PC Specialist Vortex 600T review

Corsair’s new 600T chassis first arrived in the PC Pro Labs last month, housing Wired2Fire’s Hellspawn Xtreme. Now other firms are leaping on board: PC Specialist’s latest machine is even named after its enclosure.

The 600T is winning friends for good reason. Its build quality is among the best we’ve seen: the steel side panels barely flex under pressure, and they’re held in place by a pair of handles rather than the usual thumbscrews. They can also be secured by a small screw beneath the 600T’s removable roof.

That roof pops off easily, giving access to case fans or larger water-cooling reservoirs at the top of the chassis, and the meshed front of the 600T can also be clicked open again to allow fan access. The motherboard tray is pierced with four rubber-bordered holes through which you can thread cables, and by choosing a modular power supply PC Specialist keeps its system nice and tidy. The matte black interior and black cabling help the internals look good, too.

PC Specialist Vortex 600T

Though the internals are neat, there’s not much upgrade room. The single PCI-Express x1 socket is sandwiched between the top graphics card and the bulky CPU heatsink, and the one vacant PCI Express x16 slot is limited to just x1 speed thanks to the two bandwidth-hogging graphics cards. All six DIMM slots are occupied too (although the supplied 12GB should be plenty for a very long time) and there are no front-facing 3.5in bays, although you get four 5.25in bays and four internal 3.5in hard disk bays.

Other than the chassis, the main attraction of the Vortex 600T is its twin graphics cards. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 460s aren’t as powerful as the two AMD Radeon HD 6850s in the Hellspawn Xtreme, but they still gave a strong performance in our graphics tests.

In our 1,920 x 1,080 Very High quality test, for instance, the Vortex scored 54fps. That’s a decent amount of power to handle the most demanding games, and precisely twice the performance we saw from a single GTX 460. It is, however, ten frames behind the Wired2Fire, and in our most demanding tests the Vortex 600T dropped further behind. Its score of 45fps with 4x anti-aliasing trailed the Wired2Fire by 13fps, and when we upped the resolution to 2,560 x 1,600 the game fell to a juddering 22fps.

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