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Box Cube Jaguar Elite – Review

Box Cube Jaguar Elite – Review

AMD’s Ryzen processors have seized a well-earned slot inside gaming PCs since their debut in early 2017, but we’ve not seen any of AMD’s latest Radeon graphics cards.

That’s changed with the Box Cube Jaguar Elite. This £1,490 machine doesn’t just include some Ryzen silicon – it’s got a Radeon RX 580 GPU, too.


The Radeon RX 580 has a fresh name, but it’s not a new card. Instead, AMD has used a familiar tactic from the graphics industry – taking an older GPU, giving it a minor improvement, and releasing it under an updated moniker.

The RX 580’s underlying architecture is the same Polaris hardware as last year’s RX 400-series, and this card uses the same chip as the RX 480. That means you get 2,304 stream processors and 8GB of GDDR5 memory alongside the fourth iteration of the Graphics Core Next architecture.

The biggest changes are in clock speeds. The old card ran with at 1,120MHz, but the RX 580 improves that figure to 1,257MHz. Its memory always runs at 8,000MHz, too – the older card had some models that ran memory at 7,000MHz.

That’s not the only improvement. Box has used an MSI ARMOR-branded GPU inside this machine, which delivers a further overclock to run the core at a lofty 1,366MHz. The memory remains at 8,000MHz, and it’s the full-fat 8GB variant, rather than the cheaper 4GB version sold elsewhere.

The GPU sits beside the Ryzen 7 1700X, which is an excellent choice of processor. It’s a full-fat Ryzen part, so it benefits from the key improvements in AMD’s latest CPU design, like better core counts and task delegation, improved efficiency and more granular Turbo abilities.

It’s barely slower than the range-topping 1800X, with base and boost speeds of 3.4GHz and 3.8GHz only 200MHz lower than the equivalent figures on the pricier part, and it still has eight cores that can handle sixteen concurrent threads.

Ryzen chips excel in multi-threaded tasks thanks to their huge number of cores, but they’re not as adept at single-threaded performance when compared to the Intel Core i5 and Core i7 parts that are used in many gaming machines. That’s also true on this machine because Box hasn’t overclocked the CPU – whereas many rivals systems have overclocked Intel silicon.

The rest of the components are more sedate. The 240GB Kingston SSDNow UV300 drive is an older SATA SSD that won’t set speed records, and it’s paired with a 1TB hard disk. There’s 16GB of dual-channel memory, but its 2,666MHz speed can’t rival Intel systems.

The rig is powered by a Cooler Master B700, which has 700W of power – plenty for this machine, and for a second GPU. That said, it’s not a modular unit, and it only has a basic 80 Plus efficiency rating.

Everything connects to an MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon. It’s a high-quality motherboard that wields the full might of the new X370 chipset – so you’ll get two M.2 sockets, ample SATA ports and the option to overclock. You also get support for proper multi-GPU options, so that means there’s enough bandwidth to add a second graphics card to this rig in the future.

The motherboard has plenty to like elsewhere. It’s got beefed-up audio and networking, steel braces around its PCI and memory slots, and RGB LEDs with seventeen different patterns in its heatsinks.

Its main M.2 slot has a thermal shield, and its backplate is packed with USB 3.1 connectors. It doesn’t have on-board buttons or displays, but that’s the only thing that’s really missing – and only a handful of enthusiasts will miss though.

Full Specification

CPU: 3.4GHz AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
Memory: 16GB 2,666MHz DDR4
Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB
Motherboard: MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon
Sound: On-board
Hard disk: 240GB Kingston SSDNow UV300 SSD, 1TB HDD
Ports: Front: 2 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, 1 x audio, 1 x HDMI; Rear: 2 x USB 3.1, 4 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, 1 x PS/2, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x optical S/PDIF, 5 x audio
Case: NZXT Source S340 Elite
Dimensions: (W x D x H): 203 x 432 x 474mm
Extras: Dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, NZXT Hue lighting
Warranty: 3yr (1st year C&R, parts, 2nd/3rd years labour only)


The NZXT Source 340 Elite has been around the block, but there are several reasons why this case remains popular.

