Digital Storm Aventum X Assessment: The Lamborghini of Gaming PCs

"Digital Storm's Aventum X offers agile performance in an artfully crafted package."

  • Insanely fast performance

  • Beautiful all-glass side walls

  • Excellent upgradeability and repair ability

  • Abundance of ports

  • Customized heat management with liquid cooling

  • NVLink and ray tracing potential not yet exhausted

  • Outrageously expensive

The fascination with Digital Storms Aventum X is not just about performance. You can find a similar level of premium performance elsewhere, probably at cheaper prices. Aventum X is about style.

As the Lamborghini of gaming PCs, the Aventum X offers agile performance in a package that highlights the technology inside and the exterior design. The Aventum X is an overdeveloped PC that celebrates gamers masterfully and is equipped with two Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards, an unlocked 9th generation Octa-Core Intel Core i9 processor and a custom HydroLux Pro liquid cooling system.

The Aventum X has been specially tailored to individual needs and costs from $ 3,365. Our updated configuration costs as much as a used car from $ 9,503. However, if you have the money to throw away, the Aventum X offers an unbridled performance that you will envy any player.

A custom job

As with the Aventum 3 before, there's no denying that the Aventum X is built like a tank, and the towering stature of the desktop is needed to absorb the crazy power that goes into this rig. The X is similar in size to the Aventum 3 and is 28.5 inches tall, 25.8 inches long and 10.5 inches deep. It is one of the larger full size desktops. Both units can be configured with similar performance levels, but the X improves the tower design of the 3 and replaces the glass and metal panel design with two all-glass side windows that provide an unobstructed view of the inside of the device. This small design change gives the Aventum X a more modern feel despite its box-shaped body. It's a thing of beauty.

Chuong Nguyen / Digital Trends

Digital Storm's online configuration tool offers numerous options for customizing the exterior coating, cladding and interior components. Our test device comes with a matt black finish, a front panel in exotic Storm Blue paint and two tinted side walls made of tempered glass, which present the HyrdoLux liquid cooling system. The see-through design lets you take a look at the dazzling components like the GPU card and intricate LED lighting while concealing some of the less glamorous parts like the cable management system.

Given the weight and size of the Aventum X, we want Digital Storm to add some ergonomic features like handles or wheels to make it easier to maneuver. It's not an easy task to get this past the porch. Once you've set it up, you'll be impressed with the LED light show behind the glass windows.

Once you've set it up, you'll be impressed with the LED light show behind the glass windows.

Our updated device comes with an Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero motherboard with an Intel Core i9-9900K processor and two Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics with SLI NVLink, making the system both VR and ray tracing capable. If you need even more power, you can upgrade to Dual Nvidia Titan RTX graphics or add an HPC processor for more demanding tasks. Adding three Nvidia GP100 GPGPUs will add an additional $ 23,520 to the configuration, which will impact your overall cost on luxury cars.

The total cost of your Aventum build increases dramatically depending on the upgrades you want. Factory CPU overclocking increases costs by $ 99. Digital Storm also offers cable management options, airflow control, internal lighting, fan selection and various cooling system upgrades. Our updated $ 760 HydroLux Pro upgrade offers cooling for two graphics cards along with the processor.

The cooling air intake is via the ventilation slots on the back, and four LED-illuminated fans on each side of the device support the airflow. Another three fans help push hot air out through the grille openings at the top, creating a total of 11 fans. Thanks to the pre-installed HydroLux Control Center software, you can even connect the LED lighting to the thermal system to quickly visually check the system performance by looking at the tower.

Peek under the hood

Although the Aventum X lacks the curves and shaped angles that contour pre-built competitor rigs, the device feels very modern thanks in large part to the two large glass panels that occupy the entire sides of the tower.

The saying that beauty is just as important on the inside as it is on the outside applies to the design of Aventum X. The large windows make the internal technology and technology part of the overall design. Here, Digital Storm made the circuits and components a functional part of the aesthetics of the tower. And because you can see the entire PC, the company has taken great care in cable management to make everything look neat. The pipes that provide liquid cooling look like a portal to the mushroom kingdom.

Chuong Nguyen / Digital Trends

If you need access to the internals, removing the glass panels is a matter of no tools – each window is secured with four large knurled screws. I noticed a small scratch on the hairline in one of the glass panes from the box. While this minor defect did not affect the Aventum X's performance in any way, we wished for a device so expensive that Digital Storm would better cover the glass with plastic wrap to avoid scratches during shipping.

Liquid cooling is the star of the show. If you have never used a liquid-cooled PC, you may be shocked if you are greeted by the sound of dripping water when you turn on the PC. The noise disappears after warming up, but there is something to be aware of. The HydroLux cooling system from Digital Storm not only looks fantastic, it also provides excellent cooling.

The saying that beauty is just as important on the inside as it is on the outside applies to the design of Aventum X.

If you need to upgrade the motherboard or graphics cards, the HydroLux Pro cooling system has isolation valves at key junctions to make disassembly easy. Other components, such as the 32 GB DDR4 G.Skill TridentX RAM, the 1 TB M.2 Samsung 970 Pro NVME solid-state drive, a 6 TB 7200 rpm hard drive and a 1200 W Corsair AX1200i power supply in our device, can also be updated. The device also has eight storage spaces.

