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PC Specialist Velocity X 01 PC Review

PC Specialist Velocity X 01 PC Review

PC Specialist Velocity X 01 1 PC ReviewThe PC Specialist Velocity X 01 is a big, brash build with an eye-catching name – and, with an overclocked Core i7-8700K and GTX 1080 Ti on the inside, it should live up to that title. Our PC review will find out if it does.

The PC Specialist Velocity X 01 isn’t cheap, though, at £2,899 from the PC Specialist website. That high-end price brings it up against a host of rival machines, from the beefy CCL Iris Fusion LQ to the tiny, whisper-quiet Corsair One Elite.

PC Specialist Velocity X 01 PC Review – Components

The Core i7-8700K is an overclocked, high-end chip that delivers huge single-core speed and a solid boost to multi-threaded performance. It’s no surprise that it’s found inside the PC Specialist Velocity, and inside the Corsair One Elite and CCL Iris Fusion LQ.

The 8700K has six Hyper-Threaded cores, which is two more than last year’s i7-7700K – so multi-tasking is better. That doesn’t just bode well for games: it means that the chip is more adept with high-end work applications, like streaming and video editing. There aren’t many true consumer chips with more cores – to get an eight-core part you’ll have to switch to a machine like the Chillblast Fusion Yogscast Ultimate, which takes aim at content creation with an AMD Ryzen 7 1800X chip.

The 8700K’s stock speed of 3.7GHz has been overclocked to 4.8GHz. That’s the same tweak that CCL applied to its machine. It’s a step above the Corsair and Chillblast rigs, which ran their processors at conventional clocks. It’s almost as high as the Scan 3XS Vengeance Aura SLI, which ran 5GHz.

The processor sits above another overclocked component. The GTX 1080 Ti inside this PC has had its 1,480MHz core boosted to 1,569MHz. The chip still retains a monster 11GB of GDDR5X memory and 3,584 stream processors.

PC Specialist Velocity X 01 3 PC ReviewThe Chillblast and CCL machines also deployed overclocked GTX 1080 Ti cards. The former rig gave the chip a modest boost to 1,506MHz, while the latter ran it at 1,607MHz. The Corsair machine kept stock speeds, while Scan’s more expensive rig served up two overclocked GTX 1080 Ti cards.

Elsewhere, the PC Specialist Velocity has a 500GB Samsung 960 EVO SSD for Windows 10. Unusually, there’s no hard disk – instead, you get a 1TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD. That’s impressive, and it means that games stored on the larger drive will load with more speed. However, the Chillblast has more SSD storage and the CCL has a huge 4GB hard disk.

The components are paired with 16GB of memory, which is a solid amount for gaming and most work applications. However, every rival is better here, with 32GB installed – important for some high-end software packages and productivity tools.

The parts plug in to an Asus ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming motherboard. It’s a solid board that ticks many of the boxes we expect from a high-end slab of PCB. It’s got dual-band wireless networking, beefed-up audio circuits and Gigabit Ethernet. There’s a spare M.2 socket, and several free PCI slots.

The board has RGB LEDs in the huge metal shroud that covers the rear IO. More chunks of metal cover the southbridge heatsink and the capacitors above the CPU socket. That backplate has loads of USB 3.1 ports and a Type-C connection, five audio jacks and two wireless aerials.

There isn’t much missing. It doesn’t have on-board buttons or a POST display, but few people actually use those. Overall, the board matches the products in rival ATX rigs. There’s obviously more versatility here than in the mini-ITX Corsair machine.

PC Specialist powers the Velocity with a Corsair RM750x PSU. We have no complaints: it’s fully modular and has an 80Plus Gold rating.

In short, then, the PC Specialist’s specification doesn’t go far wrong. The overclocked graphics card should blitz games, and the tweaked six-core processor will handle almost any application. Only the most demanding users will want to look elsewhere for more memory or storage.

Want to know more about processors? Check out our guides to Intel Coffee Lake or AMD Raven Ridge APUs and Ryzen CPUs!

PC Specialist Velocity X 01 4 PC ReviewPC Specialist Velocity X 01 PC Review – Design

The PC Specialist Velocity X 01 is the first machine we’ve seen in the Cooler Master MasterCase H500P, and this chassis makes a big first impression. It’s huge, with a front panel that shows off two vast 200mm fans with their own RGB LEDs.

The side panel is a huge slab of tempered glass that can be removed by twisting a single screw. Clear Perspex is used for the top and front panels. Black mesh and angled, gunmetal plastic decorates the edges of the system.

The top of the case has a huge power button. Impressively, it also has four USB ports and two audio jacks. At 542mm tall, it’s larger than the 512mm Corsair Crystal 570X that was used for the Chillblast, CCL and Scan systems.

The interior is similarly impressive. The PSU shroud keeps cabling out of the way, and PC Specialist has shrouded all of the system’s main power cables with an individual white coating. Other wires are tidied discreetly and are threaded through the H500P’s cable-routing cutouts.

PC Specialist Velocity X 01 5 PC ReviewThere’s a 150mm water-cooling reservoir in the front of the case, and a vast 360mm radiator is almost entirely hidden in the roof. Three 120mm fans chill the liquid. Rigid pipes connect the processor and graphics card, which flow with white coolant. An EK Supremacy EVO waterblock sits on top of the processor, and its acrylic design means that the coolant can be seen threading its way through the block.

