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Shootouts

Small form factor gaming desktop shootout: Punching above their weight

By Koh Wanzi - 28 Oct 2017,3:23pm

Introduction

Honey, I shrunk the desktops!

Looking for something small and powerful?

Smaller, slimmer, faster. That’s what everyone is trying to do today, and it’s a push that encompasses everything from consumer laptops to gaming desktops. NVIDIA’s Max-Q technology made it possible to put a GeForce GTX 1080 into a thin and portable design, and there’s been a similar effort to take a shrink ray to things on the desktop front.

Today’s small form factor PCs pack a ton of power into diminutive packages, and they’ll sit quite happily on even the most space-challenged desk. Certain folks may still prefer a hulking full tower PC, but the reality is that you don’t need to sacrifice power for a smaller footprint anymore.

The Zotac Magnus EN1070K is so small that it barely resembles a PC, but it is capable of blowing many a gaming notebook out of the water. Then there are systems like the Aftershock Impulse V2, which can take up to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, making it as powerful as any PC that requires three times the space.

However, it can be a little confusing when it comes to deciding which system to get, a task complicated by the fact that there are companies like Aftershock and Dreamcore in play. The latter two let you choose custom components from various hardware manufacturers, and it can be a little tough for the layman to decipher the difference between, say, an H110 and B250 motherboard.

On the other hand, brands like ASUS make things simpler by giving you fewer configurations to choose from.    

That said, we’ve put together models from Aftershock, ASUS, Dreamcore, and Zotac to help you decide which machine is best for you.

Even if you do have the luxury of a sprawling desk, you might still appreciate being able to keep your desk looking cleaner and clutter-free with a smaller PC. 

Test desktops compared
  Aftershock Impulse V2 ASUS ROG GR8 II Dreamcore One Zotac Magnus EN1070K
  Aftershock Impulse V2 ASUS ROG GR8 II Dreamcore One Zotac Magnus EN1070K
Launch SRP
  • From S$1840
  • From S$2149
  • From S$2320
  • From S$2437
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel Core i7-7500 (3.4GHz, 6MB L3 cache)
  • Intel H110 chipset
  • Intel Core i7-7700 (3.6GHz, 8MB L3 cache)
  • Intel H110 chipset
  • Intel Core i7-7500 (3.4GHz, 6MB L3 cache)
  • Intel B250 chipset
  • Intel Core i5-7500T (2.7GHz, 6MB L3 cache)
  • Intel B150 chipset
Operating System
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
  • Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
Memory
  • 8GB DDR4-2400
  • 16GB DDR4-2400
  • 8GB DDR4-2133
  • 8GB DDR4-2133
Storage
  • Western Digital Green 120GB SSD
  • HGST Travelstar 7K1000 7,200RPM 1TB HDD
  • SK Hynix 256GB SATA SSD
  • HGST Travelstar 7K1000 7,200RPM 1TB HDD
  • Samsung 850 EVO M.2 250GB SSD
  • HGST Travelstar 7K1000 7,200RPM 1TB HDD
  • Samsung 850 EVO M.2 500GB SSD
  • HGST Travelstar 7K1000 7,200RPM 1TB HDD
Video
  • Zotac GeForce GTX 1070 Mini
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
  • MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Aero ITX 8G OC
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
Networking / Communication
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160
  • Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
  • Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V
  • Qualcomm Atheros QCA1x4A Wireless Network Adapter
  • Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160
  • 2x Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller
I/O Ports
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) front
  • 1x PS/2
  • 1x DVI-D
  • 1x HDMI
  • 4x USB 2.0
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1)
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN port
  • HD Audio Jacks: Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) front
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1)
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C
  • 2x HDMI
  • 1x DisplayPort
  • 1x RJ45 LAN
  • 1x Kensington Lock
  • 1x DC-in
  • 1x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 1x Audio Jack(s) (Speaker out)
  • 1x DisplayPort
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x LAN (RJ45)
  • 4x USB 3.1 (Gen 1)
  • 2x USB 2.0
  • 5x Audio jack(s)
  • 1x Wi-Fi antenna port(s)
  • 2x USB 3.1
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2)
  • 2x USB 2.0
  • Dual Gigabit LAN
Dimensions
  • 235 x 328 x 120mm
  • 281.3 x 299 x 88mm
  • 330 x 215 x 63mm
  • 210 x 203 x 62.2mm

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