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Bolt II: (Pics+Review) **Update: 2/5/15**

Post Date: 2014-06-16

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stevenmi89 View Drop Down
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  Quote stevenmi89 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Bolt II: (Pics+Review) **Update: 2/5/15**
    Posted: 16 Jun 2014 at 7:38am
So, my Fedex guy came at 9am this morning, about 8 hours earlier than he usually does. Thank god I was home!

I just got it and haven't even turned it on yet, but I thought I'd post some pics because thats what I wanted most when doing research to buy this. Sorry of image quality, just took em real quick with my phone.















Man, the thing is just rock solid. Nothing flimsy whatsoever anywhere on this great machine. Packing was great. Now just to boot it up and play around. I'll come back and post more pics/thoughts when I get some time.

Thanks to Alex, Nav, Walter, Janna, Shayna, and especially the DS Community for all the help with my order.
---
*UPDATE: 7/30/14*

Hey just wanted to come back and give you guys a proper over-view of my Digital Storm experience.

Backround-
Around Late May, I decided that the laptop I was using with a GTX 675M (really a rebadged 580M) wasn't cutting it anymore and decided I was due for an upgrade. I thought about getting another gaming laptop, but decided that I never really had a proper peformance oriented desktop and started looking at my options. I looked at the well-known mass manufactureres and decided either they didn't have the performance I wanted or that their performance lines didn't have the customizability I needed. I wanted a compact PC that was still powerful because I find small former factor PC's sexy and I wanted something I could use as a HTPC if needed.

I started googling different boutique manufacturers and most of them had a model that fit the bill. I even submitted an order with one before deciding that I didn't do enough research and quickly canceled it. I started perusing different forums and asking a question here and there and one brand kept popping up: Digital Storm. Digital Storm came up in my previous google searches, but I didn't give the site a thourough look. Boy was that a mistake. The second I saw the Bolt 2, I knew that was perfect for what I wanted. It was compact, sleek, and had a custom case. The price was a little higher than other offerings, but I felt the custom case and power supply warranted it. I still wasn't sure until I came across the community forums. Now, believe me, none and I mean NONE of the other major boutiques/custom builders have a community forum that is as active as Digital Storms. This was a major plus. I posted a few topics and even got responses from employees and ended up submitting my order on 5/22.

Ordering-
After submitting my order on 5/22, I got e-mails each step of the way notifying me what step in the build process my rig currently was in. There was a slight hiccup about 5 days later in which I was told the wrong motherboard was installed and that they would fix it and re-stress test it right away. I was dissapointed at the time, but I'm glad they found it before it was shipped out to me. Also, I couldn't be too upset because they were still well under the 15 day estimated build time. They also upgraded the shipping and sent me a DS gift pack for the trouble which went above and beyond the call to make things right. The order shipped out about a week and a half later and I received my rig on 6/16.

The Bolt 2-
Although the outside of the box seemed like it went through a war, the inside of the box was very well protected. The computer itself was suspended and protected through foam blocks that seemed like it insulated the computer well from excessive shock during transit. The binder with user manuals and backup discs was also a nice touch. Like I stated in my above post, this thing is rock solid. I was actually suprised how heavy it was (in a good way). Nothing seemed to shift during shipping and I spent a good 15 minutes just gleefully looking at the inside of the thing. The builders must have magic hands to be able to work in such a tight space because all the cabling was very neat and orderly.

I snapped a few pictures (see above), plugged it into an ASUS VG248QE 144hz monitor that I got in anticipation of my new rig and was good to go. Man is this thing fast, I highly recommend a SSD, it just makes everything so snappy. By the way, Windows 8.1 really isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I kept reading stories of how it's the worst OS since Vista, but I actually prefer it over Windows 7 now.

Unfortunately for my wallet, the Steam Summer Sale occured a week or two after I got my computer, and I kind of went on a spree. Metro: Last Light, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, Skyrim, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs, Wolfenstein: The New Order...the Bolt 2 aced them all on ultra along with Battlefield 3, Guild Wars 2 and Wildstar. The only game I didn't get an average of 60+ fps in was Sleeping Dogs at Ultra with the High Res pack and MSAA + FXAA turned on, it hovered around 45-50. As far as temps, the CPU (i7-4770k) has never gone above 48 Celcius that I'm aware of (and I usually have CPU ID HWMonitor up on a second screen), although I do not have an overclock. The GPU (780ti, no OC) hits its 83 deg Celcius temp target just fine and the fans spool up to around 2600rpm max to keep it there. The part of the case where the heat exhauts does get warm, but not overly so. Acoustic wise, I've been using a laptop for the past decade, so I did notice it was a little louder at idle than a laptop, but it is 10x as powerful, so the tradeoff is worthy. I haven't had any stability issues or glitches or bugs at all since I received it. The only modification I made was slapping on a couple magnetic dust filters to the side of the case where the cooler and GPU suck in air just to prevent dust intake. The only regrets I have is not getting the LED light package, It's still pretty without it, but it would have been a nice touch.
2
Bottom Line-
There are only a few companies that have products I love so much that they earn my loyalty. After dealing with their customer service and experiencing the end product, Digital Storm has so far exceeded my expectations that I can safely say I'll be back for a future purchase.

