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Bolt I: A Digital Storm Undertaking Part II

Post Date: 2014-01-09

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Tidgxor View Drop Down
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Bolt I: A Digital Storm Undertaking Part II
    Posted: 09 Jan 2014 at 7:08pm
One Year Update Here

Two Year Update Here

Three Year Update Here

Four Year Update Here

====================================================
Now with images again! Im%20with%20Stupid

Awhile back I mentioned that I had ordered a second Digital Storm PC, consider this post to be both my review and its introduction. Big%20Smile

If you want the short version, skip to the very end for the takeaway point.


Background:
I was a very happy first time Digital Storm customer. If you are interested in seeing how happy I was, check out this thread right here for my first Digital Storm Undertaking. So, naturally, when it came time to purchase another computer it was an easy decision to go with Digital Storm. I want to note here, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my first rig, Mr. Bojangles. In fact he continues to game hard. I actually had a friend come into some hard times recently with a house fire, and since she works from home doing high-end modeling work, I am letting her borrow Mr. Bojangles until she is able to get back on her feet. In the meantime, rather than downgrade back to my 2008 laptop, I decided this might be a good excuse to spring for another DS computer. So, with a little (lot) of convincing the wife, I went for a Digital Storm Bolt. If you've followed me salivating over the Bolt for months on end now, this will be no surprise. Hahaha

I ordered the system on 11/19/13, I received it on 12/26/13.

Specs:
Of course no review is worth its salt without some specifications, so here they, formatted to leave out the borin' stuff. Big%20Smile

Chasis:Gunmetal Digital Storm Bolt
Processor: Intel Core i7 4770K
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Impact
RAM: 16GB 2133Mhz Digital Storm Certified
PSU: 500W Gold Plus Series DS Certified Bolt Edition
Optical Drive: DVD/CD
Storage Drive 1: 256GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD
Storage Drive 2: 1TB WD Caviar Black
GPU: EVGA 780 TI 3GB SC
OS: Windows 8 64-Bit
Free T-Shirt: Of Course

Pictures:
We actually have a lot of external Bolt pictures floating around the forum. So I don't have a whole lot to add. However, since I firmly believe that a review needs at least one picture, here are a couple of shots.

First up, a side shot showing the Bolt next to a standard 12oz can



Here is a similar shot from the front



Here is one side of the internals, we need more Bolt "guts" photos



And the other side of the ooey-gooey guts



Finally, for some fun here are two comparison shots of Mr. Bojangles (HAF-X)



and




I was hoping to have an actual side-by-side comparison of the Bolt and HAF-X, but I could not due to unexpected delays (more on that below).

The Review

The moment of truthiness. Big%20Smile

Instead of breaking things down on a scale of 1-10 like I did with my review from three years ago, I'm simply going to break my overall experience down into three very familiar categories: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. I'll also throw in some closing remarks.

The Good

I was able to purchase my DS Bolt during the earlier part of the Holiday sale. So, not only was I able to receive a discount and an extra year warranty, I also scored three free games. This was a definite plus. During the payment process I goofed and selected something wrong. DS customer service did not fail to uphold my expectations and this was resolved within 24 hours. Again, this error was my fault, but we got it corrected. The box that the Bolt came in was very fancy, I had not seen the "new" DS boxes before, my other box was from the "before times." The Bolt was very securely packaged, DS didn't cut any corners just because the system is smaller. You still get your owner's binder, disks, and extra components just like you would with a full-sized rig. DS does not cut you short. Granted, there are not as many extra goodies with the Bolt, but that's just due to the proprietary nature of the stand. The T-Shirt's have had a nice design change since I got my first one. I like both, but a fresh look is always a plus.

When I first hooked up the Bolt it started with zero issues. I didn't need to re-seat anything at all. I got into Windows 8 with no issues and everything was just as zippy as I was hoping. I should point out that DS got my overclock to 4.2Ghz which is fine and dandy considering the recent upgrade to Haswell for the Bolt. After that I naturally cracked open the case to see the internals. I saw that while indeed cramped, everything looked very professional. Nothing looked clogged up, or dangerously bent or anything like that, just very close quarters. My "DS Certified" RAM turned out to be ADATA, which I was A-OK with as I've had good experiences in the past. DS also had the RAM running right at 2133Mhz just like I ordered.

