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Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC review

Ardjuna Seghers

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Reviewed:

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Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC
  • Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC
  • Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC
  • Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC
  • Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC
  • Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC
  • Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC
  • Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC
  • Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC
  • Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC
  • Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC
  • Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC
  • Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC

Summary

Our Score:

8

In October of last year we were planning to get a few gaming PCs in between £600 and £700, of which the £599 CyberPower Infinity i5 Hercules SE was the first. However, after that DinoPC seduced us into reviewing the more expensive i7-Osuarus, and other system assemblers had trouble getting their entrants ready. Now it’s a new year though, and with it we have a new budget gaming PC: the Scan 3XS i3 OC, which comes in at just £2.65 over £700.

What does this get you in 2010? For starters, as its name suggests this Scan is based on an overclocked version of one of Intel’s newest Core i3 chips (keep in mind that though these are newer they’re not necessarily better than what has come before, as they lack the dynamic clock speeds and some features of their more expensive Core i5 and i7 siblings). This is backed by one of AMD/ATI’s new 5000-series DirectX11-compatible graphics cards offering Eyefinity triple-monitor support, with the usual 4GB of DDR3 RAM onboard and a 500GB hard drive for permanent storage.

The Scan 3XS i3 OC comes packaged in more protective padding than any other PC we have seen, with even the inside of the case literally stuffed with insulation to protect its precious components during transit. Despite the huge box it arrived in, the case itself is small by gaming standards and, along with the Infinity i5 Hercules SE before it, it’s one of the lighter tower PCs to come through our offices.

Though it also bears the Scan logo in embossed silver letters, the case for this system is a CoolerMaster Elite 335. On the outside this black mid-tower is certainly a neat affair, consisting of smooth steel panels on the sides and a metal mesh honeycomb-pattern front with a matt plastic surround and glossy plastic connectivity panel.

At the case’s front you’ll find a matt black Sony 24x DVD-Rewriter, and it’s nice to see that this is a SATA model when some assemblers are still shipping machines with EIDE optical drives. Connectivity here is as basic as it gets though, with just two USB 2.0 ports plus 3.5mm jacks for headphone and microphone alongside the blue-backlit power button and pinhole reset button.

Around the back, on the other hand, is a veritable plethora of connections. There are six USB ports, FireWire/1394 and eSATA sockets, Gigabit Ethernet, a single PS2 mouse/keyboard port, six analogue jacks and digital optical for audio, plus VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort from the motherboard’s integrated graphics. The latter are made redundant by the video card, though, which offers even more by swapping the analogue output with a second dual-DVI output.

vadim

January 28, 2010, 2:21 pm

Its been a long time since I last looked at one of Dell PCs' insides, but from my previous experience I can say that comparing Dell to any custom build is like comparing apples and pears. That is if we ignore the customer service differences and further upgrade pricing. Not looking to offend anyone, but I guess the author needs a bit more real life experience to draw such comparisons.

TechVegan

January 28, 2010, 3:06 pm

@vadim:


Not offended at all, but I hope I made it clear that upgrading is the one area where Dells can be problematic. It can't be denied that for the price the Dell is a far superior system, and as to upgrade prices, I don't really see any upgrades that would make sense for that system as you're buying to a price point - once you go above that you can get a whole different level of custom build. Besides which, Dell's upgrade prices tend to be reasonable, if not as cheap as buying yourself (which is the same for custom builds).





In the end, what I was comparing was basic hardware specifications for the money, and even factoring in a replacement case and motherboard for Dell's PC you would still have a decent price for what you're getting (FYI I've owned a Dell machine in the past and reviewed a few too).

Ben

January 28, 2010, 7:34 pm

I enjoyed the review, thank you! Very tidy insides - I do like seeing computers that have had thought put into the assembly.

MarioM

January 29, 2010, 10:06 pm

Please don't hate me, but I fancy the sound of that Studio XPS. I don't have the time to build and support my own PC - I want to buy something with 3 years NBD and just forget about it. But I can't for the life of me find the system you describe on their website. Linky?

TechVegan

February 1, 2010, 6:00 pm

@Ben:


You're welcome :) And yes, tidy insides are always a good sign that the assembler has actually put in some genuine effort.





@MarioM:


We hate you - kidding! Unfortunately, Dell has completely changed the configuration of its Studio XPS 8100 systems since the review, so now that system would come to over £800. Obviously when buying from an assembler like Scan you don't have to build or support the PC either, and the company offers a 2-year warranty as standard.

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