The Velocity Micro Raptor eS40 case makes the case for the PC in the living room.
I don’t know much about raptors apart from the fact that they can open doors and seem like absolute predators. I suppose Velocity Micro’s Raptor eS40 desktop is not actively trying to kill me, but it is a pint-sized machine that will surprise you with its performance. So I guess it’s like a raptor.
Velocity Micro is equipped with an overclocked Intel Core i9 10900K chip, 32 GB Crucial Ballistix RGB DDR4-3200 RAM, a Samsung 970 Pro 1TB SSD and a 4TB storage hard drive, and finally an Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 10 GB graphics card. This specific configuration costs $3,400, but you can choose from a variety of Intel and AMD specifications starting at $1,300.
There’s a lot to like about this premium build, especially if you’re looking to run games like Cyberpunk 2077 or Assassin’s Creed Valhalla at a steady frame rate with all the bells and graphics whistles increased to the maximum. I would prefer a larger SSD instead of a 4TB hard drive because the Samsung 970 Pro 1TB will fill up fast.
It should also be noted that Velocity Micro has confirmed that they are available on the RTX 30-series for custom orders, so if you are in the market for a new GPU, this is a way to buy one.
I like the new NX2 chassis design; it is clean, sleek and doesn’t look cramped like other small shells and it looks like it also has better airflow than other small shells. The pull-out handle is a smart touch, especially if you are planning to use this device as a portable workstation. It has CPU and RAM performance to run all the non-gaming-related tasks you want in one workstation.
The symbol eS stands for esports, which makes sense. The weight and size of the system is very attractive, especially if you have a dozen of these, you need to set up pretty quickly for the tournament. It moves well at 15 lbs and the pop-up handle is something I’d like to see in smaller cases. If you plan to move the system multiple places, you may want to skip the side panel with glass strength for safety. Although you will miss the dark indigo blue RGB light coming from RAM and four fans, that’s how I feel.
I wish there was something that could be done with two long CPU cables because every other cable is neatly tied and concealed to avoid entanglement. Perhaps a small rack to loop them under the top of the box will cause the wire to be out of sight. This may well just be something that bothers me specifically, but it is a small nitpick on another compact, lovely design that it’s pretty safe.
Playing games on Raptor doesn’t disappoint, too; RTX 3080 delivers impressive results as expected. This is the third system I’ve used with the RTX 3080 inside and I’m still beaten by the frame rate: an average of more than 140 frames per second on our games at 1080p, 112 frames per second at 1440p and 65 frames per second at 4K. Seeing scores above 155 frames per second on systems like Total War and Gears Tactics is very impressive.
Of course, these numbers have turned off ray detection. Pop-up, we’ve achieved some big frame rate hits in games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Watch Dogs Legion, which hover at an average of 20 seconds at 4K. Thankfully, tia tracking gaming at 1080p and 1440p produces better results, but not as high as we’d expect. So you’ll need some adjustments if you don’t want to play your game with RTX. Cyberpunk 2077 requires more than we expected, although turning on DLSS has made playing in 4K more pleasant.
The smaller NX2 case makes velocity micro an ideal living room gaming PC. It fits perfectly with one of the blank preferences on my TV rack currently being reserved for PS5 or Xbox Series X (to be honest, any of the ones that are in line, I don’t care at this point). The TV I have at home is the LG UHD Series 55 inch UK6500 which has 4K HDR at 60Hz (and 120hz at 1080p). Playing Cyberpunk 2077 and Dragon Quest XI on the big 4K screen on my couch almost made me forget that most likely I won’t find a next-generation panel until sometime next year.
However, with this powerful PC, you may feel limited by the average refresh rate of the TV. Using V-sync to lock frame rate to 60 or 120 frames per second is a disappointing thing when you know that RTX 3080 can do better.
So, it’s versatile: The perfect size for a PC in the living room, but with enough power to work for professionals and gamers with high-end screens.