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PC Specialist Vortex XT-270FB System Review

PC Specialist have a guidance leaflet attached to the side panel. This is to ensure that the end user doesn’t quickly power up the system without removing the protective foam from inside the case.

The Cooler Master HAF 932 has been a big seller in enthusiast circles as it combines attractive styling with a very high level of airflow, ideal for an overclocked system such as this.

We haven’t looked at this case in some time, so a quick recap is in order. The front panel is well designed with plenty of air intake positions. Along the top is the primary I/O panel which features four USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port, a firewire port and a headphone and microphone jack. There is a power and HDD activity light at the far right. Along the top is a power and reset button.

The main I/O panel is complimented with a center mounted bay featuring two USB 3.0 ports.

Visible through the mesh on the side panel is the internal ‘Instapak’ packing which PC Specialist have included in the Cooler Master chassis to secure the components. When the side panel is unscrewed, this can be removed and stored for future use. The large side mounted fan has to be connected to a fan header on the motherboard before being resealed. We really like this material as it leaves no mess and can be ‘sculpted’ by hand for a perfect fit.

After removing both side panels we can ascertain the capabilities of the PC Specialist system builders. I was pleasantly surprised with the clean, well routed interior. They have routed the power supply cables carefully behind the motherboard tray, out of sight. If they had opted for the modular version of the Corsair power supply they could have removed some of the cables however. Not a big deal, but worth mentioning.

PC Specialist have taken advantage of the spacious routing holes cut into the chassis in various positions, it is one of the cleanest builds we have seen. There are two drives installed in the front of the case – a 2.5 inch 120GB Kingston Hyper-X Solid State Drive and a large 3.5 inch 1TB WD Caviar Black HDD, for storage. They have positioned the two drives in the first and third bay, ensuring the heat from the mechanical drive isn’t too close to the solid state drive, above it.

They are using the non modular version of the excellent Corsair TX750 power supply, which won our highest award when we reviewed it last year.

PC Specialist are using Kingston Hyper-X 1600MHz memory, complete with attractive blue metallic heatspreaders. The Coolit ECO II FatBoy has been rear mounted in an exhaust position as shown in the images above, this is a very capable, low noise liquid cooler, ideal for the overclocked Core i7 2700k. PC Specialist say they are using Arctic Cooling MX4, a very high quality thermal paste.

The Cooler Master HAF 932 has another large fan mounted in an exhaust position at the top of the chassis.

The graphics card in this system is an AMD HD7970. To be more accurate it is a Powercolor version of the latest high end solution but it adheres strictly to the AMD reference design. Aside from the company sticker it really doesn’t mean anything. Warranty will be direct with PC Specialist if anything goes wrong.

It is a shame PC Specialist didn’t opt for a Sapphire or XFX version of this card as they have a custom dual fan cooler which is much quieter than this reference design.

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