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Whereas Digital Storm’s flagship Aventum X is a strong showpiece melding collectively one of the best of recent applied sciences in a large tower, the corporate’s Lynx gaming PC is a trendy workhorse that doesn’t weigh greater than 50 kilos. Just like the Aventum, the Lynx is able to supporting a number of graphics playing cards, and the tower’s smaller however nonetheless spacious inside guarantees tinkerers a straightforward path to carry out upgrades with out the effort of constructing a system from scratch.
Beginning at $799, the Lynx is a PC which you could put money into at the moment and make highly effective tomorrow. Fanatics will wish to improve to the top-of-the-line configuration, like our evaluate unit, which is available in at $1,999 and ships with a Ninth-generation Intel Core i7-9700Okay processor, GeForce RTX 2070 graphics, and a solid-state drive.
Easy, however aggressive
As the latest member of the Digital Storm household, the Lynx is a good-looking gaming PC with a premium type that’s each aggressive and minimalist. Whereas the Aventum has a easy block-shaped enclosure, the Lynx’s radiator-like entrance panel, with a stylized and backlit Digital Storm thunderbolt emblem, offers this gaming PC an edgy vibe. Total, it’s devoid of the garish thrives on competing gaming desktops.
The mixture of a mutedly aggressive entrance grill and easy facet panels add as much as a contemporary design that almost all avid gamers will admire. If you end up needing extra present, you may activate the RGB backlighting contained in the case.
Underneath the hood
Measuring 18 x eight x 18 inches, the Lynx shares the same footprint to different mid-sized towers, like HP’s Omen Obelisk, rival boutique PC producer Origin PC’s Neuron, Dell’s Alienware Aurora R7, and Asus’ ROG Strix GL12CP. In comparison with the Neuron’s use of a mini ITX board, the bigger ATX motherboard on the Lynx not solely gives ample house so as to add parts, however is roomy sufficient to your arms to maneuver with ease when making upgrades.
The unit’s internals might be accessed via detachable facet panels on both facet, each of that are secured by thumbscrews to offer a tool-less method to entry the insides. Eradicating the tinted glass panel will provide you with entry to the motherboard, solid-state drive, RAM, and graphics card, whereas the facility provide and the onerous drive are discovered behind the metallic facet panel on the alternative facet.
Given the Lynx’s high-end processors and graphics, it’s not onerous to examine small enterprise homeowners adopting it for productiveness.
Tinted glass offers the unit a clear look when the Lynx is powered off. Once you activate the unit, there’s loads of visible curiosity, from the RGB backlighting all through the case, to the liquid-cooled processor. Cable administration is high notch, which retains issues wanting tidy and helps with airflow. The Lynx additionally comes with magnetically-attached mud filters on the highest and backside.
Although the Lynx ships with a single graphics card, customers have the choice so as to add a second GPU, a characteristic that’s additionally supported on the Alienware Aurora R7 and Origin PC Neuron. Excessive-end avid gamers and customers who want workstation-like efficiency can make the most of dual-graphics assist so as to add much more efficiency to future-proof their investments.
Chuong Nguyen/Digital Traits
Our greatest grievance is that Digital Storm’s high configuration ships with solely a GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. Avid gamers who wish to max out the graphics potential of the Lynx with dual-Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti flagship GPUs should substitute the GPU that ships with the unit, reasonably than simply rapidly including a second card.
An abundance of ports wanted for VR
True to its gaming pedigree, the Lynx ships with loads of ports to attach all of your favourite peripherals. The entrance ports, that are accessible on the highest of the case, embody two USB-A three.zero ports, audio and headphone jacks, and an influence button. You’ll discover an much more ample array of ports on the rear, together with six USB ports, Ethernet jack, two legacy PS/2 ports for older mouse and keyboard connections, audio and headphone jacks, and an array of video output ports, together with DisplayPort and HDMI connections.
Due to Digital Storm’s resolution to high the unit out with RTX 2070 graphics as an alternative of an upgraded RTX 2080 card, you gained’t discover a USB-C port on the Lynx, making this rig much less future-proof even in its upgraded configuration.
Although the RTX 2070 delivers loads of energy to drive digital actuality headsets, the shortage of a USB-C port implies that this technique can’t make the most of the only VirtualLink connector. As an alternative, you’ll have to plug in a number of cables to drive your headset. And paradoxically, regardless of the glowing stylized thunderbolt emblem on the entrance that Digital Storm makes use of as its company emblem, there isn’t any Thunderbolt three port on this unit.
Prepared for work
Although Digital Storm payments the Lynx as a gaming PC, it’s not onerous to examine small enterprise homeowners and residential customers adopting the Lynx for productiveness duties given the unit’s choices for high-end processors and graphics. Our upgraded evaluate configuration ships with a Ninth-generation Intel processor, however to maintain prices extra reasonably priced, the Lynx tops out with an Intel Core i7-9700Okay processor reasonably than the beefier Core i9-9900Okay on our flagship Aventum X unit.
