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Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC - Scan 3XS i3 OC Gaming PC

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


To open the CoolerMaster Elite 335 up, you simply remove two thumb-screws and the side panel slides off smoothly. This reveals one of the most spacious interiors we’ve yet come across, thanks to the use of a mini-ATX motherboard inside a case that’s built to accommodate full ATX boards. The ‘mini-ATX motherboard in a large case’ approach is another thing this PC shares with the cheaper CyberPower Infinity i5 Hercules SE, except that Scan has done an even more impressive job of tidying the cables in a case that only offers minimal options in this regard.

If we had to sum the Elite 335 case up in a word it would be ‘competent’. Most edges are nicely rounded but there are a few sharpish ones here and there. In addition to the 80mm fan mount on the removable side panel (the shroud has been removed because Scan uses a custom cooler on the i3 processor), it’s possible to mount a 90mm fan above the graphics card area and there are 120mm fans at the front and back so air-flow should be ample. In terms of noise this setup is middle of the road. With it producing a very audible hum even when idle it's certainly not silent, but neither does it get disturbingly loud.

At the front of the case there are three free 5.25in drive bays and a single 3.5in bay which would be ideal for adding a memory card reader. Inside there is a cage which can hold a further five 3.5in drives, and though this does not face outwards, both optical and hard drive cages do at least sport a tool-free clip system. It’s one of the easiest systems we’ve come across and works really well, with the only niggle being its lack of vibration-dampening. It’s surprising then that Scan has opted to screw in the system’s single hard drive, though of course this does mean it’s as secure as it can get.

Getting onto the components inside, as mentioned this system is based on one of Intel’s brand-new Core i3 processors, specifically the Core i3 530, which is a Dual Core CPU running at 2.93GHz stock. It features Hyper-threading so appears as a quad core CPU, but lacks Turbo Boost so doesn't dynamically overclock like the more expensive Intel chips. There’s also an integrated graphics chip, though with a separate graphics card in this system, it probably won’t be used.


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.


January 28, 2010, 3:06 pm


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).


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.


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?


February 1, 2010, 6:00 pm


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


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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