I'll try to come back every now and then with updates.
---
*UPDATE: 2/5/15*

Hey everyone. It's been about 8 months since I bought my Bolt 2 and I wish I had some exciting stories to tell everyone, but I don't! It's been a fine example of solid engineering and craftsmanship since the day I got it. No hiccups, blue screens, failures to speak of (knock on wood).

I've been playing alot of Dying Light recently (great game by the way) and the 780ti still runs all the recent games like a champ, but I do wish I had that lower TDP of the 980! I have no inclination to upgrade anything for at least another generation.

The only thing I did do was grab some white magnetic filters to stick on the side for the fan intakes, helps reduce dust(http://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-Tek-Filter-Cooling-FF123W/dp/B00DL4BMVS/).

I still highly recommend the Bolt 2 and Digital Storm. I'm thinking of getting a gaming laptop and am gonna look at their options.

Until next time!

Edited by stevenmi89 - 05 Feb 2015 at 11:08am
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  Quote ArkansasWoman777 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Jun 2014 at 7:43am
"Captain Sirius Black"
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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 Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Jun 2014 at 9:33am
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Jun 2014 at 11:28am
Nice pics and a great rig.  Awesome

Enjoy. Big%20Smile
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  Quote Dav Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Jun 2014 at 12:17pm
nice!
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Jun 2014 at 5:59pm
 Awesome
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  Quote Snaike Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 17 Jun 2014 at 12:20am
very nice
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  Quote Asangard Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 17 Jun 2014 at 1:06pm
We all love seeing pictures of new rigs.
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  Quote PcKiller Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 17 Jun 2014 at 3:35pm
Nice rig.
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  Quote oldlady RPGer Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Jun 2014 at 2:26pm
WOW!

Amazing the difference between the Bolt 1 and 2.
Our 1 looks so much different. But still good.

Edited by oldlady RPGer - 21 Jun 2014 at 2:28pm
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  Quote redsoxfanatic Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Jun 2014 at 10:44pm
looks awesome!
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  Quote stevenmi89 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Jul 2014 at 3:07pm
Updated my post with thoughts on my DS experience.
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  Quote Asangard Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Jul 2014 at 5:18pm
Excellent review. Thanks for sharing. If you want to lower your GPU temps you can download EVGAs Precision X. It is free you just need to register on the site. Enable the auto fan curve and it will lower the GPU temps. The fan will run faster though.

Go Spartans

Edited by Asangard - 30 Jul 2014 at 5:18pm
All evil comes from within,
Not from Without,
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Is to recognize thyself as thy 1st enemy.


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  Quote Snaike Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 31 Jul 2014 at 1:44am
Love the review.
 
Here's wishing many years of gaming bliss!
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  Quote Dav Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 31 Jul 2014 at 5:59pm
congrats. nice review too.
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  Quote new noob1978 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 29 Sep 2014 at 6:23pm
can't wait for my bolt 2 arrive
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  Quote stevenmi89 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Feb 2015 at 11:10am
Posted a little update.
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  Quote michaeljhuman Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Feb 2015 at 11:25am
How does the GPU attach? Trying to imagine it, and there's either some cable from it's edge connector to the mobo, or the mobo has a PCI connector on the edge of the board turned 90 degrees from the usual angle
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Feb 2015 at 11:48am
stevenmi89.. Congrats and good to hear.    Thanks for the update.

michaeljhuman.... It uses a flexible riser cable, we used to call them ribbon cables, that plug into the pciex16 slot, flexes 90 degrees to meet the video card.
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  Quote  Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Feb 2015 at 11:48am
Yep, there is a flexible connector from the PCI-e slot on the mobo to the GPU. You can see in the pics in my review (linked in my signature).
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  Quote michaeljhuman Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Feb 2015 at 12:13pm
Thanks. Understood there's a flex cable. Looks like a good design given the space constraints
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  Quote Mouseguard Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Feb 2015 at 5:11pm
Glad all is still running smooth with your rig! Continue to enjoy it, like I have to tell you that
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  Quote Corvosin Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 09 Feb 2015 at 2:05pm
Good to hear your Bolt II hasn't had any problems yet. Can't wait for mine to arrive [8(]
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  Quote Junglebeast Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Mar 2015 at 5:51am
Glad to see your happy with your rig looks sweet ! Can you give us the specs of your build ?
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  Quote  Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Mar 2015 at 10:48pm
He has an i7-4770K, which has been succeeded by the i7-4790K, GTX 780 Ti with reference cooler, which has been succeeded by the GTX 970 and 980, Z97i-Plus motherboard, Corsair Vengeance memory (not sure how much, but you'll be fine with either 8GB or 16GB and speed doesn't really matter), Extreme cooler, an SSD and HDD, and white chassis.

Looking at the PSU cables, it may be the 700W with the sleeved cables, but not positive. Mine is a 500W and does not have sleeved cables.

Edited by  - 24 Mar 2015 at 10:49pm
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  Quote bxstrb Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 Apr 2015 at 7:58pm
Loved the pics, detailed review and update on your Bolt II. I'm close to pulling the trigger on the Bolt 3 and its good to see posts like this from owners that are happy with their bolts. Thanks!
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