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The Swiss Military Knife Of Gaming PCs

Yesterday, I revealed some information in regards to the launch of system integrator CLX’s new Intel-based dual-PC, the mighty Hathor. The primary of its form, in accordance with CLX. For the uninformed, we’re speaking about two PCs in a single, eliminating the necessity to run two standalone computer systems when gaming and streaming on the identical time.

I’ve spent a couple of week with a completely spec’d out evaluate unit, and whereas it’s undoubtedly a distinct segment product aimed toward a really particular phase of the gaming/streaming market, I believe it’s price a severe look, if just for the plain ambition behind the construct.

First off, the Hathor is an insanely heavy piece of tech gear. I wouldn’t say that’s stunning, given how jam-packed with parts the Lian Li chassis is. As an example, it’s obtained two separate energy provides put in to energy two separate CPUs. There’s additionally the impartial NUC unit with accompanying mini-board, which takes up all the backside portion of the motherboard space. All of that’s mixed with the same old part suspects like an enormous GPU (GeForce RTX 4080 Founders Version, on this case), a 1TB OS drive, a 4TB dump HDD, a 4K Elgato seize card and sufficient cooling followers to supply a clear runway takeoff for a literal jet, in all probability.

For these , right here’s the complete spec listing:

CLX Hathor, Major Unit

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-13900K
  • CPU Cooler: Phanteks Glacier One 360MPH White
  • Motherboard: ASUS STRIX Z690M-G Gaming D5
  • Reminiscence: 32GB Kingston Fury Black RGB
  • OS Drive: 1TB Samsung 980 PRO PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Storage Drive: 4TB Western Digital HDD 256MB Cache
  • Video: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Founders Version 16GD6X
  • Chassis: Lian Li O11D Dynamic XL ROG White
  • Chassis Followers: Gamdias Aeolus M2 1201R White RGB
  • Energy Provide: 1000W EVGA SuperNova Gold G5
  • Energy Provide Cables: Cablemod Black Cable Package for EVGA PSUs
  • Working System: Microsoft Home windows 11 Residence 64 Bit

CLX Hathor, Secondary Streaming Unit

  • Intel Compute Component 12
  • CPU: Intel Core i9 12900
  • Reminiscence: 16GB Essential DDR4 3200MHz SODIMM
  • OS Drive: 1TB Samsung 980 PRO PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Seize Card: El Gato 4K60 Professional
  • Energy Provide: 750W EVGA SuperNova GT Gold
  • Energy Provide Cables: Cablemod Black Cable Package for EVGA PSUs
  • Working System: Microsoft Home windows 11 Residence 64 Bit

The chunky system arrived in what CLX calls its Sarcophagus crate, which itself added many extra kilos to the bundle, punishing my poor, aching again as I by some means managed to tug it the place it wanted to go. I’d suggest bribing a really robust good friend with In-N-Out for this arduous course of, particularly in case your Hathor must—god forbid—make it up some stairs.

The excellent news is that the picket crate protected the PC superbly throughout transit. The Hathor was cozily located inside a heavy obligation cardboard field inside the protecting Sarcophagus, padded with loads of insulating foam as well, each in and out. Upon eradicating all the inside foam from the chassis, I couldn’t discover any cracked glass, damaged elements or free parts. That’s a win for CLX, and possibly for UPS. I’ve had PCs present up with their glass panels utterly shattered, however not this time.

The Lian Li O11D Dynamic XL ROG case (in a glossy white colorway) is easy and spectacular. It’s obtained a brushed aluminum panel up entrance that homes separate energy buttons for the principle 13900K gaming processor and the secondary 12900 NUC, so you possibly can independently boot them up at will. It’s additionally obtained 4 USB-A ports, two towards the highest and two towards the underside of the panel. Lastly, there’s each microphone and headphone jacks, in addition to buttons to bodily management the unit’s inside RGB lighting.

Regardless of the stuffy tempered glass panels displaying off all of the parts, the chassis may be very nicely vented, with perforation throughout many of the surrounding strong paneling. Ten completely different RGB followers aide the customized CLX Phanteks AIO in maintaining the machine working clean and funky, and in all of my testing, all the things appeared to be doing its job swimmingly. No bizarre bottlenecks or throttling.

So far as normal construct high quality goes, I believe CLX did a wonderful job. Cable administration is strong and there isn’t a single little bit of shoddy set up to talk of. I do want an identical white GPU had been included, because the silver and black 4080 clashes with the in any other case ubiquitous white theming.

The ASUS STRIX Z690M-G Gaming D5 motherboard isn’t the final word motherboard by any means, however it’s obtained loads of what you may want, together with three completely different M.2 slots for quick storage and as much as 6E wi-fi connectivity. What’s fascinating is that, as a result of it is a dual-PC setup, the NUC and the Z690-G each have enter panels alongside the again of the Hathor. Mainly, you get double the inputs (USB, ethernet, and so on.) since you’re actually working two PCs.

So what’s the Hathor like to make use of? Nicely, I’d say that in case you’ve by no means used a double PC setup earlier than, one thing just like the Hathor takes some getting used to. I initially thought I’d must hook up two units of peripherals, however after monitoring down the Microsoft software program Mouse With out Borders, I used to be in a position to share a single keyboard and mouse throughout each PCs and displays. Superb!

For a dual-PC beginner like me, the entire expertise was an absolute journey. The NUC has its personal processor and 16GB of DDR4 reminiscence, so working a stream (or every other utility, actually) on the second monitor whereas concurrently gaming on the 13900K was a fantastic, seamless expertise. And this was with video games like Cyberpunk and Forza Horizon working on max graphics settings with regular (and sometimes above) 60fps in 4K over on the first monitor! CPU and GPU temps stayed utterly cheap, too. It’s a sort of darkish magic and I can’t get sufficient.

General, I’ve been critically having fun with the all-on-one powerhouse nature of the Hathor, even when on the finish of the day, it stubbornly stays a wierd, bespoke product.

Do I like to recommend the Hathor to the common PC gamer and content material creator? Maybe not. For those who simply wish to recreation in 4K at ridiculous graphics settings and possibly edit YouTube content material on the aspect, you possibly can simply configure one in every of CLX’s different machines with a 4080 or 4090 and loads of reminiscence for infinite gaming and creation choices. The Hathor can be overkill for this sort of shopper, who is healthier off sticking to a standalone gaming PC.

Nevertheless, in case you’re already falling deep into the streaming/content material creation rabbit gap and will really profit from off-loading a bulk of the encoding, rendering and normal grunt work to a different PC in real-time, then the Hathor might doubtlessly match that invoice like a glove. All of the whereas growing gaming efficiency and decreasing the litter in your desk in an enormous manner, too. That mentioned, I wouldn’t counsel placing this beast on high of a desk essentially, until it’s made from pure titanium. That is extra of an under-desk operation, I’d say.

Clearly with a 4080 and 13900K, the Hathor can deal with any recreation you throw at it with flying colours. Add the useful NUC into that equation and you could have the final word streaming (or normally, multi-tasking) PC. Using a single set of peripherals for each machines, with the ability to drag information and transfer the mouse cursor throughout displays, is just the icing on the cake.

CLX didn’t present precise pricing for this particular mannequin, however I’d think about it’s pushing $5,000, as a minimum. Plus, pricing is relative to what you place within the chassis, and that can alter relying on what goodies you resolve to incorporate via the web site configurator.

Verdict? Price it for severe streamers and a surprising achievement in part consolidation, however players who solely wish to recreation could also be higher off trying elsewhere.

Disclosure: CLX supplied a evaluate unit for protection functions.

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