GTX 1080 in an Ultrawide All-in-one!?


If you’re the kind of ultra gamer who’s logged more hours in Half Life than in real life, then the words “all-in-one PC” will probably make your eyeballs roll out of your head and straight out the front door. I mean, come on fellas, AIOs may be great for your photography business, but clearly other “all”-in-ones don’t have all you would need if you’re a gamer. Well, blow the dust bunnies off those baby blues my friends, because the Digital Storm Aura is a 34 inch, curved, ultrawide AIO with a frickin’ GTX 1080 inside it. The GMM Keyboard features Cherry, Gateron, and Kailh hot-swappable switches, with a floating keycap design, RGB lighting, and minimalistic style. Check it out now at the link below. Kicking things off, the Aura is seriously heavy duty. Like all of Digital Storm’s custom machines It’s a low-volume, built to order product, which explains why the thin bezel is anodized aluminum rather than your usual mass-production plastic and also why some of the finishing touches are perhaps a little less finished? The 34 inch display is mounted on a rugged AF stand that does offer a generous amount of tilt freedom, but unfortunately only stays at a fixed height, which given the height disparities found among humans, even just within our office is sort of a drag. I get it, the machine’s heavy, but it’s still unfortunate that a three-thousand-dollar computer doesn’t include a more feature-rich stand, causing some of our more vertically challenged staff to seek out creative aftermarket solutions, since you can’t even fix this with the good old textbook trick thanks to the Aura’s long legs and 35 pound heft. Though now that I think about it, is that weight even really unreasonable? That’s only 12 pounds more than the Acer Predator X34 and that’s just a monitor. Not to mention that the other dimensions impressively are nearly identical. Except for the Aura’s extra inch of depth, and speaking from experience it wouldn’t surprise me if that extra inch was enough to make a lot of magic happen… Working past then, the 11 screws that hold the back panel on, we find an entire ball-ass gaming rig worth of parts frankensteined into that extra inch on the back of a Samsung panel. Seriously, this thing is like a crazy science experiment gone horribly… right. There’s even two separate power supplies with, like this weirdo janky power splitter in here. I mean what else is crammed in this thing? Our unit’s got 16 gigs of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM on a standard mini ITX standard MSI Z270 motherboard – upgradeability my friends! Crazy! It rocks an Intel Core i7 7700K Kaby Lake processor and that’s cooled by what looks, to my eye, like a custom 160 millimeter by 35 millimeter Asetek all-in-one liquid cooling system, not too shabby. It’s got a one terabyte hard drive as well as a 480 gig SATA 3 SSD, NVMe M.2 equipped models are also available, and of course, finally, the pièce de résistance, a full-sized GTX 1080 Founders Edition graphics card, which has its display outputs actually looped back into the monitor Tim Taylor style to a separate PCB that runs the display and the crummy onboard speakers. The fact that this rig is built with mostly off-the-shelf parts gives it that “Frankenstein feel”, but it also gives it some distinct advantages. It’s completely upgradable: as long as your new parts would fit, your new parts could sit. And, if I mean assuming you don’t want to use it as a computer forever, you could even just use it as an ultrawide monitor: this thing has all the I/O of a full conventional desktop setup. The monitor itself has all the usual display-in ports, though it does lack an OSD. The graphics card’s outputs are all there and easy to reach. all All the motherboard’s ports are here, including USB 3.1 10 gig, in both type A and type C flavors, though it should be noted those are significantly more difficult to reach, and it’s even got decent front I/O, with a side located SD, USB, and set of audio jacks, And this is cool: up on the top there’s even an extra usb port for a, you know, a webcam, or an anti-air missile defense system, whatever you prefer. But can all this stuff crammed together under a plastic covering stay cool under load? Well, the answer is, shockingly, yes. Yes, it can. We used AIDA 64 and Furmark to simultaneously tax the CPU and the GPU, neither of which throttled, instead leveling off at 70 degrees and 85 degrees respectively with most of the components hovering around 50 degrees. Heat gets dissipated through the perforations on the top and back of the chassis, and the warmest feeling area is actually beneath the motherboard plate, which is perfect by the way for keeping your nachos warm during extended raiding sessions. The Aura does start humming under load however, adding about 20 decibels to the room’s ambient noise in our testing, though it should be noted that this is about what I would expect from having a, you know, thoughtfully assembled gaming rig two feet in front of my face, and still way quieter than the HP Wave “ocean simulator”. If you don’t dig synthetic tests, we threw some real games at it as well, running all of our benchmarks at the native 3440 x 1440 resolution, and then again at 1080p for comparison’s sake. As expected the 60Hz 3000R curved ultra-wide IPS display is awesome to game on with great contrast and viewing angles. But it doesn’t have G-Sync, and frankly the colors are way off, so without a calibrator this one’s not really recommended for our friends who are gamers by night and graphic designers, or photographers by day. So is it better then, to buy a fancy pants monitor and a separate gaming rig, or to save space with an all-in-one like the Aura? I mean now that small form-factor PCs are becoming more and more popular you could make the argument that you’re not saving that much space. But very few of them are dedicated gaming rigs, and even the ones that are like the MSI Trident aren’t necessarily upgradable thanks to the use of proprietary components – in fact even some of the ones that are advertised is upgradable, like the Corsair One, void your warranty if you have the audacity to pop the hood. So then, if you’re looking for the ultimate trifecta of desk space, performance and future-proofness, and you’ve got the cash to back up your search, then accept no substitutes because this thing is lit, as the kids say. So thanks for watching guys, if this video sucked you know what to do, but it was awesome get subscribed, hit that like button, or check out the link to where to buy the stuff we featured, in the video description. Also down there is our merch store, which has cool shirts like this one and our community forum which you should totally join.

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