Digital Storm Bolt Level 3 Gaming System
Today we are looking at a pre-built system from Digital Storm. This is the first pre-built computer I've had the chance to evaluate personally and it's a different experience to say the least. The Digital Storm Bolt comes in three basic configurations - Level 1 - Level 4 but all of these can be customized and tweaked in terms of hardware. This means that there are a lot more combinations of hardware available than just the basic four levels. Today we are going to be looking at the Bolt Level 3. It is a decent gaming PC by any standards and once you shove all of that gear into a little box - it becomes a nice addition to your arsenal.
Digital Storm is not nearly as popular as some of the mainstream "competition" but you have to remember that Digital Storm is more of a boutique builder than a mainstream builder so they have a lot of very high-end systems. We first met Digital Storm a few years ago at CES and back then, they were all about the extreme systems and it's nice to see that they have entered more of a mainstream market now - with more affordable systems.
The Bolt Level 3 currently costs $1599 as configured and this includes a Core i7-3770K (3.5GHz) Overclocked to 4.2GHz. Also included in 8GB of DDR3-1600 and a GeForce GTX 660Ti 2GB card. This plugs into a Gigabyte GA-Z77N-WiFi motherboard. Storage is provided by a 120GB Corsair SSD as well as a 500GB HDD and a 8X DVD/CD-RW drive. All of this is cooled pretty well with a low profile cooler on the CPU and stock cooling on the graphics card. Power is supplied to the system with a 500W "Server Style" PSU that has a very low profile and fits alongside the graphics card to save space.
All in all, the specifications look more than adequate on this system, and as we continue we'll find out how it all works when thrown together in such a small box.
The Bolt comes in a fairly compact box - but there is ample room inside for protection. The Bolt comes wrapped in some industrial strength plastic and then secured in thick enough foam to prevent any kind of damage - at least from the outside. When I opened up the box and went to remove the system, I noticed that a screw was rattling around inside the bag - next to the case. Upon closer inspection, it was a screw from the PSU and this could have scratched up the finish on the Bolt. Thankfully though - it didn't.
As we continue browsing around the Bolt we take a quick look at the sides of the unit. The sides are pretty basic and you can see the ventilation is in the key locations. On the CPU side, the ventilation is lower so that the motherboard gets some cool air. You'll also notice that there is some ventilation higher up as well. This is for the blower fan that feeds air into the back-side of the Power Supply. On the other side, the ventilation is located is located higher up so that the graphics card can get some fresh air in from the outside.
The front of the Bolt is nice and clean and this white surface is broken up by the Digital Storm logo as well as a slot-loading DVD-RW drive. I applaud the slot loading drive on the front as it adds some extra class to this PC. The rear of the Bolt has a bit of an overhang and you can see the top DVI ports of the graphics card located at the top of everything. If you have a keen eye, you'll notice that the motherboard is on the "wrong" side of the case as well. This is so that the card can be positioned at the top of the board instead of the bottom. It's a little odd when you open the box, but it's not a bad thing at all.
On the next page we'll take a much closer look at the outside before we take a look at the features and specifications of the Bolt.