Xopher Reed

Xidax X-4 Gaming PC – Review

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profileEvery once in awhile, there are products that come across the review desk here at WatchPlayRead, and honestly they’re one of the few things that I get to do around here that make me still feel relevant after oh so many years. So first things first, this is a review product provided to us at WPR with the assumption that we return it after a few weeks, so don’t think that anything that I say that’s buttery towards the fine folks at Xidax (local to WPR HQ here in Utah) is being paid for. These are the opinions of me solely based on a great product.

If you’ve never read a review here before, we always like to make it a little more interesting than here’s said product, here’s what its got in it, here’s the cost, blah blah blah…honestly you can get a review like that anywhere that you go. Every review has a story behind it and to be frank, this one is a doozy.

RECEIPT

About 2 weeks ago I heard from one of my contacts at Xidax about if we want to do a review of one of their X-4 that’s launching soon and of course I couldn’t say no to them as we’ve reviewed a couple of their other rigs in the past. After finally getting back to them the package came in (while I was at the Clark Kent job) and I heard nothing but complaints from my neighbors who had to sign for it and a wife who thought the box was too heavy, which it’s not considering what was inside.

I open the package the next day and there it was, another box.

Admit it, you giggled.

Upon opening the other box, the one surrounded by packaging materials as to protect the sanctity of a piece of hardware that would take a year’s worth of beer money for me to replace, I noticed on the outside that there was a puncture mark on the box itself but no damage inside…thank goodness. I go to lift the PC out of the inner box and immediately notice that when I went to stand up the micro tower, that something shifted internally. I know from experience with a LOT of computers over the years that NOTHING is supposed to move like that in a well put together machine.

damage

Through the cooling fan, I could see that it was something connected to the motherboard so I thought at first ah, maybe just the RAM came loose or maybe the graphics card came unseated. No, it was much worse it was the CPU heatsink and fan assembly that was sitting on top of the Intel Core i7-6700K (4 core @ 4.00 GHZ), which from my Internet Matlock-ery could see that it cost around $360 brand new, and for anyone that knows PC guts, is the most important part of the internals. I didn’t want to screw anything up and was seriously starting to panic.

Immediately, I got into contact with Xidax and they notified me that their policy is to send out a return label while they rush build and ship you another unit as to not take any chances with the system. It turns out that people in the PC building world know how rough their systems can be treated by UPS and so this wasn’t anything new to them. What’s most shocking to me is that this isn’t a part that I’d expect to see come off unless someone was being completely dickish to the brown box they had to deliver.

I can imagine it now, some guy at UPS gets mad that this box weighs more than a few ounces so he throws his aggression at tossing the package around the warehouse and onto my delivery driver’s truck. Sad really when you think about it.

Anyways, considering the fact that I’m sending it back in a week or so anyways and the review needed to be done without delay, I was able to talk via Facebook Messenger with my contact and a few of the techies on site to see what I could do to remedy the problem. I’ve fixed computers before and built ones from scratch and it wasn’t as simple as just putting it back on and going ta-daa since there were a few bent vanes in the heatsink and the tension clip that holds the whole assembly onto the CPU was completely bent the wrong way.

Finally with the problem fixed I was all set to spend the next few hours with the rig in full test mode…only I didn’t get a hell of a lot of time to do so as real life sometimes gets in the way…which is why this will be my first impressions with the X-4.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Xidax is gunning for this to be an Xbox One/Project Scorpio/PS4/PS4K killer and considering all of the little birds in the console world have been chirping about yearly console hardware upgrades it makes no sense to me except for first party games (of which duh Xbox has slowly been evolving into a Windows 10 PC for the last couple of years anyways), as to why you wouldn’t just future-proof yourself (I know there’s no such thing forever) but with the X-4, you can easily stay on top of the pile of crushed consoles over the next 5-6 years…which isn’t bad if you figure how much money you save buying games through Steam (we’re all big fans of BTW) instead of one console specific discs @ $60 a pop brand new, and not having to buy a newer faster console every year.

What makes me say that this is a pretty “future-proof” console? It’s not the CPU, it’s not the MOBO, it’s not the RAM, it’s the graphics card in particular that struck me. The mad scientists have managed to stuff a full sized NVIDIA GTX 1080 into this small form factor. We’re talking a full-on 8GB of GDDR5X VRAM that clocks in around 1,600mHz and can be overclocked easily with no worries.

For those that might be saying “so what” about this one video card…my friends, keep in mind that with a card that powerful we’re talking 4k gaming at around 200Hz WITH everything in the configuration screen of your favorite AAA game maxed the hell out. Most gamers I’d wager don’t even have the monitor that can handle such an insane video card.

I’m looking for something to keep me from ever looking at a console in the future and the X-4 that I’ve got will be the death knell of me ever being a console peasant again.

For right now, only a few days into messing with the unit, I’ve hooked it up in my living room (behind my TV) hooked up to my 4k TV via HDMI and have started playing a few of my games with things as maxed out as possible and one thing is quickly becoming apparent…I need some new games to actually challenge this system. This computer is made for Steam in Big Picture mode and so far has been a blast to go back through some of my favorites like most of the Valve series and of course Skyrim, Batman Arkham series, just to name a few.

There’s nothing that I can throw at this rig for it to have even the slightest hiccup, and what’s really really great is that it’s quite as a first-date fart. Not calling this system anything related to the internal machinations of the human gut flora, but seriously it’s literally silent but deadly.

WHAT ELSE?

The system of course uses the most recent Windows 10 as an OS to run everything, and comes with a 512GB SSD for most of the stuff you’ll want to run, and a 1TB WD Blue HDD for all your non-speedy access storage. It’s also equipped with 16GB of DD4 RAM and a slim Panasonic BD-R drive.

There are all sorts of other bells and whistles that you can put into this machine as ours is in no way maxed out (close but not completely) and comes in around $2400 for the unit we have…but I don’t see how it gets much more expensive considering the highest cost in the whole system come from the GPU and CPU, you know, the important things.

For those who are wondering, YES this system is absolutely VR ready. I could list every single port on the front and back of this machine but I’ll let you look for yourselves…which is very impressive as the overall dimensions for this guy are 4.21 inches x 13.82 inches x 14.8 inches. The solid black color scheme with the pop-out Xidax green X and logo are just enough flair without becoming overpowering.

FINAL WORDS

Hell, what else can I possibly say about this PC? It’s fast, spooky fast without being a statistic queen. You know the type of person I’m talking about too, one those folks that build 3x GTX 1080 video card systems with 64GB RAM just for giggles with tons of watercooling…not bashing on them either because I’ve seen firsthand that Xidax can build you one of the most insane systems you could hope for…for the right price. But in all seriousness, there’s nothing out on the market right now that can cause a single hiccup on this computer, I even ran a couple of video/audio rendering programs at it as I podcast/YouTube and there wasn’t anything that slowed this beast down.

I’m constantly amazed at the range of systems that the folks at Xidax keep coming up with and will gladly be writing reviews of their stuff as long as they’ll have me. The saddest bit is that I have to turn them back in after playing with them…I’m keeping the damn t-shirt though. You hear me Colton and Zack? They’re MIIIIIIINE.

There’s one final thing that I must remind you of. Xidax stands alone with their warranty where they offer a lifetime parts for the computers they build. Ten years on from using your computer and the CPU fries through no fault of your own? It’s covered! A hard drive has a fault and stops spinning? Covered. For something that you’re investing quite a bit of money into, it’s always good to know that you’re covered.

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