Chuong Nguyen/Digital Traits
The primary distinction between these two processors — apart from clock speeds — is that the i7 silicon doesn’t profit from Intel’s Hyper-Threading know-how. To compensate for this loss, Intel added two further processing cores to this yr’s i7 in comparison with final yr’s mannequin, bringing the silicon to a complete of eight cores from six.
As anticipated, outcomes from our Geekbench four benchmark confirmed that efficiency of the Lynx’s Ninth-generation Core i7 processor is healthier than final yr’s Core i7 processor, however barely decrease than the extra highly effective Core i9. The Lynx’s single-core rating of 6,037 and multi-core rating of 29,974 trailed the Core i9-9900Okay outcomes from competing models, just like the Origin Chronos, Asus ROG Strix GL12X, Origin Millenium, and Digital Storm Aventum X, however not by a major margin. The Aventum X, for instance, posted scores of 6,0367 and 32,328, respectively. Final yr’s six-core Core i7-8700 processor on HP’s Omen Obelisk configured with RTX 2080 graphics, trailed the pack, posting scores of 5,606 and 26,529, respectively.
These outcomes counsel that the largest distinction throughout the vary of Intel processors rests in multi-core workloads, and the Core i7-9700Okay does an ideal job maintaining with the beefier Core i9-9900Okay on extra premium models. In real-world utilization utilizing the Lynx for internet searching, reasonable photo-editing, and heavy productiveness duties, most customers gained’t discover any efficiency hit with the Lynx’s Core i7.
Extra intensive duties, similar to video encoding, would require barely extra time to finish on the Lynx. Our Handbrake encoding take a look at took slightly below 90 seconds to finish on the Lynx, in comparison with roughly 80 seconds on models with a Core i9-9900Okay processor. Each Intel Ninth-generation processors have been sooner than the Omen Obelisk’s Eighth-generation processor, which took 124 seconds to complete the identical job.
Chuong Nguyen/Digital Traits
Our Lynx unit shipped with a speedy 512GB Samsung EVO 970 M.2 solid-state drive coupled with a bigger 2TB onerous drive to deal with bigger information. Whereas 512GB isn’t the biggest capability we’ve seen on a gaming PC, it delivers quick 1,259 MB/sec learn and 1,zero22 MB/s write speeds. Each drives are simply upgradeable ought to you end up needing more room to retailer your paperwork, images, movies, and sport information.
Although the Lynx advantages from robust processing efficiency, the unit’s midrange RTX 2070 graphics would possibly maintain the unit out of consideration for enthusiast-level avid gamers when newer options, like ray tracing, are enabled at greater resolutions. That stated, most fashionable video games run with none noticeable drop in body charges in as much as 2K, or 1440p, decision with excessive element on the Lynx’s RTX 2070 card.
When benchmarked utilizing 3DMark’s Time Spy software, the Lynx’s rating of eight,680 factors locations it behind different models with Nvidia’s RTX 2080 graphics and forward of laptops with cellular RTX 2070 graphics. The Origin Chronos, with a single flagship Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics card, edged forward of the Lynx with a rating of 13,817, whereas the Razer Blade 2019, which makes use of a Max-Q design to carry cellular RTX 2070 graphics to skinny and lightweight gaming laptops, scored simply 6,363 factors.
On condition that the RTX 2070 can render most fashionable video games with modest graphics, like Epic’s Fortnite and 2K Video games’ Civilization VI, at framerates above 60 frames per second (fps), some avid gamers gained’t profit from a system with a stronger — and costlier — graphics card. Although the framerates delivered by the Lynx weren’t as excessive as competing techniques with RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 Ti graphics, efficiency was clean. Civilization VI performed between 68 fps on the highest settings in 4K and 189 fps on medium settings and medium particulars at 1080p, in comparison with the Omen Obelisk’s scores of 102 and 155 fps, respectively.
Nevertheless, efficiency dropped in additional graphics-intensive video games like Ubisoft’s Murderer’s Creed Odyssey. At 1080p decision with excessive element, the sport’s 96 FPS is surprisingly even higher than the Origin PC Millennium with its dual-RTX 2080 Ti graphics, however the Millennium delivered stronger efficiency than the Lynx at greater resolutions and better sport settings because of its dual-2080 Ti graphics.
The Lynx is a pretty and highly effective different from having to construct your personal gaming rig, however it’s not a PC with out its personal compromises.
In actual fact, the Millennium’s framerate solely dips under 60 at 4K in ultra-high particulars, whereas the Lynx drops to 54 fps beginning at 1440p with ultra-high particulars. Even above 60 fps, stuttering grew to become obvious at 1080p on ultra-high particulars on the Lynx, and the choppiness grew to become extra noticeable at 1440p and 4K in each excessive and ultra-high settings on the Lynx.
Evaluating the desktop RTX 2070 in opposition to the identical cellular graphics chip, the Lynx has a efficiency benefit in opposition to the Razer Blade, which ships with a cellular RTX 2070 Max-Q design. At 1080p in excessive settings, the Lynx has a 20-fps benefit over the Blade. The sport performed at 36 fps at 4K and extremely settings on the Lynx, in comparison with simply 28 fps on the Blade.
