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Bolt II: Review

Post Date: 2014-04-01

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Bolt II View Drop Down
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  Quote Bolt II Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Bolt II: Review
    Posted: 01 Apr 2014 at 10:11am
I just recently received my Bolt II, and I figured I'd share my thoughts with you all.

I came across the Bolt II sometime in 2013, in an article about steam machines. I found the steam machine concept interesting but a little too restrictive for my tastes. The Bolt II really stood out from the crowd, with the very attractive case design and the fact that it wouldn't be limited to SteamOS. I hadn't heard of Digital Storm before, but after perusing the website and forums it seemed like a very passionate and customer friendly company. After eating up every little tidbit of info about the Bolt II, I eventually pulled the trigger a week or two after release.

I'll just breakdown my main points I want to convey about this machine:

Case design: Wow, I love the case. It's gorgeous, it shows some seriously talented craftsmanship. I'm not one to heap praise upon anything undeservedly, but the Bolt II has earned it. I've seen several people on the forum asking if they could just buy the case itself (you can't at the moment) and I can see why.

Size: Small size is something I like in a gaming desktop, and the Bolt II pulls it off without a hitch. I don't think the small size really sacrifices anything, the inside is somewhat tightly packed but all the components are easily accessible. I've also had no issues with cooling, and you can adjust the fan speed with Hydrolux.

Noise: Very quiet, not even noticeable if you have a headset on or speakers going. It CAN get loud if you crank up the fan speed, but none of my games have pushed the system that far.

Performance: Great, I've maxed the graphics of every game I played. I even fired up the graphically intensive Star Citizen hanger module and it still maxed out easily. I haven't tried the likes of Crysis 3, but I imagine it would still perform like a champ. Games I've tried out so far: StarCraft II, Diablo III, DayZ, Rust, Elder Scrolls Online, Titanfall.

Issues: My experience with the Bolt II has been highly positive, however I did have a few problems. The first was the delay in shipping. My system shipped out a month after I ordered it, despite the initial estimate being much sooner. I was told this was due to a shortage of Bolt II cases, while I was not pleased I understand (and like I said, it's a beautiful case.) Another small issue I've had is with the internal lighting. I'm not sure if it's HydroLux or the LEDs themselves, but some colors either display incorrectly or do not work at all, I have emailed DS about this problem.

In conclusion: It's a very sexy system with great performance and portability (for a desktop.) Up till now, I've never owned a dedicated gaming pc, just PCs that I happened to play games on. This was a great first gaming rig, it was worth the money. Highly recommended!

I apologize for the pictures not being amazing, but here they are:

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Edited by Bolt II - 01 Apr 2014 at 10:12am
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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ArkansasWoman777 View Drop Down
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  Quote ArkansasWoman777 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 01 Apr 2014 at 10:28am
Nice review, the bolt II looks amazing
"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 Snaike Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 02 Apr 2014 at 12:12am
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  Quote Dakota Red Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 02 Apr 2014 at 8:03am
Welcome to the Digital Storm Community. Game On!  Awesome
Performance matters. Non-Performance is not an option.
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  Quote fstcvc Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 02 Apr 2014 at 8:16am
Congrats on your new sweet rig!!
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 Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 02 Apr 2014 at 2:49pm
Thank you for posting your review.
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  Quote M1keILL Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 13 Apr 2014 at 11:40am
What are your temps like on idle and on load for the card and cpu?
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  Quote retirednavysnipe Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 14 Apr 2014 at 5:55am
Hailstorm Black Ops
I7 3930K 4.5GHZ
16GB 1600MHZ ram
2 x GTX 680
120 GB SSD, 1 TB hardrive
Fully liquid cooled CPU, GPU and chipset.
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  Quote kriscahya Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 14 Apr 2014 at 9:51am
wow great review, can't wait for my bolt 2 arrive, but since I live outside US, during config I had to replace 760 to 750, and no second harddrive but manage to add asus maximus impact with i5 and watercooling.

really want to go just by default with 760 but custom and shipping to my country will be expensive

I'm guessing mini itx casing are in trend now,some peeps want pc fit in their living room next to their big screen led tv. and bolt 2 has great design
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  Quote DustyRH Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 14 Apr 2014 at 4:51pm
Congrats!!!   
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  Quote Seafoam Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Jun 2014 at 1:56pm
PC SPECS:

- Intel Core i7 4930k 3.4Ghz
- ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition
- 16 GB DDR3 1866MHz Corsair Vengeance Pro
- 750W Corsair
- Samsung 250 GB SSD
- 1TB Storage
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3 GB
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