One additional major plus, is that Bolt uses OVER 200W LESS at IDLE than Mr. Bojangles did, that is CRAZY! Drooling

I haven't had a ton of time for gaming since getting the computer, but I've played a few so far and needlessly to say the Bolt has handled them excellently. I did upgrade to Windows 8.1 as soon as I got it, since I barely missed DS changing over to 8.1 instead of 8, and that has helped performance as well. So, this soon in performance-wise everything has been great. I will of course give some updates once I've had the system for more of an extended period. But right now I have no complaints about the Bolt's horsepower. Awesome

The Bad

Let me preface the next two sections by saying that I am an avid DS fan. I've stuck around the forums because I like DS and their product (I also like my fellow forum-goers!). That being said, if I didn't share the negatives of my experience, I'd be doing a disservice to both DS and future customers. If you read these sections please read my closing remarks as well.

So, while performance has been great and I have had no issues my experience as a whole has had some negatives. These are a bit unfortunate as I did not deal with these kinds of issues with my first order.

Getting the Bolt was a bit of a pain. I ordered the Bolt in pretty much exactly the same time of year as I did Mr. Bojangles, yet the Bolt took far longer to arrive. The problem started when I found out that my GPU was back-ordered. Now, the issue wasn't that the GPU was back-ordered, it was how DS handled it that I didn't like. 14 days after ordering, and after being in Stage 3 for a few days, I received a very short call from someone at DS telling me to call them back. I wasn't given a reason, just call. When I did call, the person I spoke to had no idea why I had been called. This was frustrating because I had taken time to call at work. A bit later they called me back, my GPU was back-ordered. Now here is my frustration, why did it take 14 days to find out that a core component of my PC was back-ordered? Furthermore, why did it not only pass stage 2, but enter stage 3 and sit for a few days before I was notified? (As an aside, according to the wording of Stage 2 it should have never passed into Stage 3 with an out of stock component). So, I choose to wait it out, since DS expected to have the item in stock less than one week later. I then asked the technician how many days it would be before the PC shipped, once they had the part, I was told within 5 business days. The PC did not ship until business 8 days after the part arrived (which I confirmed). This wasn't a huge deal, but it meant the PC arrived on Christmas Eve and since I wasn't home I didn't get it until the day after Christmas.

Now, the GPU issues don't end there. Shipping and processing delays are something we just have to deal with. Though I wasn't pleased with DS' timeframe, I understand these things happen. However, I was given the wrong GPU. What I ordered, specifically, was the EVGA 780 Ti Superclocked with reference cooling. This is what is on my receipt and that was the exact image on the configurator. What I received was the EVGA 780 Ti Superclocked with ACX cooling. Now, I realize that these are basically the same card. However, it doesn't matter since it isn't what I ordered. I ordered the reference card for a specific reason, and was never told that I wasn't getting one. In fact when I was on the phone I verified that the backordered card was what I wanted, I was not told it was the ACX version. So essentially, I was given the card I did not order. I understand it might seem like I am splitting hairs here, but the issue is that DS misrepresented my order (and I have paper proof) and never once told me about it.

Finally, the Bolt has not been nearly as quiet as I was hoping for, or even expecting based on other reviews and videos. In fact when I first got it, it was LOUD. I mean, far, far louder than my SLI-580s had ever been, and this was at idle. Well, it turns out that for whatever reason all the fan controls had been shut off in the BIOS, so the CPU fan was running at max constantly. I changed this, and temps are fine. So it wasn't even necessary from a temperature perspective. I have no idea why DS shipped me a PC with maxed out fans, but it wasn't the best first impression. That being said, even after changing the PC fan to a more tolerable setting, my Bolt is still on the loud end of things. Maybe I am missing something in the BIOS, but it just seems a lot louder than it should be (I haven't verified which fan it is specifically that is making all the noise, its hard when the whole PC is so small, Ninja). |
(Update: It was a combination of the PSU fan and the Turbo Mode in the BIOS causing the problem, a resistor + some default edits largely erased the noise issue)

Two out of three of my game codes didn't work. I don't blame DS for this though, and I was able to rectify it via game company.

The Ugly

The Bolt lid is finicky. Maybe I'll get better at it with time, but its certainly a bugger at the moment. It definitely makes opening up the computer more of a challenge than I am used to. However, this is on my end. Of course, the thing is, it appears as though DS' techs might have also had issues. The inside of the Bolt had quite a few scratches. I very much doubt these were caused by me, as I had no problems getting the case off the first time, just back on. Plus, there were too many of them to have occurred solely from me removing the lid once.