Our device came with two RTX 2080 Ti cards, but the Aventum X supports up to four graphics cards. Origin PC's Genesis desktop is closest to a competitor with a quad GPU setup. Given the performance of a single RTX 2080 Ti card alone, a setup with four graphics cards would be too much of a good thing for most users. Still, it's nice to know that the Aventum X can be upgraded infinitely, so you can add or replace existing components as the technology advances.

While there are no shortages in this system, access to the rear-facing ports can be difficult, requiring you to bend or reach back for the size of the device. Fortunately, after connecting your main supports – like power and display outputs – you have easy access to two USB-A ports, one USB-C port, two audio jacks, and a full-size SD card slot at the top.

Chuong Nguyen / Digital Trends

On the back of each of our GeForce RTX 2080 Ti cards, we had access to three DisplayPorts, a single HDMI port and a USB-C port for connecting monitors or VR headsets. You can access other HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C ports through the motherboard itself. You'll also find five high-speed USB-A ports, two USB 2.0 ports, one serial port, one Ethernet port, WiFi antenna ports, and your audio input and output ports.

Agile performance

The Aventum X is equipped with some of the best specs on the market and has the performance required for excellent performance. The processing power corresponds to systems that are configured similarly with the Core i9-9900K CPU of the 9th generation from Intel, such as B. the Asys ROG Strix GL12CX. Both systems delivered similar Geekbench results for single and multi-core benchmarks, and the 9th generation processor is more powerful for multi-core tasks than the Falcon NW Tiki, which is below 6,500 points. However, this is to be expected as the Falcon NW Tiki is a compact desktop that comes with an older Intel Core i7-8700K processor.

This difference in performance is noticeable in our video coding test with handbrake. When we encoded a short video file, the Aventum X and the Core i9 Asus ROG Strix GL12CX were able to do the job in less than 1 minute and 20 seconds. The Falcon NW Tiki lasted more than twice as long.

The fast performance of the Aventum X is further supported by the use of a 1 TB solid-state drive. Although the drive supplied in our system is not the most spacious of the systems we tested – this honor goes to the Falcon Tiki – the SSD of the Aventum is still fast. The Samsung 970 EVO Pro in our device clearly outperforms the Samsung 960 EVO SSD on the Digital Storm Equinox in both reading and writing performance. However, it is still a bit slower than the Falcon Tiki's Intel SSD and reaches 1,444 and 1,249 read and write speeds compared to the 2,867 and 1,504 markers on the Falcon Tiki, respectively.

Like its predecessor, the Aventum X can be configured with either AMD or Intel processors. If you want to get the most out of your device, you can add up to 128 GB of DDR RAM, either a standard 4 TB solid-state drive or a 2 TB SSD in M.2 form factor, and up to eight additional ones Add drives.

Turbocharger graphics

Where the Aventum X shines is thanks to its multi-GPU support in the graphics department. Our device is configured with two Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards, each with 11 GB of video RAM, which deliver the highest 3DMark results of all systems tested so far.

Compared to the graphics tests from Underwriters Laboratories, the Aventum X leaves the Asus ROG Strix with its single RTX 2080 GPU and older dual GTX 1080 GPU systems like the Alienware Area-51 R5 in the dust. Although the dual-card setup of the Aventum X certainly did not produce results that were twice as high in every benchmark as those of the Strix, the flagship of Digital Storm did 20 percent better than the Strix in the Sky Diver test Fire Strike by 46 percent and more than 100 percent better with Time Spy. This is impressive.

The two Aventum graphics cards are connected by Nvidia's SLI NVLink bridge, which theoretically offers impressive performance thanks to a latency architecture. However, the performance increase is not nearly as big outside of the benchmarks, as not many games currently support NVLink. Players will only be able to use the potential of a NVLink-bridged multi-GPU setup immediately after the developers have added support, similar to the ray tracing function for RTX graphics.

Players can only take advantage of the potential of a NVLink-bridged multi-GPU setup when developers add support

In gaming benchmarks, titles such as Civilization VI and Rocket League performed just as well with the single-GPU setup of the Asus ROG Strix as with the dual-GPU configuration of the Aventum X. Given the impressive performance of the high-end card from Nvidia im In general, the similarities in results are not worrying from a performance perspective. However, this just means that you won't make any profits on the additional GPU that costs around $ 1,199.

On the other hand, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided did better on our dual GPU system. Here, the Aventum X outperforms the Strix's single GPU setup at high settings by 1080p at high settings by more than 50 percent, and the difference is more than 100 percent when playing the game in 4K with ultra performance.

Similarly, the Aventum X was able to displace competing systems in our Battlefield I test. Compared to the ROG Strix GL12CX, the Aventum X delivered 75 percent more frames per second when the game was played in 4K with the highest possible settings. At lower 2K settings, when the game was played at medium settings, the Aventum X outperformed the ROG Strix by 26 percent. In other words, the potential of the Aventum X becomes clearer when the system is stressed.

