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PCSpecialist Vanquish 230X Review

If your tired old system is driving you crazy then buying components for a new build at the end of the year can be a good way to beat those winter blues. We always recommend that readers try to build their own computer because it can be quite a sense of accomplishment when a new system, built by your own hands, is firing on all cylinders.

Realistically however, there are times when buying a pre-built can be useful. Firstly, not everyone feels confident enough to put a new rig together from the ground up and others may no longer have the time, or interest in setting it all up. Some of our regulars may chuckle at this, but it is true.

Sure, if we roll the clock back 5 or more years, the standard of pre-builts was shockingly bad. Cable routing was almost unheard of and companies often selected no name component brands …. all to increase profits. Fast forward to 2013, and thanks to improved online tech education those companies no longer can get away with a shoddy choice of components, or a half assed, thoughtless build.

We challenged PCSpecialist to supply a system that they felt our readers would like, for £999 inc vat. When they sent over the list of hardware inside the Vanquish 230X it was almost like a checklist of components that we had selected over the years as being at the top of their game. Most of the hardware selected by PCSpecialist for the Vanquish has won our WORTH BUYING, or MUST HAVE awards. We can’t find a single weak link in the component selection.

Intel’s Haswell has been met with a muted reception. Many enthusiast users haven’t upgraded, due to the heat output and limited overclocking capabilities. When buying a new system however, it is sensible to be getting the latest Intel hardware. PCSpecialist have opted to liquid cool the Core i5 4670k inside the Vanquish 230X while overclocking it gently to 4.2ghz with only a very slight VCore boost.

On paper, the 4.2ghz clock rating seems weak, however it has meant that the Cooler Master Seidon 120M doesn’t have to work hard to maintain a tight thermal curve. The Vanquish 230X is actually almost silent when idle and under heavy load, it emits only a modicum of fan noise. For some people this will be a huge selling point. This is a system you could leave on all night in a bedroom, without it interfering with your sleep.

Thanks to the R9 280X, the gaming performance of the Vanquish 230X is stellar. We put this to the test today by pairing it up with a 30 inch 2560×1600 resolution monitor. If this system is able to power Direct X 11 games at 1600p today (and it can), then there is plenty of futureproofing for upcoming engines at 1080p.

The cost of the components inside the Vanquish 230X cost almost as much as PCSpecialist are charging for this finished build. When you factor in a three year warranty and technical support online, it really is a difficult deal to ignore. The build quality, cable routing and BIOS configuration are all first class.

The PCSpecialist Vanquish 230X wins our ‘sub £1000 system of 2013’. You can buy this system direct from PCSpecialist over here.


  • extremely competitively priced.
  • overclocked 4670K is very capable.
  • R9 280X is able to power the latest Direct X 11 games.
  • very quiet.
  • runs cool.


  • None.

Kitguru says: The Vanquish 230X uses a shortlist of Kitguru ‘MUST HAVE’ award winning products. PCSpecialist have ended the year on a high by creating the best £1000 system we have seen.


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Rating: 9.5.

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