prism i7 8700K GTX 1080Ti SLI Review – Application & Thermal Performance
Its Cinebench CPU score of 1,459cb is excellent, for instance, but the Scan machine and its better overclock scored 1,608cb. The CyebrPower machine and its sixteen-core Threadripper scored hit 2,911cb in the same test.
The Stormforce’s Geekbench single-threaded score of 5,949 is superb, but the Scan machine is a couple of hundred points faster. And the Stormforce’s multi-threaded result of 25,202 is great – but, again, it’s behind both of those other rigs.
The only area where the Stormforce Prism beats a rival is when its single-threaded speed is stacked up against the stock-speed CyberPower. That latter machine could only score 4,262 in the Geekbench single-core test.
The Stormforce Prism returned a fantastic set of results. It’ll tackle almost any task. But if you want more single- or multi-threaded speed, then the Scan and CyberPower machines are a little better.
The Prism’s Western Digital SSD also fell behind rivals. Its read and write speeds of 1,533MB/s and 827MB/s are fine. However, they’re about half as quick as the Samsung drives inside the Scan and CyberPower rigs. As a result, loading and saving times will be a little slower on this machine.
We had no thermal or noise issues with the Stormforce Prism. When idling, it’s hardly audible. During a gaming test the noise wasn’t much louder. Even if you have quiet speakers you just won’t notice any fan noise. The temperatures were fine, and the graphics card pelted along at just under 1,800MHz.
In a full-system stress-test the graphics card maintained that speed while the CPU throttled to around 3.7GHz. That’s still a fine pace considering every core was running at 100% load. In this test the CPU and GPU peaked with fine temperatures of 84°C, and the noise was only a little louder.
You’ll still hardly hear this PC, which is impressive considering the hardware inside. It’s a little quieter than the Scan and CyberPower machines, and its temperatures are better than the Scan system too.
Our Stormforce Prism i7 8700K GTX 1080Ti SLI Review illustrates that the latest Stormforce PC is an impressive bit of kit.
The overclocked processor and pair of graphics cards deliver enough power to handle almost any conceivable task, from high-end work applications to 4K and VR gaming. The case is smart and sturdy, with plenty of customisable RGB LEDs. The rest of the specification is fine, and the Prism is quieter than both of its rivals.
It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that those rivals are a little better in some areas. The Scan machine is a bit quicker in CPU and gaming tests thanks to more ambitious overclocking. The CyberPower’s Threadripper chip makes it a better multi-tasking option.
However, the Stormforce Prism i7 8700K GTX 1080Ti SLI Review offers quiet operation and a great balance of performance in every department. If you need a high-end PC that’ll last for ages and handle a wide variety of tasks, this is an excellent option.
The Stormforce Prism i7 8700K GTX 1080Ti SLI costs £3,500. Discuss our Stormforce Prism i7 8700K GTX 1080Ti SLI review on our Facebook and Twitter pages. And, if you need some more inspiration, check out our guide to our favourite laptops or go deep with our ultimate guide to 4K monitors – covering the technology, the terms and our top recommendations!
- Extremely fast in games and applications
- Huge CPU overclock
- Smart, solid design and build
- Inventive RGB LEDs
- Quieter than any rival
- A little slower than rivals in some tests
- Other systems look a bit more exciting
- Middling SSD speed
CPU: 4.8GHz Intel Core i7-8700K
Memory: 32GB G-Skill TridentZ RGB 3,000MHz DDR4
Graphics: 2 x Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB
Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming
Storage: 512GB Western Digital Black SSD, 2TB HDD
Warranty: 3yr C&R