PC Specialist Vanquish X79 review

Price when reviewed

It only launched last month, but already PC Specialist’s Vanquish X79 is the third PC we’ve seen with a factory-fresh Intel Core i7-3930K processor in its LGA 2011 socket. It’s already a monster, but here it’s overclocked from its stock speed of 3.2GHz to 4.6GHz – not quite the highest we’ve seen, but still a mouth-watering prospect.

Last month we saw the Scan 3XS Velocity X79 SLI Extreme and Chillblast Fusion Photo OC IV both running at 4.7GHz, and they scored 1.34 and 1.39 in our benchmarks. The PC Specialist finished just behind them with an overall 1.31. Don’t let that gap put you off: by all other standards it’s a stupendously fast PC, and it excelled itself in the intensive video and 3D-rendering segments of our tests, with individual results of 1.91 and 1.83.

Like the Scan, this PC packs a pair of Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 cards. They’re not overclocked to the same degree as Scan’s cards – the 775MHz core is here boosted to 783MHz, rather than 797MHz – but it’s a pairing that packs a punch. An average of 85fps in our Very High quality Crysis test makes it one of the fastest gaming PCs we’ve seen below two grand.

PC Specialist Vanquish X79

The third limelight-hogging component is the SSD. Kingston’s Hyper X offers a middling 120GB of capacity, but performance is superb: large-file write and read speeds of 485MB/sec and 451MB/sec are faster than every SSD in our recent Ultimate PC Labs. Its small-file write and read results of 115MB/sec and 44MB/sec are slower, but still ahead of most SSDs. Alongside it, PC Specialist has gone for the standard 1TB hard disk, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a Blu-ray drive.

It’s all packaged into a familiar case, too. The Corsair Carbide 400R is tall and matte black, an undeniable head-turner, even if the build quality is slightly disappointing. There’s a bit of give in the bulging side panels, and the meshing at the front of the machine could be stronger.

But it’s far better on the inside. Cables are kept out of sight behind the motherboard tray, others are lashed down with cable ties, and the few spares that emerge from the 850W power supply are neatly bundled beneath the hard disk cages. Three side-facing and tool-free hard disk bays lie vacant, and although they’re flimsy, they do contain rubber mounts to absorb vibrations.


Warranty3yr collect and return

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity1,120GB
RAM capacity8.00GB


CPU familyIntel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency3.20GHz
CPU overclocked frequency4.60GHz
Processor socketLGA2011
HSF (heatsink-fan)Intel water-cooling


MotherboardAsus P8X79 Pro
Motherboard chipsetIntel X79
Conventional PCI slots free0
Conventional PCI slots total2
PCI-E x16 slots free2
PCI-E x16 slots total4
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots free0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots free0
PCI-E x1 slots total2
Internal SATA connectors4
Internal SAS connectors0
Internal PATA connectors0
Internal floppy connectors0
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR3
Memory sockets free6
Memory sockets total8

Graphics card

Graphics cardNvidia GeForce GTX 580
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?yes
3D performance settingMedium
Graphics chipsetNvidia GeForce GTX 580
Graphics card RAM1.50GB
DVI-I outputs4
HDMI outputs2
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
DisplayPort outputs2
Number of graphics cards2

Hard disk

Hard diskKingston Hyper X SSD
Hard disk usable capacity111GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/600
Hard disk 2 make and modelSeagate Barracuda 7200.12
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity1,000GB
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity931
Hard disk 2 spindle speed7,200RPM
Hard disk 2 cache size64MB


Optical disc technologyBlu-ray reader/DVD writer combo

Additional Peripherals

Sound cardRealtek HD Audio


ChassisCorsair Carbide 400R
Case formatFull tower
Dimensions201 x 531 x 498mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supplyCorsair TX850
Power supply rating850W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays3

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)6
eSATA ports2
PS/2 mouse portno
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
3.5mm audio jacks8

Front ports

Front panel USB ports2
Front panel memory card readerno

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption293W
Peak power consumption972W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings126fps
3D performance settingMedium
Overall Real World Benchmark score1.31
Responsiveness score1.00
Media score1.42
Multitasking score1.51

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