Titles like Fortnite and Battlefield V look buttery soft, but that shouldn't surprise anyone. We decided to take the toughest game test we could: Battlefield V with ray tracing. Then the Aventum X flexed its muscles. Compared to our single RTX 2080 benchmark, the dual RTX 2080 Ti cards on our Aventum X showed only a small noticeable loss of frame rates when Battlefield V was played with up to 2K resolutions at 60 Hz and activated ray tracing. And although you won't get a 100 percent improvement in doubling the number of graphics cards, we've found that when the system is loaded, the Aventum X does not slow down as much as a single RTX setup.

But not even the Aventum X could stay above 60 FPS in 4K when the ray tracing function was activated. That could change if DLSS anti-aliasing found the way to more games, but it could take a while too.

Creative people who want to take the Aventum X into their work will be pleased to know that video editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CC was similarly snappy. Nevertheless, the Aventum X and other multi-GPU systems do not make sense for most people in view of the high price for stickers and the only slight improvement in performance compared to single RTX setups, especially since there are currently so few games available that support Ray Racing . Until more games and applications support the functions of Nvidia's RTX graphics and unleash the potential behind the faster NVLink bridge, the dual GPU setup remains somewhat exaggerated. In the future? Who knows – maybe so much power has a stronger use case.

guarantee

Although Digital Storm's limited three-year warranty appears to match competitors' offerings, reading between the lines shows a different story because parts and labor are subject to separate regulations. The warranty only covers labor costs for three years, while defective parts only have a one-year limited warranty. However, some parts may have a longer warranty depending on the component manufacturer.

Given the cost of the Aventum X, users may want to choose Digital Storm's optional extended warranty upgrades. Like the basic package, these extended warranty plans include staggered parts and work periods. Some competing boutique PC manufacturers offer more generous and straightforward guarantees. For example, Falcon-NW offers a three-year warranty on parts and labor, while Origin PC on its Genesis system offers a generous lifetime warranty and a one-year warranty on parts.

Our opinion

The Aventum X is a gaming rig that feels larger than life. The Aventum X is designed to meet the needs of the enthusiastic gaming community and supports the latest Intel Core i9-9900K processor, up to four graphics cards and up to three HPC processors. It is the most powerful desktop we have tested. Digital Storm starts at $ 3,365 and offers exceptional build quality and more performance than most gamers actually use or need in this overdeveloped PC. If you need speed, you should be willing to pay a high premium for all upgrade options to fully equip this rig.

Is there a better alternative?

While you can configure other bespoke PCs with specifications similar to our Aventum X tester with two GPUs, none can match the performance and capabilities of Digital Storm's flagship with the support of HPC processors. Our $ 9,503 test device, for example, is $ 1,845 more expensive than a similarly configured Falcon NW Mach V with an Exotix finish. You won't find any clear glass on the Mach V, so the Falcon Northwest design hides the inside rather than showcasing it.

If you don't need a dual GPU setup, the HP Omen Obelisk comes with a large single-glass sidewall and can be configured with up to a single RTX 2080 GPU from $ 1,999. Given that most games are still unable to realize the potential of an NVLink-bridged multi-GPU setup, using a single GPU setup can eliminate the need for more complex liquid cooling designs and save you a lot of money.

The Asus ROG Strix GL12CX, which comes with a slightly weaker 9th generation Intel Core i7-9700K processor and a single RTX 2080 GPU, costs $ 3,299, but comes with a mechanical keyboard and mouse. Asus' prices are more comparable to those of the basic Aventum X. For a similar price, the entry-level Aventum X has weaker specifications that include a single GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, making it more expensive and bulky compared to the Strix. Compared to our updated test device, the Strix makes up a third of the price and offers similar performance in most situations.

With support for four liquid-cooled GPUs and two all-glass side panels, Genesis from Origin PC is the closest competitor to the Aventum X. With a configuration similar to that of our Aventum X, the Genesis costs $ 8,203, $ 1,300 less than Digital Storm . The Genesis comes with a more generous lifelong labor guarantee, but is insufficient in terms of sheer performance. It only has five slots instead of the eight on the Aventum X and doesn't come with factory overclocking options or HPC support.

How long it will take?

For serious gamers who want to stick to their investments in the long run, the Aventum X offers the potential and performance you get for years of gaming. It is equipped with the latest processor from Intel and comes with two of the most powerful consumer graphics cards from Nvidia. The more games unlock the potential of Nvidia's RTX series cards such as ray tracing and advanced AI-based rendering, the more the Aventum X will show its value as a future-proof system that you can buy today for tomorrow's games. And when newer components arrive, the Aventum X offers plenty of room for upgrades.

Should you buy it

The Aventum X is an incredibly powerful PC that doesn't slow down no matter what you throw at it. By making the most powerful PC, Digital Storm has made the Aventum X unaffordable for most gamers. If you have the money, the Aventum X is, despite all its excesses and decadence, an unrivaled performance in an attractive design that will not make you want more. Until developers add NVLink and ray tracing support, the Aventum X remains a beautifully expensive proof of concept that shows the potential for the future of gaming.

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