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Bolt II: A Look at the Bolt II

Post Date: 2014-03-16

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the_onomatopoeia View Drop Down
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  Quote the_onomatopoeia Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Bolt II: A Look at the Bolt II
    Posted: 16 Mar 2014 at 10:02am
Hey all.

So I promised I would write up a little review with my first impressions of my Bolt II. I’m not really one for writing reviews, but since everyone is so patiently waiting for word on the Bolt II, I’ll try to ease the tension.

First off, here are the basic specs of my build.

Chassis Model: Special Deal Hot Seller - Pre-built Digital Storm Bolt II
Processor: Intel Core i7 4770K 3.50 GHz
Motherboard: ASUS MAXIMUS VI IMPACT
System Memory: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz
Power Supply: 500W Digital Storm Bolt II Edition
Optical Drive: Blu-Ray Player/DVD Writer
Storage Set 1: 1x (256GB Solid State (By: Samsung) (Model: 840 Pro Series)
Storage Set 2: 1x (1TB Western Digital Caviar (7200 RPM) (Model: Black Edition)
Graphics Card(s): 1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB (EVGA Superclocked ACX Cooler Edition)
Extreme Cooling: 240mm Radiator Liquid CPU Cooler
CPU Boost: Stage 1: Overclock CPU 4.0GHz to 4.4GHz
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (64-Bit Edition)

The Search -

When I first came to the Digital Storm website to investigate the possibility of getting a new rig from them, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Several of my friends bought from them in the past, but other then getting “my computer is so awesome” and “it runs great” I had no idea what I was walking into. After some investigating and inquiring around the forums, I settle on the Bolt II. On a side note, the DS Community is a great asset to the company. You guys (and gals) did a great job in helping me pick out what I needed for my setup.

The Order -

Ordering was pretty simple, especially since DS allowed me to save my configuration for future reference. My only complaint (if you want to call it that, this is more nitpicking than anything else), is that there is no easy way to compare the different components you can select. Other than basic information, you have to go through each available component and looking up specific information. I’m big into streamlining information, and my mind was just screaming for a comparison graph for all the components. But, like I said, that’s just me being picky. After a bit of a delay due to the high demand for the Bolt II, my rig was in the mail and traveling across the US after 2 ½ weeks of being built, fine tuned, and pushed to its limits.

The Arrival -

After waiting for an excruciatingly long week, she arrived in New York. Even though you could tell the box took a bit of a beating during its trek across the country, when I opened it up the Bolt II was safely snug and secure thanks to an excellent packing job. All the components were still secure and the Bolt II was in pristine condition. After a quick 10 minute setup, I was on my way to greatness.

The Gallery -


The box may have taken a beating, but it still brought a tear to my eye.


Contents of the box. I really didn't want to take more pictures, I just wanted to start having some fun.


Up close and personal, such a pretty site.


My set up. 2x 22 inch Asus Monitors, Logitech Sound System, Logitech G510s Keyboard, and my old Logitech G9x Mouse.


Certificate of Ownership.


There she is. "Natasha."

My Impressions -

So here’s the meat. Simply put, the Bolt II is a slim beast of a machine that's so quiet, you only know it's on because of the beautiful LED displays. Even when I have "Airflow Optimization" set to Extreme Mode, it doesn't make too much noise. The loudest the Bolt II gets, is about the same amount of noise my old computer ran normally. Since receiving the Bolt II, I've managed to download and play Battlefield 4, Assassin's Creed IV, Civilization V, and Mass Effect 3 just to name a few. While playing these games (all at the highest settings available), the Bolt II still remained relatively silent and the fans never increased speed above what is normal. Meaning that not only is the Bolt II very quiet, but it also has great airflow and cooling.

My biggest grudge is Windows 8.1. Obviously this isn't Digital Storm's fault, but I feel it needs to be mentioned. I was very iffy about getting 8.1 and I originally wanted to just keep Windows 7. It's what I was familiar with, and it performed great. But while I was asking around on the forums, several people convinced me to go with 8.1, citing that the advantages of having the latest Direct X far outweighs any problems with having to adapt to 8.1 from 7. I must say, I disagree. Windows 8 is a clunky, disaster of an OS that should not be forced on any PC at all. I'm currently working on customizing it in a way to minimize the use of the Metro design that Microsoft is shoving onto PC's, but it's a work in progress.

