Scan 3XS Carbon review

Price when reviewed

In issue 204 of PC Pro, we asked seven British PC manufacturers to send us the most extravagant system they could build – money no object. Meet the victor…

When a PC costs as much as a second-hand family saloon, it had better do something special. From benchmark-tearing performance, to its stunning 30in monitor and speakers, the Scan 3XS Carbon offers exactly that.

It’s the outlandish SilverStone FT02 chassis, however, that proves the system’s most attractive feature. It looks superb, with plenty of curves, a brushed-metal finish, and also features this month’s most unconventional design. Peer through the wide window set into the side, and you’ll see what we mean. The motherboard has been rotated through 90 degrees, with a pair of huge graphics cards pointing skywards and the backplate staring through a grille at the top of the enclosure.

Unusual build
The twisted motherboard doesn’t only make for intriguing visuals, it also affects the rest of the build. Rather than sitting in the bottom-rear, the hefty 1,200W power supply is suspended in the top of the chassis, with modular cables that emerge downwards before disappearing behind the motherboard tray. The five hard disk bays, which are easy to remove and solidly constructed, are vertically orientated too.

The base of the chassis is occupied by a trio of slow-spinning 180mm case fans (the top of the chassis follows more traditional lines with a 120mm exhaust fan), and there’s a gap at the bottom to allow air to be sucked in from both sides.

Scan 3XS Carbon

The second of Scan’s unconventional choices is an air cooler in a group test dominated by liquid cooling, but Scan doesn’t satisfy itself with half-measures: the Thermalright Silver Arrow is substantial in size – 162mm tall and 122mm from end to end – and its two chunks of slatted metal are topped with a pair of 140mm case fans.

It’s certainly different, but there’s no doubt the Silver Arrow works: the peak processor temperature of 79˚C is in line with every overclocked and water-cooled processor in this Labs. The two graphics cards are kept cool, with a peak of 82˚C, and the Carbon is also surprisingly quiet. Although it gets louder under stress, if you’re gaming you’ll barely notice it.

Elsewhere, the Scan Carbon bears all the traditional hallmarks of the company. Cable routing is tidy, with no excess wires dangling from the Corsair PSU and most cables lashed down in straight lines, even behind the amply proportioned motherboard tray.

The SilverStone case is littered with thoughtful design features. Its three 180mm fans are all fitted with removable dust filters – just like a vacuum cleaner – and the top of the case serves up a trio of fan speed controllers. Both side panels are constructed from thick 4.5mm aluminium, which makes for supreme build quality, and are lined with noise-dampening foam.

We’d like to have seen more ports on the front of the chassis, though, and upgrade room is at a premium. The sound card, numerous wires and pair of graphics cards render the bottom half of the board almost inaccessible, and that gigantic cooler makes accessing the two spare DIMM sockets tricky.


Warranty1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity4,000GB
RAM capacity8.00GB
Screen size30.0in


CPU familyIntel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency3.40GHz
CPU overclocked frequency4.70GHz
HSF (heatsink-fan)Thermalrite Silver Arrow


MotherboardAsus P8Z68-V Pro
Motherboard chipsetIntel Z68
Conventional PCI slots free1
Conventional PCI slots total2
PCI-E x16 slots free0
PCI-E x16 slots total3
PCI-E x8 slots free0
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots free0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots free1
PCI-E x1 slots total2
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR3
Memory sockets free2
Memory sockets total4

Graphics card

Graphics cardPOV GeForce GTX590 Dual-GPU
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?yes
Graphics chipsetNvidia GeForce GTX590
Graphics card RAM3.00GB
DVI-I outputs6
HDMI outputs0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
DisplayPort outputs2
Number of graphics cards2

Hard disk

Hard diskWestern Digital Caviar Green
Hard disk 2 make and modelWestern Digital Caviar Green
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity2,000GB


Optical driveLG BH10LS30
Optical disc technologyBlu-ray drive


Monitor make and modelDell Ultrasharp U3011t
Resolution screen horizontal2,560
Resolution screen vertical1,600
Resolution2560 x 1600
Contrast ratio880:1
Screen brightness221cd/m2

Additional Peripherals

SpeakersBlue Sky EXO Mk 2
Speaker type2.1
Sound cardAsus Xonar Essence STX


ChassisSilverStone Fortress FT02
Case formatFull tower
Dimensions212 x 616 x 497mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supplyCorsair CMPSU-1200AXUK
Power supply rating1,200W

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)6
eSATA ports1

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboardLogitech G510 Gaming keyboard, GX9 Gaming mouse

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption277W
Peak power consumption833W

Performance tests

Overall Real World Benchmark score1.16
Responsiveness score0.94
Media score1.30
Multitasking score1.23

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos