The unique experience with the 8Pack Asteroid system starts with the delivery, the system is hand-delivered by Ian ‘8Pack’ Parry or another OCUK staff member who will even set the system up for you. Throughout the duration of the warranty personalised customer support and services are available directly with Ian Parry who’ll know your PC better than anyone else since every 8Pack system is tuned and overclocked by him.
The system is shipped in a rather large “flight case” to provide excellent shipping protection. The range of accessories included is all the usual cables, adapters and accessories for each of the components used in the system build, as well as a welcome pack which explains support and contact details as well as an upgrade service if user’s should desire to upgrade any parts inside their system throughout ownership.
The case used by the 8Pack Asteroid is a custom-made Parvum mini-ITX chassis, it’s largely made from thick matte acrylic pieces and clear acrylic panels for the side and top. On the whole the build quality is excellent and the case holds up well despite its heavy weight, there’s no creaking or worrisome flex to speak of. There’s also an 8Pack logo at the top of the case which is a nice touch as it’s fairly subtle as far as branding goes.
Rear I/O is dictated entirely by the components used so the ASUS Maximus VIII Impact motherboard gives a reasonable array of USB 3.0, 3.1, audio jacks, Gigabit LAN and external WiFi. The Nvidia GTX 980 Ti will output to a number of displays through its 3 Display Port, 1 DVI and 1 HDMI 2.0.
Heat is removed from the system through a pair of 240mm radiators with downward firing fans, the PSU also has its own intake on the left side panel and exhausts directly out of the back of the case. Generally this cooling setup works well as heat is pushed out through the watercooling loop, though it must be said the bottom mounted radiators can be of varying effectiveness depending on the surface you place the system on – we’ll discuss this more later on in the review.
The two clear windows on the top and right side of the case provide a glimpse into the high-quality craftsmanship that has taken place inside. When powered on the system is illuminated by a white LED strip which looks very pleasant, though we’d like to see more attention paid to the acrylic panels which have light surface scratches, dust covering and fingerprints that should have been cleaned during the system’s production.
The view into the reservoir at the top of the case is a sophisticated addition, though we think this would be enhanced from some LED illumination.
There may be some prospective buyers for which the LED illumination doesn’t appeal at all and for them there really should be an option to disable all lighting. Furthermore, the lack of RGB functionality isn’t really justifiable at this price point either, perhaps some fine tuning is required.
Inside the Asteroid the cable management is immaculate and the main chamber has minimal clutter thanks to the custom braided cables and straight hard-line tubing.
On the reverse side, the power supply chamber, the cables are all neatly tied up and the modular power supply minimises required cables. An Aquaero fan controller PCB handles all the fans and water pump, companion software comes pre-installed to control these.
OCUK provide a number of fan profiles but out of the box the system is impressively quiet. There is a slight background hum, probably caused by the flowing liquid and pump, but most people will find the system almost inaudible under all load scenarios.