It certainly looks the part. The front panel is a smart slab of matte metal, and the main side panel is made of tinted, tempered glass. The outside is all dark colours, and the inside is no less brooding – the motherboard tray and the various slabs of cable-concealing metal are all black. It’s got four USB ports on the front, and an HDMI connector too – an inclusion on this Elite version that is designed to improve compatibility with VR headsets.

The dark interior is illuminated by RBG LEDs. They’re set to white by default, and they’re controlled by an NZXT Hue, which occupies one of the spare 2.5in bays on top of the PSU shroud. It’s a smart unit that can be used to customise colours and patterns in software, and it can even be used to alter the lighting based on the PC’s audio, temperature and workloads.

It’s easy to get to the memory slots and motherboard sockets, and the various vacant connectors on the motherboard are also within reach.

The black, illuminated interior looks great, and the front of the machine is tidy. The shroud hides most of the cables, and the large swathe of metal through the middle of the case conceals more. Box has done a reasonable job of keeping them out of the way, although they’re still multi-coloured – we would have preferred the main power cables in black to keep with the Jaguar’s theme.

It’s less impressive at the rear. A handful of NZXT brackets are used to route some of the larger cables, but the bottom of the rig is a mess, with bundles of cables blocking access to the single free hard disk bay.

There isn’t much storage room anywhere, in fact – that one hard disk bay at the rear is hard to reach, and the SSD and NZXT Hue box mean there’s only a single 2.5in connector at the front. At least the motherboard is better, with its two M.2 connectors.

Cooling is handled by a Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 120, which sits at the exhaust with two 120mm fans. Its tubes don’t impede the rest of the rig, and air is ushered into the case by a single fan at the front.


The overclocked RX 580 is an extremely solid card for 1080p and 1440p gaming.

It averaged beyond 80fps in three of our 1080p games, and its weakest score here was in Witcher 3 – and its average of 49fps is still excellent, and easily playable.

Minimum framerates are more important when conditions are more demanding. At 2,560 x 1,440 the Box delivered 31fps minimums in Crysis 3 and Fallout 4, and romped through Shadow of Mordor and Battlefield 1 with exceptional minimums of 47fps and 64fps.

Its only weak score here was in Witcher 3, where its minimum of 27fps was just below the 30fps target. That’s on Ultra graphics settings, though – dropping down to High will see framerates improve.

The RX 580 only faltered at 4K, but that’s no surprise for a card designed to take on Nvidia’s mid-range GTX 1060. In these tougher tests its minimums regularly sat in the teens, with average framerates that struggled to get beyond 30fps.

The high-end Ryzen processor delivered its best results in multi-tasking tests. The Cinebench CPU test is weighted towards this kind of work, and its score of 1,478cb is excellent – far better than most machines with overclocked Intel Core i7 chips thanks to its extra cores. Only the Ryzen 7 1800X and Intel’s new Skylake-X chips were faster.

That pattern persisted in Geekbench, where its multi-core score of 20,395 easily beat more conventional Core i7 parts and was only beaten by Skylake-X chips, which have eight cores, faster stock speeds and more overclocking – and far higher prices.

The Ryzen 7 1700X is a clear winner in multi-tasking when compared to other machines, but its single-core pace is more ordinary. Its Geekbench single-core result of 4,224 is good, but regularly falls behind Core i7-7700K machines, and its PC Mark 8 score of 3,968 is mid-table.

It’s a good showing, though – the 1700X has the speed to handle single-threaded tasks and the multi-core ability to run high-end work applications and numerous apps at once. It won’t bottleneck games, either.

It also ran this well without giving us any thermal headaches. The processor’s peak temperature of 64°C in a stress-test is fine, and the GPU was around ten degrees hotter – another solid figure. The Box was never loud, either, so it won’t prove distracting in quieter environments.


The Box machine isn’t the best-looking or the tidiest build we’ve seen, but it concentrates its limited budget on solid performance in key areas.

The RX 580 is a great performer for 1080p and 1440p gaming, and the Ryzen processor offers solid single-core speed and exceptional pace when multi-tasking and when running multi-threaded software. The SSD and memory are more middling, but they’re less crucial.

The Box costs £1,490, which puts it right in the mid-range when it comes to gaming PCs – and it offers solid pace and quality throughout. If other recent machines are too expensive, this is an excellent and more affordable alternative.

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Box Cube Jaguar Elite

About Author

Mike Jennings

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