Scan 3XS Carbon review
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.
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.
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.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Total hard disk capacity||4,000GB|
|CPU family||Intel Core i7|
|CPU nominal frequency||3.40GHz|
|CPU overclocked frequency||4.70GHz|
|HSF (heatsink-fan)||Thermalrite Silver Arrow|
|Motherboard||Asus P8Z68-V Pro|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel Z68|
|Conventional PCI slots free||1|
|Conventional PCI slots total||2|
|PCI-E x16 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x16 slots total||3|
|PCI-E x8 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x8 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x4 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x4 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots free||1|
|PCI-E x1 slots total||2|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|Memory sockets free||2|
|Memory sockets total||4|
|Graphics card||POV GeForce GTX590 Dual-GPU|
|Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?||yes|
|Graphics chipset||Nvidia GeForce GTX590|
|Graphics card RAM||3.00GB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||0|
|Number of graphics cards||2|
|Hard disk||Western Digital Caviar Green|
|Hard disk 2 make and model||Western Digital Caviar Green|
|Hard disk 2 nominal capacity||2,000GB|
|Optical drive||LG BH10LS30|
|Optical disc technology||Blu-ray drive|
|Monitor make and model||Dell Ultrasharp U3011t|
|Resolution screen horizontal||2,560|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,600|
|Resolution||2560 x 1600|
|Speakers||Blue Sky EXO Mk 2|
|Sound card||Asus Xonar Essence STX|
|Chassis||SilverStone Fortress FT02|
|Case format||Full tower|
|Dimensions||212 x 616 x 497mm (WDH)|
|Power supply||Corsair CMPSU-1200AXUK|
|Power supply rating||1,200W|
|USB ports (downstream)||6|
Mouse & Keyboard
|Mouse and keyboard||Logitech G510 Gaming keyboard, GX9 Gaming mouse|
Operating system and software
|OS family||Windows 7|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||277W|
|Peak power consumption||833W|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||1.16|