Scan 3XS GTX - Scan 3XS GTX

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The rest of the PC really just ticks the boxes with a perfectly reasonable 250GB Western Digital Caviar SE16 hard drive providing enough storage to get started, a Toshiba DVD-/+RW drive providing CD/DVD reading and writing capabilities, an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro keeping your CPU cool, and a Cooler Master HX520W to power the whole lot. These are all quality brands that we’d be happy to use in our own PCs and, just as nVidia has specified, the balance of components is absolutely spot on. Unfortunately, there was another fairly major noise issue we encountered with this setup. Scan had disabled the dynamic fan control in the motherboard’s BIOS. This meant the Freezer 7 Pro was running at a very noisy full-whack when I first turned the system on. Of course, I knew what to look for to sort this out but it’s certainly not obvious to the general consumer.


The chassis is also made by Cooler Master. Called the CM 690, it is one of Cooler Master’s more budget oriented cases but it is well laid out with ample space to work in (if you fancy a rummage around inside when the warranty’s run out). It uses nice quiet fans that provide lots of cooling airflow and on the top there’s a panel that includes two USB, a microphone, a headphone, a 9-pin Firewire, and an eSATA socket – pretty much all the connectivity options one could hope for.


However, the styling of the system may not appeal to some end users with its very austere black livery, but there’s always the option of tucking the case away in a corner to keep it out of sight and mind. I did have one small issue with the eSATA port in that it seemed to be rather flimsy and just the weight of an inserted cable is enough to bend it over quite considerably. I can’t imagine it would fail any time soon but it would certainly benefit from a little reinforcement.


Overall, though, Scan has put together a tidy system that certainly conforms to what I would consider an ideal system for someone that is an occasional, or even regular, gamer. As you can see from our test results on the next page, it powers through absolutely everything with consummate ease and even Crysis will be playable on this system. For those less likely to be ripping through the latest gaming titles, though, the 9800 GTX is way too overpowered and opting for a cheaper option like the 9600 GT or HD 3850, would be more than enough – even with all this new GPU accelerated, non-gaming software that’s coming through. All scan needs to do now is sort out those noise issues.


”’Verdict”’


nVidia’s new Balanced PC initiative has certainly paid dividends with this Scan PC. Its balance of components is just right for the gamer on a budget – especially with that warranty-backed overclocked CPU – and in terms of performance and value, we can’t recommend it highly enough. There are a couple of minor quality issues that knock it down a point but apart from that it we can find no fault.