I was very disappointed to learn that even though I have a Bluray player installed on my Bolt II, that Windows 8.1 does not support Bluray AND DVD playback. When I learned this while researching why both Bluray and DVD's wouldn't play on my Bolt II I had to do a double take. Although the DVD issue was easily solved by downloading TLC, I'm still unable to get Bluray discs to play for some reason.

TL;DR -

If you are looking for a small, console sized gaming rig, that's quiet, and stands for everything that is right and true about the Glorious PC Master Race, Digital Storm's Bolt II is for you.

Edited by the_onomatopoeia - 16 Mar 2014 at 10:08am
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  Quote Nav Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Mar 2014 at 10:15am
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Mar 2014 at 10:18am
Very nice.  Awesome     


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  Quote Munkee213 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Mar 2014 at 10:22am
Looks good, waiting for mine to ship out
Ordered 2/8/13
Stage 1 2/8/13
Stage 2 2/12/13
Stage 3 2/12/13
Stage 4 2/13/13
Stage 5 2/13/13
Stage 6 2/18/13
Stage 7 2/18/13
Shipped 2/19/13+



New Year.. New computer??
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Mar 2014 at 11:01am
Awesome! Thank you for posting your review with pictures!
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  Quote ArkansasWoman777 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Mar 2014 at 12:01pm
"Captain Sirius Black"
Storm Trooper
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: 16 Mar 2014 at 1:06pm
HailStorm II
i7 4770K @ 4.5GHz
Asus Maximus VI Extreme
16GB Corsair Dominator Platinum
3xSLI EVGA SuperClocked GTX TITAN
Samsung 840Pro SSD 256GB+512GB
HydroLux+XSPC CPU/MoBo/GPU Liquid Cooling
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  Quote Bolt II Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Mar 2014 at 3:28pm
Thanks for posting a review! I've been waiting anxiously for someone to review their unit. Eagerly awaiting my own
Bolt II
Ordered: 02/13/14
Stage 1: 02/13/14
Stage 2: 02/13/14
Stage 3: 02/13/14
Stage 4: 03/11/14
Stage 5: 03/11/14
Stage 6: 03/12/14
Stage 7: 03/12/14
Shipped: 03/13/14
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Mar 2014 at 4:32pm
 Awesome
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  Quote Bloodlustt Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Mar 2014 at 5:32pm
Thank you sir for the great review. Quick question have you tried the wireless option yet?
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  Quote the_onomatopoeia Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Mar 2014 at 7:10pm
Yes I have. In matter of fact, I'm only running wireless. The motherboard was faintly able to pick up the WiFi signal without the antenna, but with the Antenna it picks up my house WiFi no problem. And yes, the Maximus VI Motherboard comes with an antenna.
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  Quote joguco2012 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 17 Mar 2014 at 6:22pm
Nice review and pics!! Congrats on your new rig. Very slim and sleekStrong
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  Quote danjw1 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Mar 2014 at 8:56am
Thanks for the review. You can configure Windows 8.1 to boot to desktop instead of Metro. You can find a guide on how to do it here: http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windows-8/fl/boot-to-desktop-windows-8.htm
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  Quote Bronwen Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Mar 2014 at 9:13am
I can't remember why Microsoft removed the codec to play DVDs. I know it is part of the reason they removed Media Center out of the OS and now charge you to get the Media Center add on. I would say it has something to do with the license for the codec, but like i said i don't remember. I know it was discussed back in beta.
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Mar 2014 at 9:23am
$$$   Licensing fees, for what MS considers old technology, with a lot of thin books not even having optical drives. 

I still use my DVD, so can't say I agree. 
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  Quote gamegod2x Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 Mar 2014 at 4:34pm
Thats a bummer to hear about the bluray but that aside it looks like when ever my Vanquish bites the dust i will go for the bolt or whatever Digital Storm has in a small form factor. I love the size of this system.

