Scan 3XS Node Titan review

Price when reviewed

We’re all for high-end PCs that push hardware boundaries, so we salivated when the Scan 3XS Z77 Node turned up in the Labs. It’s built around the Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan, which is the world’s most powerful single-core graphics card – and the most expensive, too, costing a mighty £800 inc VAT.

In fact, the Titan is so expensive, it alone costs more than most PCs, and shunts the price of this one up above £2,000. You cannot but be impressed by its specifications, though: it sports a huge 2,688 stream processors, a number that far surpasses the 1,536 of Nvidia’s previous flagship card (the GTX 680); it packs in double the number of transistors, at a shade over seven billion; its 6GB of GDDR5 memory is more than we’ve ever seen soldered to a graphics card; and it uses a super-fast 384-bit memory interface. Only the core clock looks low, at 836MHz, but it’s able to dynamically up that to 876MHz using Nvidia’s GPU Boost feature.

Scan 3XS Node Titan

As a result, this Scan PC is a gaming beast, brushing aside our 3D benchmarks with effortless ease. Its score of 93fps in the 1,920 x 1,080 Very High quality Crysis test is a massive 18% faster than the Wired2Fire HAL 4000. It’s enough to play any top title on any single monitor at its maximum settings, and there’s enough grunt to handle demanding games across a trio of monitors.

An overclocked processor means the Scan doesn’t just excel in our games benchmarks. The 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-3770K has been tweaked to run at 4.6GHz, and the 3XS romped through our application tests to a score of 1.25. That’s on a par with the record-breaking Wired2Fire, which used an overclocked Core i5 chip.

Scan 3XS Node Titan

One area where the Scan’s performance can’t match its rival, though, is storage. The 3XS system’s single 256GB Samsung 840 SSD can’t compete with the Wired2Fore’s twin SSDs arranged in RAID0. The Samsung drive returned sequential read and write results of 514MB/sec and 247MB/sec – the Wired2Fire scored 818MB/sec and 183MB/sec respectively.

Still, the Scan is one of the most powerful machines we’ve ever seen, which is even more impressive given that it’s all been squeezed into Fractal Design’s tiny Node 304 chassis. It’s the same case used by the Wired2Fire, and it remains one of the most impressive small-form-factor enclosures on the market. The brushed aluminium front looks classy, and the plain metal side panels will withstand trips to LAN parties despite a little flex. The Scan’s 10kg weight and modest dimensions make it easier to lug around than the average tower system.


Warranty3 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity2,250GB
RAM capacity16.00GB


CPU familyIntel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency3.40GHz
CPU overclocked frequency4.60GHz
Processor socketLGA 1155
HSF (heatsink-fan)Antec Kuhler H20 920


MotherboardAsus P8Z77-I Deluxe
Motherboard chipsetIntel Z77
Conventional PCI slots free0
Conventional PCI slots total0
PCI-E x16 slots free0
PCI-E x16 slots total1
PCI-E x8 slots free0
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots free0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots free0
PCI-E x1 slots total0
Internal SATA connectors4
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR3
Memory sockets free0
Memory sockets total2

Graphics card

Graphics cardNvidia GeForce GTX Titan
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingMedium
Graphics chipsetNvidia GeForce GTX Titan
Graphics card RAM5.86GB
DVI-I outputs2
HDMI outputs1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
DisplayPort outputs1
Number of graphics cards1

Hard disk

Hard diskSamsung 840 Series 250GB
Hard disk usable capacity233GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/600
Hard disk 2 make and modelSeagate Barracuda
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity2,000GB
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity1,800
Hard disk 2 spindle speed7,200RPM
Hard disk 2 cache size64MB


Optical driveN/A


ChassisFractal Design Node 304
Case formatSmall form-factor
Dimensions250 x 374 x 210mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supplyCorsair GS600
Power supply rating600W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays0

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)4
eSATA ports2
PS/2 mouse portyes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
3.5mm audio jacks6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports2
Front panel memory card readerno

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 8

Noise and power

Idle power consumption82W
Peak power consumption427W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings136fps
3D performance settingMedium
Overall Real World Benchmark score1.25
Responsiveness score1.13
Media score1.34
Multitasking score1.25

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