The interior scratches are not the problem though, its the cross-shaped scratch on the outside of the case that bothers me. You can't see it in the photos above, but on the "back" (not pictured) side of the case, there is a sizable and noticeable scratch shaped like a cross or a + sign, depending on your angle. I would bet a lot of money that this did not happen in shipping, it looks like someone was cutting something on top of the case, or scratched things up with a screw-driver. If you can imagine what a cutting board looks like when you are done, its like that. Its also far, far too precise to be a random shipping cut, it almost has 90 degree angles. I can deal with the interior scratches, but this one peeves me a little bit. I'm normally not a hardcore cosmetic guy with computers, but having a scratch like that on my PC before it even leaves the box is a bit much. Especially since I love the Bolt case so much.
(UPDATE: Digital Storm replaced the exterior "shell" of the Bolt at no cost to me, scratches have been resolved!)

Closing Remarks

Ok, so it might seem like I hated my DS experience from reading all that above. I didn't and I don't. I still recommend DS just as much now as I did before. There were just a few bumps along the way this time that I felt needed to be shared. I definitely enjoy my Bolt so far and as you can see, most of my issues are with things other than performance or stability. So please don't let my comments above dissuade you from making a purchase with Digital Storm, they have a lot to offer and will work to make things right.

I'll definitely be sticking around, and I'll definitely be recommending DS just as much as ever. I might not be able to recommend the Bolt much longer, but thats only because it looks like its about to be replaced by the Bolt II. Cool

This Bolt has been named: Mrs. Bojingles. Because it seems to fit more than Mr. Bojangles Jr., but also remains unique and carries on my silly tradition.Big%20Smile


Thanks to the DS community for being great and DS for providing solid machines.

Awesome  


Takeaway Point: The Bolt is a lean mean gaming machine that oozes with power and doesn't sacrifice anything for the sake of its size.


Edited by Tidgxor - 02 Jan 2018 at 10:12am
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  Quote ArkansasWoman777 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 09 Jan 2014 at 7:23pm
"Captain Sirius Black"
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i5 3570k

Ordered: 11-27-12
Stage 1: 11-29-12
Stage 2: 12-2-12
Stage 3: 12-2-12
Stage 4: 12-4-12
Stage 5: 12-4-12
Stage 6: 12-10-12
Stage 7: 12-12-12
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  Quote fstcvc Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Jan 2014 at 12:00am
Sorry to hear about some of the "bad" above - I'm sure if you contact Alex, he'd make sure everything was to your satisfaction (if you haven't already done so). I'm sure there's a lot going on around the holidays at DS and some things fall through the cracks as everybody's trying to complete systems as quickly as possible without any issues.

Glad to hear that overall it was a positive experience and you are enjoying your new system!!

Thanks for the share and the pics!!
HailStorm II
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Jan 2014 at 3:25am
A big congrats and thanks for the honest, detailed review.

Awhile back I asked if I could guess, and looks like Ring Dings would've been coming my way.

Yeah, I don't get the fan thing, especially the Bolt with few fans. But, if anybody could get it ironed out it would be you. I would be curious what speed the ACX is on.

ENJOY.

Edited by bprat22 - 10 Jan 2014 at 3:30am
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  Quote surf71zx Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Jan 2014 at 3:53am
Return it before your 30 window runs out. You still have time. Have DS make it right.
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Jan 2014 at 9:10am
@Tidgxor,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

* Backorder Delay:
Sorry to hear about the delays. That was a very busy time for our team and there were some areas that we felt could have been handled better. We're definitely making improvements to prevent this from happening again during the busy holiday season.

* ACX Cooler:
I was reviewing your order and I do see where you are coming from. On many occasions, we offer free upgrades on components if we don't have an item in stock. The ACX cooler version versus the reference cooler version is usually considered an upgrade, but I completely understand where you're coming from. I will let the team know.

I reviewed the pricing on our configurator, and it shows that the ACX cooler version is actually +$1 than what you had selected, not sure how it was cheaper? You can verify this by visiting your purchase config URL: http://www.digitalstormonline.com/comploadbolt.asp?id=907024

* CPU Fan Speed:
I'm not sure why the fan profile was set to maximum performance only, but I am glad you were able to change it in the BIOS.