Congrats!
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  Quote Corvosin Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Mar 2014 at 6:55pm
Nice build. What color options do you have for the internal lighting? I'm curious case I'll be picking up a Bolt 2 once the 700W PSU is available.
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  Quote Bolt II Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 31 Mar 2014 at 7:33am
Red, Green, Blue, White, Teal, Yellow and Purple. There's also a custom color setting, but from what I've noticed it tends to just go with the preset color closest to the custom one you picked.
Bolt II
Ordered: 02/13/14
Stage 1: 02/13/14
Stage 2: 02/13/14
Stage 3: 02/13/14
Stage 4: 03/11/14
Stage 5: 03/11/14
Stage 6: 03/12/14
Stage 7: 03/12/14
Shipped: 03/13/14
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  Quote Corvosin Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 31 Mar 2014 at 12:38pm
Awesome. Going all green lighting for my setup. It's torture waiting for the 700W PSU to be released. Just let me get my Bolt 2 Digital Storm!

Also I'm Canadian so I have to pay more. "Sigh"

Edited by Corvosin - 03 Apr 2014 at 11:14am
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  Quote oldlady RPGer Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Apr 2014 at 5:52pm
Me sitting my ECMO in PICU. Now you know why I like LQ. ;)

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  Quote Theokritos Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Apr 2014 at 8:48am
Was the Windows 7 OS a retail copy of Windows 7 Ultimate? If so, the license allows the owner to move (migrate) to new hardware. If not, the OS is not portable and bound to the hardware it was purchased with.

How does one tell? If the OS was installed on the hardware when the PC was purchased then it is most likely an OEM version and is bound to the original hardware.

If the Windows 7 Ultimate was purchased from a retail source (even Microsoft's own retail store) and was installed on the hardware by the owner, then the license is probably portable and allows the OS to be migrated to new hardware.

There may be a more definitive way of determining what type of license applies to the Windows 7 OS, but I'll leave it to more informed folks to detail that process.
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  Quote M1keILL Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 13 Apr 2014 at 11:38am
What are your temps like on idle and on load for the card and cpu?
*previous bolt had problems with the heat*
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  Quote kriscahya Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 14 Apr 2014 at 10:07am
hi, I also ordering bolt 2, did you receive the package with Foam mold or just ordinary box, I live outside US, guess I need that foam mold package to be more secure while travel overseas
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  Quote bolaber Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Apr 2014 at 9:28am
i just ordered a bolt 2 as well.. i can't wait until it arrives!
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  Quote lusiphur Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Apr 2014 at 6:49pm
Originally posted by the_onomatopoeia



My biggest grudge is Windows 8.1. Obviously this isn't Digital Storm's fault, but I feel it needs to be mentioned. I was very iffy about getting 8.1 and I originally wanted to just keep Windows 7. It's what I was familiar with, and it performed great. But while I was asking around on the forums, several people convinced me to go with 8.1, citing that the advantages of having the latest Direct X far outweighs any problems with having to adapt to 8.1 from 7. I must say, I disagree. Windows 8 is a clunky, disaster of an OS that should not be forced on any PC at all. I'm currently working on customizing it in a way to minimize the use of the Metro design that Microsoft is shoving onto PC's, but it's a work in progress.



I could not agree with you more.

I got my Bolt 1 with WindoZe 8 and got rid of it. It SUCKS.
I've been running Win 7 ever since.
If you can back level to Win7 and still support everything, I highly recommend it.

I'll go to Ubuntu before I go to WindoZe 8 on my PC.

Congrats on the new Bolt It looks really nice and sounds like it is much quieter than the Bolt 1.

I also see that D.S. stopped selling these with the Neutron GTX. I had 2 of those fail and cause all sorts of issues.
When I finally replaced that with a different SSD, I have had months of zero issues.

Great Review

Edited by lusiphur - 16 Apr 2014 at 6:51pm
Marshmellow Fluff is proof of a higher existence.
-----------------------
Tardis >>> My Digital Storm Bolt with GTX TITAN
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  Quote Corvosin Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 03 May 2014 at 4:34pm
How well does the GTX 780 Ti EVGA ACX edition perform? Do you have any thermal problems? Does the cards heat dispersion work well with the Bolt 2? As in does it dump all of its heat into he rest of the system? I was told that it does but I might as well ask someone with the card. I assumed that the intake was decent due to the card being placed behind a case vent. Fresh air going right into the ACX cooler. Also from what I've read most of the cards heat comes out of the heat vent near the cards ports. Any help with these questions would be appreciated.
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  Quote simflyer905 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 May 2014 at 1:07pm
Thanks for posting the pics. Question: Is it just the way LED lighting comes out in Photos, or is the lighting from the internal chassis really bleeding out all over the place?   I was expecting the LED lighting to look like the gallery photos that DS has up, but in yours, the light is blaring, and I don't know if I would be able to tolerate having it next to my displays.   Can you comment?