With ray tracing enabled, the Lynx scored four,756 factors in Underwriter Laboratories’ Port Royale benchmark at 22 frames per second, in need of the 5,598 rating at 26 fps posted by the RTX 2080 card on the HP Omen Obelisk. Though the RTX 2070 is able to real-time ray tracing, the midrange card is finest for avid gamers trying to play video games at 1080p decision.
Weaker real-time ray tracing efficiency was evident in EA Cube’s Battlefield V. When the characteristic was disabled, the RTX 2070 solely dipped under 60 fps in 4K at extremely settings. When ray tracing was turned on, the Lynx dipped under 60 fps at 1440p and medium settings, with the sport exhibiting noticeable choppiness at 1440p and extremely settings.
Digital Storm’s guarantee coverage for the Lynx is a bit meager subsequent to competing boutique corporations, like rival Origin PC. Each corporations supply clients lifetime phone assist ought to a difficulty come up, however Digital Storm solely covers the Lynx for 3 years of labor and one yr for faulty elements. In distinction, Origin PC gives a extra beneficiant coverage, extending labor protection to lifetime whereas sustaining the identical one-year time period for elements.
The place Origin PC stands out is its Evolve protection for elements upgrades and alternate. This elective protection, which might be prolonged to a few years, will provide you with present market worth if you trade-in your current parts. This might have been an especially helpful profit if Digital Storm adopted the same technique for customers trying to improve the RTX 2070 graphics within the Lynx for both an RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 Ti. Because it stands, Lynx homeowners will both need to eat the price of the included RTX 2070 card or resell the cardboard themselves ought to they want to improve the unit’s GPU.
The Lynx is a pretty and highly effective different from having to construct your personal gaming rig from scratch, however it’s not a PC with out its personal compromises. Whereas the Lynx ships with the newest processor and graphics card available on the market — Intel’s Ninth-generation CPU and Nvidia’s RTX-series graphics are par for the course — the unit can’t be configured with one of the best accessible silicon. This compromise was seemingly made to maintain prices at bay, however lovers could also be deterred by the shortage of a extra premium configuration.
Is there a greater different?
As configured, the Lynx is a competitively priced premium gaming PC. Though the Lynx prices the identical as HP’s Omen Obelisk, Digital Storm made totally different compromises to get to the identical $2,000 worth. HP’s gaming technique with the Obelisk is to deal with the graphics, so the corporate went with an older Eighth-generation Intel processor to maintain prices down. The Lynx, alternatively, comes with a more moderen Ninth-generation processor however comes with a barely weaker RTX GPU. If you happen to’re prepared to attend till spring, HP’s 2019 model of the Omen Obelisk will include a Ninth-generation Intel processor, upgraded RTX 2080 Ti graphics, and liquid cooling for a beginning worth that’s solely $249 greater than the Lynx. At that worth, you’re getting a significantly better graphics card.
Each models are extra reasonably priced than different premium choices, like Origin PC’s Neuron. Though the Neuron can assist twin graphics playing cards just like the Lynx, Origin PC offers potential homeowners choices to configure the unit with higher-end silicon. When configured with higher Intel Core i9-9900Okay processor, Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics, upgraded 32GB RAM, and a 500GB SSD together with 2TB onerous drive, the Neuron is available in at virtually $1,700 costlier. Whereas Digital Storm’s extra reasonable pricing for its midrange construct is commendable, we want the corporate would give efficiency customers extra upgraded configurations for the Lynx.
One other pre-built PC that helps twin graphics is Dell’s Alienware Aurora R7. With a extra bulbous design, the Alienware desktop doesn’t share the edgy aesthetics because the Lynx or the Neuron, however pricing seems to be aggressive with the Lynx. The $2,099 Aurora comes with the same Core i7-9700Okay processor and RTX 2070 graphics, however Dell gives greater finish builds that high out with Intel’s Core i9-9900Okay and Nvidia’s 2080 Ti for a whopping $5,449.
How lengthy will it final?
The Ninth-generation Intel processor and Nvidia RTX graphics will make the Lynx an ideal funding for years to return, however when you’ve managed to outgrow Digital Storm’s configuration, the roomy midsize case design means that you can simply make DIY upgrades as your wants develop. Excessive-end customers may even add a second graphics card to amp up efficiency.
Do you have to purchase it?
With out investing the work in constructing your personal rig from scratch, you’re counting on the alternatives that Digital Storm made. That implies that despite the fact that you’re getting a handsomely designed, water-cooled system that packs in ample efficiency to get you began, you’re not essentially getting one of the best parts. And for avid gamers, the compromises Digital Storm made exhibits, because the midrange 2070 graphics trails higher-end choices within the RTX vary. For superior customers, the largest draw to the Lynx is the unit’s untapped potential. With a spacious inside and room so as to add a second graphics card, the Lynx generally is a critical performer, however provided that you make investments the time in making the DIY upgrades your self.