* CPU Fan Speed:
I'm not sure why the fan profile was set to maximum performance only, but I am glad you were able to change it in the BIOS.

* Noise:
The Bolt isn't going to be loud, but quiet, however it is not silent. You will hear a very faint white noise type of tone. If you feel it is louder than that, check the blower fan for the power supply, if you unplug the power to it, does the noise go dramatically down?

* Scratches:
I just reviewed the photos our QA team took of the unit before it shipped and I can't seem to locate any scratches. Perhaps you can email them to me so I can have a better look ([email protected]) and then we can help try to resolve this.

* Conclusion:
I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the PC and overall you are happy with it. I'm sorry for any inconvenience the backorder delay, video card cooler, and fan speed situation caused. Feel free to reach out to me about the scratches and we'll take care of you.

Also, I've upgraded your warranty for an additional year to make up for the inconvenience.

Edited by Alex - 10 Jan 2014 at 9:10am
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Jan 2014 at 10:06am
I'll address Alex first.

Alex,
First off, thank you for your response as always.

* Backorder Delay:

I understand that you were probably loaded down with orders. My main concern wasn't the delay itself, it was just how it was handled. It made me loose a little faith in the accuracy of the "Stages" system, but I know DS is working to improve these issues all the time.

* ACX Cooler:

I think it is fantastic that DS offers upgrades like that. I also agree that the ACX cooler is considered an upgrade. I am not unhappy with my ACX GPU, I just do not like that something was changed without my consent, even if it is an upgrade. Luckily the reason I wanted the reference card was minor, so all is well in the end. I just wanted to bring my perspective to the table.

ALSO, I WAS WRONG ABOUT THE PRICING! First step of being a good customer, admitting when you are wrong. Big%20Smile I miscalculated when I was comparing the prices at the time of my order, to the prices as they are shown now, I didn't allow for a certain change. So, I have removed that portion of my review. Because I was wrong.

* CPU Fan Speed:

This one stumps me as well. I can only guess that maybe it wasn't changed back after benchmarking? Either way, its fixed now.

* Noise:

I'm going to look more into the noise and will update accordingly. I know the Bolt won't be silent, but I wasn't expecting it to be louder than my SLI-580s using a X-58 CPU. Again, I will try a few things and get back to everyone on this. Thank you for the PSU blower suggestion.


* Scratches:
I will email you a photo of the exterior scratch. I suppose there is a very small chance that I scratched the interior up myself, but those aren't a concern. Its the exterior scratch, and I have no idea how in the world I would have scratched while it was still in the box, which was when I first noticed it. The interior ones are a non-issue though, I'll probably scratch the inside up myself over time Cool

* Conclusion:

Alex, thank you for the warranty upgrade. This was very generous of you and not expected nor required.

I bolded and underlined that so that people notice that DS does indeed care about its customers. Awesome


Edited by Tidgxor - 10 Jan 2014 at 10:17am
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Jan 2014 at 10:14am
Originally posted by fstcvc

Sorry to hear about some of the "bad" above - I'm sure if you contact Alex, he'd make sure everything was to your satisfaction (if you haven't already done so). I'm sure there's a lot going on around the holidays at DS and some things fall through the cracks as everybody's trying to complete systems as quickly as possible without any issues.

Glad to hear that overall it was a positive experience and you are enjoying your new system!!

Thanks for the share and the pics!!


fstcvc, thank you for your comments! Alex has already rode in on his white stallion that we do so love. So I'm sure all will end well. Big%20Smile

Originally posted by bprat22

A big congrats and thanks for the honest, detailed review.

Awhile back I asked if I could guess, and looks like Ring Dings would've been coming my way.

Yeah, I don't get the fan thing, especially the Bolt with few fans. But, if anybody could get it ironed out it would be you. I would be curious what speed the ACX is on.

ENJOY.


The Ring Dings are still on their way. With the recent shipping delays the estimated delivery date is November 10th, 2087. Be sure to keep an eye out. Drooling

I'm going to look more into the noise issue this weekend. According the EVGA Precision the ACX is only at 29% on fans while idle (not sure on rpms). The CPU fan I am not sure on at the moment, but I think it was somewhere in the 900rpm range at idle (after I changed it, originally it was going 3 million rpm, LOL).