Is moving the light bar around inside the case, the solution, or can some be unplugged to get the effect you want?

thanks!

SF.




Originally posted by the_onomatopoeia

Hey all.

So I promised I would write up a little review with my first impressions of my Bolt II. I’m not really one for writing reviews, but since everyone is so patiently waiting for word on the Bolt II, I’ll try to ease the tension.

First off, here are the basic specs of my build.

Chassis Model: Special Deal Hot Seller - Pre-built Digital Storm Bolt II
Processor: Intel Core i7 4770K 3.50 GHz
Motherboard: ASUS MAXIMUS VI IMPACT
System Memory: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz
Power Supply: 500W Digital Storm Bolt II Edition
Optical Drive: Blu-Ray Player/DVD Writer
Storage Set 1: 1x (256GB Solid State (By: Samsung) (Model: 840 Pro Series)
Storage Set 2: 1x (1TB Western Digital Caviar (7200 RPM) (Model: Black Edition)
Graphics Card(s): 1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB (EVGA Superclocked ACX Cooler Edition)
Extreme Cooling: 240mm Radiator Liquid CPU Cooler
CPU Boost: Stage 1: Overclock CPU 4.0GHz to 4.4GHz
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (64-Bit Edition)

The Search -

When I first came to the Digital Storm website to investigate the possibility of getting a new rig from them, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Several of my friends bought from them in the past, but other then getting “my computer is so awesome” and “it runs great” I had no idea what I was walking into. After some investigating and inquiring around the forums, I settle on the Bolt II. On a side note, the DS Community is a great asset to the company. You guys (and gals) did a great job in helping me pick out what I needed for my setup.

The Order -

Ordering was pretty simple, especially since DS allowed me to save my configuration for future reference. My only complaint (if you want to call it that, this is more nitpicking than anything else), is that there is no easy way to compare the different components you can select. Other than basic information, you have to go through each available component and looking up specific information. I’m big into streamlining information, and my mind was just screaming for a comparison graph for all the components. But, like I said, that’s just me being picky. After a bit of a delay due to the high demand for the Bolt II, my rig was in the mail and traveling across the US after 2 ½ weeks of being built, fine tuned, and pushed to its limits.

The Arrival -

After waiting for an excruciatingly long week, she arrived in New York. Even though you could tell the box took a bit of a beating during its trek across the country, when I opened it up the Bolt II was safely snug and secure thanks to an excellent packing job. All the components were still secure and the Bolt II was in pristine condition. After a quick 10 minute setup, I was on my way to greatness.

The Gallery -


The box may have taken a beating, but it still brought a tear to my eye.


Contents of the box. I really didn't want to take more pictures, I just wanted to start having some fun.


Up close and personal, such a pretty site.


My set up. 2x 22 inch Asus Monitors, Logitech Sound System, Logitech G510s Keyboard, and my old Logitech G9x Mouse.


Certificate of Ownership.


There she is. "Natasha."

My Impressions -

So here’s the meat. Simply put, the Bolt II is a slim beast of a machine that's so quiet, you only know it's on because of the beautiful LED displays. Even when I have "Airflow Optimization" set to Extreme Mode, it doesn't make too much noise. The loudest the Bolt II gets, is about the same amount of noise my old computer ran normally. Since receiving the Bolt II, I've managed to download and play Battlefield 4, Assassin's Creed IV, Civilization V, and Mass Effect 3 just to name a few. While playing these games (all at the highest settings available), the Bolt II still remained relatively silent and the fans never increased speed above what is normal. Meaning that not only is the Bolt II very quiet, but it also has great airflow and cooling.

My biggest grudge is Windows 8.1. Obviously this isn't Digital Storm's fault, but I feel it needs to be mentioned. I was very iffy about getting 8.1 and I originally wanted to just keep Windows 7. It's what I was familiar with, and it performed great. But while I was asking around on the forums, several people convinced me to go with 8.1, citing that the advantages of having the latest Direct X far outweighs any problems with having to adapt to 8.1 from 7. I must say, I disagree. Windows 8 is a clunky, disaster of an OS that should not be forced on any PC at all. I'm currently working on customizing it in a way to minimize the use of the Metro design that Microsoft is shoving onto PC's, but it's a work in progress.

