Cryo Nano Water-Cooled SFF Gaming PC - Cryo Nano

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Cryo Nano Water-Cooled SFF Gaming PC

Summary

Our Score:

8

Last though not least we get to the most important element of any gaming PC: its graphics. Incidentally, the HIS Radeon HD 5850 Cryo has used for this machine is the very model we reviewed. Right now ATI's 5850 offers the ideal balance between performance, price, power and noise, making it the best value gaming card around – something that hasn't changed with the recent launch of nVidia's underwhelming GTX 470 and 480.

So how does the PC hold up in gaming? The simple answer is "really well". Surprisingly, it matched the DinoPC i7-Osaurus (which sports a Radeon HD 5870) in most gaming benchmarks, trailing by just a few frames in DirectX11-title Stalker and even beating it consistently in Crysis.

Though Crysis is a more CPU-intensive title than many, we're still at a loss to explain this difference. Cryo's "Cryo Boost" ensures a GPU overclock only on nVidia cards and hence the 5850 in the Nano is running at stock speeds, so we can only surmise driver improvements on ATI's part also play a role. Regardless, we could run Crysis at 1,920 x 1,200 on High Detail without the frame rate ever dipping below 30fps, which is very impressive. Very High Detail, however, was just barely playable at this resolution with a 26.2fps average.

So leaving off the underwhelming optional Graphite finish and poorly-machined Cryo logo, the Nano is a great-looking machine, using high-quality components, relatively compact and quiet, and with absolutely storming performance for its form factor. The only real negatives are generally expensive upgrade prices and the lack of USB 3.0 (a lack no other SFF gaming system we're aware of remedies at the moment). One other consideration is that the company's two-year warranty is return to base (RTB) where many competitors offer collect and return (C&R) at least for the first year.

However, for a water-cooled, overclocked and fully customizable SFF gaming PC that outperforms many tower systems we've reviewed, the Cryo Nano is truly excellent value for money at just under £1,000 – especially as the DinoPC i7-Osaurus has gone up in price dramatically since our review. Put quite simply, the Nano is the gaming PC I would buy if I was looking for a system in its price class, and Cryo wasn't exaggerating when it claimed that its SFF PC "breaks the mould".

Verdict

The Nano's performance for the price would be impressive enough for a tower system, but Cryo has produced the fastest and most flexible SFF machine we've ever seen. If you want a killer gaming PC in a relatively compact case, this overclocked, water-cooled effort won't disappoint.

Dave W

April 8, 2010, 4:48 pm

'as much as 6GB of hard drive storage'





Wow!

TechVegan

April 8, 2010, 5:36 pm

@Dave W:


Haha, oops. Thanks for pointing that out, it's corrected.

Tabasco

April 8, 2010, 6:59 pm

Having seen this build on another website a couple of months ago, it does seem that Cryo stuggle with cutting decent looking openings in the case. Even with those badly cut openings it's a lovely looking bit of kit...

Xiphias

April 8, 2010, 7:02 pm

That looks pretty impressive and if Cryo can work out their polish issues they could become a favourite.

TechVegan

April 8, 2010, 7:21 pm

@Tabasco and Xiphias:


Or just order without the Graphite finish - prettier, easier, more flexible and cheaper ;)

TechnicPuppet

April 8, 2010, 7:43 pm

Does it play Farmville at 4xAA and 16xABCDEF though??????

Singulariter

April 8, 2010, 9:30 pm

@Ardjuna - Definitely right on the stock Lian Li finish. Waaay better quality.

Singulariter

April 8, 2010, 9:38 pm

Just FYI, the stock Lian Li version of this case has non-hex side panels.

betelgeus

April 8, 2010, 10:29 pm

is there nothing supporting the psu? looks like its hanging on for grim life.

PB

April 9, 2010, 3:30 am

Great review thanks. I'm thinking of getting this but with the Thermaltake LANBOX (carry handle) (+£5). Do you think the finish may be better? I like the idea of a carry handle but anything I should watch out for e.g overheating?

TechVegan

April 12, 2010, 9:03 pm

@Alan Clinch:


I'm not sure even the £2,800 {http://www.trustedreviews.com/...} would be able to cope with Farmville at that detail level ;)





@Singulariter:


Spot-on about those screws, I should have mentioned that so thanks for pointing it out.





@betelgeus:


It does, actually... But don't worry, in reality it's fairly solidly supported by four screws.





@PB:


Glad you liked it :)





The finish won't be better because the original brushed-metal finish on the Lian Li case is truly excellent. It's the custom Graphite finish that's been applied to this case that makes it look cheap, and as it's an optional extra (also for the LANBOX), you can just leave it off and not pay £230 for the privilege.





I like carrying handles on PCs too, because I move mine around a lot. As for overheating, that's really a query you should direct to Cryo. I'm guessing they would ensure that the components will work well in the case, and modify it if necessary (they added a custom 90mm fan to the Lian Li PC-V351R too for the Nano).

Nick G

July 8, 2010, 1:29 pm

That has to be the ugliest computer I've ever seen, and it looks like it doesn't even have build quality either. Looks like Mr Cryo's son made it as his GCSE CDT project.

TechVegan

July 8, 2010, 8:08 pm

@Nick Gilbert:


Build quality is actually quite good. Just get it without the extra finish and logo and it will look and feel like a premium PC.

comments powered by Disqus