Originally posted by surf71zx

Return it before your 30 window runs out. You still have time. Have DS make it right.


Thanks for watching out for me surf71zx, but I don't think a full return is going to be necessary in this case. Most of my issues were smaller things that I can handle without needing to send the whole contraption back to DS.


Awesome


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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Jan 2014 at 10:25am
Glad things are working out, for the most part.   Good that DS has your back. Strong

Those Ring Dings?   I can wait, just need a tracking number.  LOLLOL

The psu fan suggestion by Alex is worth a look.  We have seen a couple of forum members  complain of the noise from that little bugger.  A 12oz ball peen should set it straight.  HahahaHahaha

Seriously, best of luck and I love the Bolt.  If I was able to, there is a good chance that would be it.  Big%20Smile


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  Quote oldlady RPGer Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Jan 2014 at 7:24am
Great and detailed review.

As far as the Bolt. My husband can't hear anything loud in it. But then he has an 80% hearing loss. We had a few issues also and just lived with it or fixed. Still highly recommend this system to all because it is so powerful in such a small package! Love it.


Now of course to me the Bolt is to silent. In fact sometimes I ask if its on. Just a slight whine coming from it. Fans.
But then I have a monster, loud, cube.
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Jan 2014 at 11:33am
Thanks for the comments! Strong

Yes I imagine the Bolt doesn't make much noise next to the Borg cube. Big%20Smile
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jan 2014 at 6:39pm
So, update on everything.

I spoke with Alex via e-mail about the scratches, DS is shipping me something. I'm honestly not sure what it is, since I was never told. I just got a tracking email. I'm not really complaining, surprises are a good thing. Big%20Smile My guess is that it might be the external "shell"?

Also, I'm still trying to figure out the noise.

So far I've all but eliminated the 780 Ti. It really doesn't seem to be making much noise at all. If I'm gaming and the Bolt is roaring, if I change the GPU fans to 29% (lowest I can go by default in Precision) the noise only barely, barely changes.

So either the CPU fan, or the PSU fan is getting extremely loud. By loud, I mean the rig is so loud I can hear it from two rooms away, its the loudest PC I've ever owned currently (when gaming, I mean). Does anyone who has followed the forums or updates (or works for DS) know if the PSU fan adjusts to loads on the Bolt? I'm assuming it does, since I know a lot of PSUs control their own internal fan, but since this fan seems to be a separate blower, I'm not sure.



Edited by Tidgxor - 18 Jan 2014 at 6:45pm
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jan 2014 at 6:58pm
Can you unplug the external psu fan or stall it with your finger while the Bolt is screaming?   
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jan 2014 at 6:59pm
Alex suggested that before, I probably need to do that. Oops

I'll just have to be quick, don't want to fry the PSU. Big%20Smile
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jan 2014 at 7:01pm
Don't break a nail doing it.

I'll bet it's that fan.   
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jan 2014 at 7:05pm
Originally posted by bprat22

Don't break a nail doing it.

I'll bet it's that fan.   


That's my guess as well. I've tinkered with the CPU fan a lot, since that's easier to change. While the CPU fan can be loud, this is a whole new kind of loud.

Honestly, if I hadn't read a kerjillion reviews speaking about how quiet the Bolt was, I might not have mentioned this, but this seems more like the pre-upgrade Bolt to me, at least in regards to noise.

I will say though, performance and stability wise things are going great. Big%20Smile

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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jan 2014 at 7:20pm
Doesn't that rack psu have its own internal fan? Most do. I'm thinking that external fan is single speed and there to help it along because of the tight spacing. Just thinking.
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 Jan 2014 at 5:58pm
It's the new exterior shell that is on the way.

For the noise, the Bolt has never been so loud where you hear it from two rooms away. The power supply is normally fairly quiet, not so loud where you can hear it from two rooms away. However, is the system in a area that is quite warm or not giving it enough airflow?

Try creating a funnel with a piece of paper and use that with your ear to try to hear where the noise is coming from and we can figure it out better. I feel it's either the CPU fan or the internal blower fan that draws air in from the side of the system and into the power supply.
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 Jan 2014 at 8:10pm
Thanks for letting me know Alex!

As for the noise, I think my shell is supposed to come sometime tomorrow. So I'm going to open it up and try a few things to determine where the noise is coming from. I really wish I was exaggerating about being able to hear it from two rooms away, but sadly I am not. My last rig from DS was very quiet even under extreme loads, so maybe I've been spoiled, but this is far louder than I would have ever anticipated based on the reviews. I can't even properly voice chat in games because its so loud.

