It is hard not to like the ARIA Gladiator Punisher 7950 system. First impressions are hugely positive because it is built inside the diminutive, attractive BitFenix Prodigy Chassis.
ARIA have placed a high focus on the gaming capabilities of the system by adopting the excellent XFX HD7950 graphics card. This is a custom dual fan solution which doesn’t emit a lot of noise and can handle the latest Direct X 11 games at 1080p resolution.
The internal build quality is excellent and the cables have been routed out of sight, underneath the motherboard cage. ARIA have adopted a Corsair builder series power supply and liquid cooler and have overclocked the Core i5 3570k to 4.3ghz for real world speed benefits.
This system is not only great for playing games, but it is perfectly capable of handling moderate rendering duties and video editing.
The Gladiator Punisher isn’t the quietest system we have tested, however considering the small chassis and the overclocked configuration, the noise levels are more than acceptable. At idle, the fan noise is barely noticeable, only under load does the Corsair liquid cooler make an impact.
The Mini ITX ASUS P8Z77 I Mini ITX motherboard proved rock solid throughout a week of solid testing, even in this overclocked state.
You will need to be careful if you are ordering this Gladiator Punisher system as ARIA sell several models such as this one, a lower specification version which features the HD7870 LE. The model we tested today is a little more expensive, although ARIA have reduced the price by £100 recently from £1,299.95 inc vat to £1,199.99 inc vat.
Many companies are using small Solid State Drives in their systems, so it is a bonus to see ARIA have included a large 250GB Samsung SSD for the operating system/boot duties and a 2TB mechanical drive to handle storage and backups.
I think this is a first rate system and ideal for an enthusiast user who doesn’t want a physically large chassis taking up a lot of room in their house. It is easy to fall in love with the Prodigy chassis, it really does look fantastic.
- small physical footprint.
- well built.
- great gaming prowess.
- overclocked CPU helps drive the frame rates.
- reasonably quiet under load.
- SSD and HDD combo works well.
- the Mini ITX form factor makes it more difficult to upgrade.