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Digital Storm Vanquish II: An affordable gamer with limited expandability

Jon L. Jacobi | July 14, 2014
This nicely realised PC has everything you need to game at 1080p, but its expansion options are limited.

For connecting more modern peripherals, the Vanquish II has two USB 3.0 ports on the front of the box and two on the back (with USAP support), along with two USB 2.0 ports. The GTX 770 has two HDMI ports, a DVI-I port and a DVI-D port. There are also DVI-D and VGA ports on the motherboard, driven by the Core i5-4570's Intel HD 4600 graphics. That last could be handy if you wish to re-task the micro-ATX motherboard at some point when you upgrade the system.

While the Vanquish II Ultimate is suited to its gaming task, its motherboard is expansion-challenged from a performance perspective. The sole x16 PCIe slot and both memory slots are occupied, and there's only one available SATA port (a SATA 3Gbps port). The system's SSD and hard drive occupy its two SATA 6Gbps ports, and the optical drive uses one of its SATA 3Gbps ports.

The other two PCIe 2.0 slots, meanwhile, offer only one lane each (that's not adequate for an add-on SATA 6Gbps controller and full SSD performance). So your performance-enhancing options are limited to adding one SSD or hard drive, or perhaps upgrading to RAID setup.

There's plenty of room inside the Vanquish II Ultimate's mid-tower case. Only one of its three externally accessible 5.25-inch drive bays is occupied (by a DVD burner); there are four side-facing internal 5.25-inch bays, with only one filled with the hard drive; and there are three open half-height, 3.25-inch internal bays. The 600-watt power supply should be able to keep up with whatever you drop in there.

Limited expansion aside, the Vanquish II Ultimate should satisfy the needs of all but the pickiest of gamers. It's a nicely-realized, relatively low-cost gaming rig.


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