The Bolt is currently in a high-airflow area (more-so than the HAF-X was). The ambient temps are normally around 65 degrees, so I don't think its overheating due to environment. It actually isn't "overheating" per se, as stability has been good, it just sounds like a broken space heater at times, haha.

I'll post back here after I've tried the funnel trick.
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 Jan 2014 at 8:13pm
Sure thing, it should be a relatively easy fix once we know what is causing the noise.
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Jan 2014 at 7:32am
Originally posted by Alex

It's the new exterior shell that is on the way.
.


Awesome
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Jan 2014 at 1:07pm
Alrighty, I'm back with a couple of updates.

First off, Digital Storm sent me an entirely new shell for the Bolt because of that odd "cross/+" scratch that was on the side. You pretty much couldn't have asked for a better response than that. Big%20Smile (I'll add this to the original review as well).

Second, noise. I'm almost positive I have figured out what is making the noise. Its not the GPU, its not the CPU, and its not even that little blower that sets behind the PSU. Its the PSU itself.

I tested this by setting the GPU fan to minimum while under load, which resulted in only a minor difference in noise. Then I did the same thing to the CPU fan, which made slightly more of a difference, but nothing major. Lastly, I unplugged that blower entirely, which made absolutely no difference at all until.. the PSU got even louder. When that blower went down, the roar of PSU increased even further than normal.

To make sure it wasn't all the noises together, I did all of the above at once, and the system was still just as noisy as with the CPU fan, GPU fan, and blower working at high speeds. In fact it might have been louder. So I'm fairly confident its the internal PSU fan. I remember reading an earlier review that compared the Bolt's noise to a dishwasher, and actually that's pretty much accurate as far as the level of noise this thing seems to be producing. I don't have any way of measuring decibels like the reviewers did, but as I mentioned before it is actually interfering with my ability to voice chat in games.

Right now I'm just trying to figure out if this is the way the Bolt is (which would honestly be unfortunate) or if something is wrong with the PSU.

I've checked the Q-Codes, nothing there. Performance is solid, not a single BSOD so far, no stuttering in games, etc. No signs that might normally plague a PSU on the fritz, just a whole lot of noise. Also, temperatures have been fine on the GPU, CPU, and Motherboard.


Edited by Tidgxor - 20 Jan 2014 at 1:08pm
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Jan 2014 at 1:13pm
Let's hope the psu fan is easily replaced.   The ones I worked near were, and right on the back end.    At least you now know.





Edited by bprat22 - 20 Jan 2014 at 1:15pm
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Jan 2014 at 4:14pm
Originally posted by bprat22

Let's hope the psu fan is easily replaced.   The ones I worked near were, and right on the back end.    At least you now know.


That's what I'm hoping, if it comes to that. I don't have much experiences with rack PSUs, do you know of any good way to test the fan, or is that just something that is completely controlled within the PSU itself. It doesn't really sound like a "bad" fan, at least not in the traditional bearing/etc. sense. Its just really loud, I'm wondering if its cranked up beyond where it needs to be for some reason.
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Jan 2014 at 4:29pm
The ones I saw, years ago, were controlled internally like most units. That's probably why when you removed the external fan the noise increased... a little more heat because the 'helper' fan wasn't there.    As far as noise... it was always a noisy environment like a telephone Central Office, where a noisy fan wasn't a big issue.   

Not sure if it's normal or not, but I would be surprised DS felt it acceptable. The fans used to just pop out of the end, after 2 or 4 screws were removed, and they just connected with stab-on plugs to the pwb inside.   

See what Alex says. Just a fan might work but I'm not up on the latest units.

Like the other fans, you could just stall it for a few seconds to check the noise for sure. Replacing the psu is doable but some work being a small form case.

Edited by bprat22 - 20 Jan 2014 at 4:35pm
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Jan 2014 at 6:06pm
Internastin' this is my first time ever working with a 1U power supply, so call me greenhorn. Big%20Smile

I did some poking around, I see the screws you metnioned but I can't tell if thats for the entire fan or just the fan-grate.