PC Specialist has contrasted the white coolant with black fittings across all of its hardware, and the rest of the interior is black. The Velocity looks fantastic – an imposing, monochromatic build that’ll draw admiring glances.

There are only tiny issues. The plastic used on the front and roof panels isn’t as strong as the side panel’s tempered glass. The amount of water-cooling hardware inside also makes it a little tricky to reach some areas of the motherboard.

The Velocity’s liquid-cooled design is similar to the CCL machine, although that rig was far more gregarious thanks to its orange-and-chrome hardware. It’s more eye-catching than the Chillblast and Scan PCs, which used pre-built water-cooling loops and conventional graphics cooling.

PC Specialist Velocity X 01 PC Review – Performance

PC Specialist Velocity X 01 6 PC ReviewThe overclocked components inside the PC Specialist Velocity X 01 delivered a superb set of benchmark results.

The tweaked CPU comfortably outpaced the Chillblast’s AMD Ryzen chips in most tests, and it held a reasonable lead over the stock-speed i7-8700K in the Corsair One Elite.

We’ve seen some faster results, though. The CCL rig was a tiny bit faster in a couple of benchmarks, largely down to that machine’s 32GB of memory. And Scan’s machine was quicker in most tests, which is no surprise given that its own 8700K ran at 5GHz.

That machine might be a bit faster, but the PC Specialist Velocity is hardly slow. It’s still one of the quickest machines we’ve seen, and its overclock and six-core design means it’s equally adept with gaming and with high-end workloads. There isn’t much this PC can’t handle, and it’s bolstered by the solid SSD read and write results of 3,271MB/s and 1,834MB/s.

PC Specialist Velocity X 01 7 PC ReviewThe PC Specialist Velocity’s overclocked graphics card proved a solid performer, too. It’s on par with most of its rivals, with small differences depending on clock speeds: it’s consistently faster than the stock-speed Corsair machine, for instance, and often a little quicker than the Chillblast, which had a lesser overclock.

The CCL rig has a slightly higher GPU overclock, but the two machines returned very similar benchmark scores. Indeed, if you want a game-changing boost to GPU power, you’ll have to buy something like the Scan – that rig had two GTX 1080 Ti cards and delivered a huge gaming boost.

Not many people will actually need that amount of GPU power, though, and the PC Specialist’s pace is consistently impressive. It’ll handle absolutely any game on a 4K screen or a VR headset, and on widescreen panels too. You’ll only need more power if you want to use an extreme multi-monitor setup.

Sadly, the Velocity was inconsistent in thermal tests. Thankfully, it was very quiet when idling and when running games, but running a whole-system stress-test saw the system pump out plenty of noise. It’s much louder than the CCL and Corsair One Elite, and it’ll be tricky to mask the noise unless you’ve got a good headset or beefy speakers. If you want to use the PC Specialist Velocity for productivity tools and need a quiet environment, it’s not ideal.

The temperatures were a little tricky, too. We have no problem with the GPU’s peak figure of 54°C, but the overclocked processor topped out at 97°C. That’s almost as the limit of what the chip can handle, and it’s higher than every rival.

The PC Specialist’s highest noise and temperature levels were achieved with the CPU pushed at 100% load. That’s a rare scenario that most people won’t encounter, but it’s worth bearing in mind if you want to run processor-intensive software.

PC Specialist Velocity X 01 8 PC ReviewPC Specialist Velocity X 01 PC Review – Conclusion

The PC Specialist Velocity X 01 is, in many ways, an excellent rig. The overclocked processor and graphics card deliver competitive performance levels that will cope with almost any task, and it’s got enough memory and storage to ensure that this PC won’t just succeed with gaming. The build looks fantastic, too.

However, there are a couple of issues. The first is the system’s thermal performance: it’s loud when handling CPU-intensive workloads, and the processor temperature is too high. It’s not a problem if you want this system for gaming, but it’s worth remembering if you need a productivity PC.

The other issue is the strength of the competition. The stock-speed Corsair is tiny and silent and, while it’s a mini-ITX machine, it’s still got loads of performance. CCL’s machine, meanwhile, offers comparable physical design and much quieter operation for only £200 more.

The PC Specialist Velocity is fast and well-made – if you want a dramatic and smart gaming system, there aren’t many better. However, the noise could be an issue if you want CPU performance. If that’s going to be a concern, then rivals like the Corsair and CCL sacrifice speed for a bit more subtlety.

The PC Specialist Velocity X 01 costs £2,899 in the UK.  Discuss our PC Specialist Review on our Facebook and Twitter pages. And, if you need some more inspiration, check out our guide to our favourite laptops or click here to read about the best desktop PCs.  

The Good

  • Stonking application speeds
  • High-end gaming pace
  • Good motherboard and storage
  • Stunning water-cooling design

The Bad

  •  Noisy and hot in some scenarios
  • Lesser memory than some rivals

The Specs

CPU: 3.7GHz Intel Core i7-8700K overclocked to 4.8GHz
Memory: 16GB Corsair Vengeance 3,000MHz DDR4
Graphics: Asus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB
Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming
Storage: 500GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSD, 1TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD
Warranty: 3yr labour w/ 1yr parts, 1mth C&R

Review Date
Reviewed Item
PC Specialist Velocity X 01

About Author

Mike Jennings

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