I was very disappointed to learn that even though I have a Bluray player installed on my Bolt II, that Windows 8.1 does not support Bluray AND DVD playback. When I learned this while researching why both Bluray and DVD's wouldn't play on my Bolt II I had to do a double take. Although the DVD issue was easily solved by downloading TLC, I'm still unable to get Bluray discs to play for some reason.

TL;DR -

If you are looking for a small, console sized gaming rig, that's quiet, and stands for everything that is right and true about the Glorious PC Master Race, Digital Storm's Bolt II is for you.
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 May 2014 at 5:00pm
@simflyer905,

It will depend on the angle you take photos and how the lighting will look. Since the LEDs we use are high-power, they will definitely light up the internals everywhere. Good news is that you can turn off lighting at any time with the control center software (as long as you order the control board).
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  Quote simflyer905 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 May 2014 at 10:19pm
How are the LED strips installed? Are they movable strips stuck on with double sided tape, or some more elaborate mounting method is used?   I may want to adjust placement. Can you turn on the logo LEDs but not the internal ones?

SF.
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  Quote simflyer905 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 May 2014 at 10:21pm
Can someone at DS post pictures of the different chassis paint options? Please!   
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  Quote simflyer905 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 May 2014 at 10:23pm
Did anyone get the Blu Ray player to work under Windows 8.1? What is the solution or workaround?

thanks,

SF.
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  Quote the_onomatopoeia Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 May 2014 at 9:00am
The lighting doesn't bleed too much. It's mostly the camera. After taking a quick look you may be able to adjust the lighting if you want, but I don't see why you'd want to do that. All LED's are controlled from the control panel, but there is no way to pick and choose what comes on or off. It's either all on, or all off.

You can look at different paint finishes in the Bolt II customization page while you work on putting your rig together.

Not even DVD's work with Windows 8.1 because they never put the codecs in. They must have thought it would save them money. Anyways, you can get DVD's to work by using a 3rd party solution like VLC Media Player. They claim BluRay works with VLC, but I have yet to get it to work to my continued frustration.

As for temperatures, the rig is pretty solid. I always turn my fan speed up whenever I'm playing an intense game. With fan speeds up, temperatures rarely exceed 100 Fahrenheit and when it does it's only by a few degrees.

Edited by the_onomatopoeia - 06 May 2014 at 9:04am
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  Quote simflyer905 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 May 2014 at 9:29am
Are the LED's hardwired, or can you actually unplug things and remove/add, move around?   Then should be no issue.

Still hoping DS will post a page to promote the paint options. The image in the configurator is not an actual photograph of the finished product. The guy on youtube actually does a pretty good job of promoting the Copperhead paint option and provides some useful feedback on the quality of the job.   Would love to see the red and silver myself.

Noticed you are running the 500W and not 700W, is it adequate for your rig?



SF


Originally posted by the_onomatopoeia

The lighting doesn't bleed too much. It's mostly the camera. After taking a quick look you may be able to adjust the lighting if you want, but I don't see why you'd want to do that. All LED's are controlled from the control panel, but there is no way to pick and choose what comes on or off. It's either all on, or all off.

You can look at different paint finishes in the Bolt II customization page while you work on putting your rig together.

Not even DVD's work with Windows 8.1 because they never put the codecs in. They must have thought it would save them money. Anyways, you can get DVD's to work by using a 3rd party solution like VLC Media Player. They claim BluRay works with VLC, but I have yet to get it to work to my continued frustration.

As for temperatures, the rig is pretty solid. I always turn my fan speed up whenever I'm playing an intense game. With fan speeds up, temperatures rarely exceed 100 Fahrenheit and when it does it's only by a few degrees.
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lusiphur View Drop Down
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  Quote lusiphur Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 May 2014 at 12:57pm
Not sure if anyone has asked

But is there an upgrade path from a Bolt to a Bolt II, or can you buy just the case if your internals are still new enough?
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antinaka View Drop Down
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  Quote antinaka Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 May 2014 at 4:11pm
I would call their sales reps or customer service rep to see if there is an upgrade path. It wouldn't hurt to ask. I'm not sure how they handle replacing the whole case if there is nothing physically wrong with it aside from aesthetic choice.
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