I also stalled the PSU fan for just a few moments, and yeah, that is most definitely where the noise is coming from. When that fan isn't spinning the Bolt is easily as quiet as my old larger rig was. When looking at the fan it doesn't appear to be struggling, its smooth and free of anything that might cause noise.

Its a bit of a conundrum, at idle the Bolt is at a decent noise level. Granted, its still noticeably louder than the X58, with SLI-580s, but its not terrible. But boy, once the load kicks in, well lets just say you know the load has kicked in.

I was going to see if I could read up on how the fan profile worked for that PSU, but I can't seem to figure out anything about it since its just.. black. If you notice all the other Bolt reviews have the standard PSU but mines just solid black, so that has made further research a bit difficult.


Edited by Tidgxor - 20 Jan 2014 at 6:08pm
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Jan 2014 at 2:52am
Yep, I noticed the all black case in your pics. It used to be the Sparkle 500w Gold, sp1500 I think.   Here's their site.

http://www.sparklepower.com/proIPCPS_1U2U.html

I would get a new psu unless they allow you to just do the fan without damaging the unit. Pretty sure it just pulls out.  There is a thumb grip on it if I'm not mistaken. 

The ones I messed with were , obviously, older more industrial types.

Good luck to ya and let us know.

Edited by bprat22 - 21 Jan 2014 at 7:29am
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Jan 2014 at 12:22pm
Thank you for the link! Thats the one I had narrowed it down to, so at least we are on the same page. Of course without any identifying features I suppose we can't be positive, I wonder why its all black though? I can't find any examples of that PSU being black online, and other post-upgrade Bolt reviews are showing the one pictured online, not the black one.

Either way, I believe I've done my due diligence as a customer with researching and narrowing the problem down. I've contacted DS' technical support about the noise, so the ball is in their court and I'll be sure to update once I hear more.

(I might ask them about the PSU as well, I just realized I forgot to get the model Oops)
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Jan 2014 at 12:36pm
I'd also be curious what psu they're now using. Just gotta know these things. looks like the same one in Bolt 2.



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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Jan 2014 at 1:51pm
It looks like the power supply isn't working properly. Perhaps something loosened up in transit. We can send you a replacement PSU, but it will be a challenge to replace the unit and re-wire it.

We can have it come back for service and our team can do it for you?

Feel free to email me back on the next step.
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Jan 2014 at 4:37pm
@bprat22 I have a second question in with technical support about the PSU model, I'll let you know what I hear back about it. Smile

@Alex,

Well I'm getting some conflicting information. I contacted technical support, who were very quick to get back to me. However, after I described the noise issue (including hearing it two rooms away and it making voice chat hard) I was told that the noise level was standard, and that that was one of the most common complaints they receive for the Bolt. I was also told that its one of the louder systems on the market. So, going by this, its normal for the Bolt to be this loud, and there's nothing out of the oridinary. I did send a follow-up email asking if I could do anything, but I haven't heard anything back.

On the other hand, in this thread you've stated that the Bolt should never be that loud, and if you go by the reviews from DS customers no-one at all mentions the Bolt being this loud. In fact, even most professional reviews list the Bolt as being quiet.

So I'm honestly a  bit confused as to whether something is wrong, or if the Bolt really is supposed to be this loud, which would honestly be the loudest personal computer I have ever been around.

Props to technical support for the quick response though, as well as to you for your responses thus far. Smile




Edited by Tidgxor - 21 Jan 2014 at 5:08pm
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Jan 2014 at 4:48pm
Thanks, Tidgxor. Appreciate it.

The rest doesn't sound right.   It does explain why they shipped it like that, assuming no damage in shipping, which is possible but.....
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Jan 2014 at 6:13pm
@Tidgxor,

I have never heard a Bolt be as loud as you're describing. Yes, the Bolt has a small buzz noise if you get really close to it in a very quiet room, but it's not very loud.

We can have it come in for service for a closer look if you would like. Many times, technicians will agree that you can hear it running, it's not whisper quiet.
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Jan 2014 at 7:00pm
Alex, thank you for the response. I'm going to send you an email so we don't have to clog up the forums with a bunch of back and forths. Big%20Smile

I'll be sure to update once I know more.
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Jan 2014 at 5:33pm
Just an update:

Still no word on what model the PSU is.

DS is thinking that the PSU is operating normally, but that the ACX on the 780 Ti might be pushing more heat than normal straight into the PSU causing the 40mm fan to roar even louder than necessary.

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