Alan Smithee

Xidax X-4 Review

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It’s a rare occasion for me to be able to review tech without actually having to purchase the item myself and only then after spending 20-30 hours deciding on exactly what it is I’m buying. Thankfully our friends at Xidax threw me a curveball that pointed out exactly what I’ve been missing.

Xidax_X-4

We took delivery of a Xidax X-4 for about a week and now that it’s left my grubby hands, the withdrawals are starting to get pretty severe. I must preface this with a warning, I haven’t updated or bought a new computer in my home since 2008 and it shows…even more so after playing with the X-4. I have to keep this review objective but I should tell you that this is my first time reviewing something that literally I have nothing constructive to criticize the item over.

That’s not a lie, the system for all intents and purposes, is perfect. With the initial price tag for the X-4 starting at $1,036 for the baseline model (which is still a great rig) and the one I’m reviewing here which is still the X-4 but a souped up model that retails for $2,856 it’s easy to see how if there’s something you want this machine to do, it can. Well, as long as you’re willing to pay for it.

I received the box in the mail, and it was a biiiiiiiig box mind you, I wasn’t expecting it to be so large for the computer contained within. In that box was an extremely durable and rugged pelican case (an option when you make your purchase) with foam padding on the inside that would make this quite the lan-party monster as you can carry the case around via the casters on the bottom and the tote handle. Opening the case I was greeted with a monolith of a system, a small monolith that I had no clue as to what exactly it could do.

I wasted no time hooking the system up to my aged monitors and got to work.

Upon boot for the first time, you have to go through the new Windows setup hoopla that I’m sure many people reading this have gone through at least once in their lives, but once I was done I was greeted with the standard desktop but I noticed one thing was missing and it’s something you might not realize. There was a striking lack of bloatware anywhere on this computer. NONE. It’s as if you built the system yourself, set up the BIOS, installed the OS, plugged in each component, and flicked the switch for the first time. That’s priceless.

I quickly got to work installing the usual suspects of a gaming computer, namely my Steam account complete with the handful of games I used to love playing (plus a few gifted me by friends over the years who have been waiting for me to join the PC master race). The first game up was Half-Life 2 even though it’s nearly a decade old. With all of the settings maxed out and me cranking the resolution to the highest level the computer’s GPU fan, CPU fan, nor case fan ever clicked on, it was ripping through the ones and zeros of one of the best games ever made like a fat kid at a buffet who hasn’t eaten in three days. I was stunned that it could handle all of that and still ask for more.

Ok Mr. Xidax X-4, challenge accepted, let’s see what you can take. I went on to installing anything else that was new that I could find in my account and a few demos. Fallout: New Vegas, not a studder. Crysis 1, 2, and 3 were the same. Seriously? What type of steroids did they feed this thing? Well let’s have a look under the chassis.

What’s Inside

  • Intel® Core™ i7-4770K Processor (8M Cache, up to 3.90 GHz, Quad Core)
  • ASUS H87I-PLUS Mini-ITX Motherboard
  • 16GB – Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz DDR3 (2x8GB)
  • Silverstone 600W Power Supply – Bronze Rated
  • EVGA GeForce GTX 780 – 3GB GDDR5 – OVERCLOCKED under warranty!
  • Western Digital Black 4TB – 7200RPM 3.5″ HDD
  • Corsair NeutronGTX 480GB SSD555MBps/511MBps (Read/Write)
  • Corsair H60 H2O CPU Cooler
  • This isn’t a comprehensive list of everything you can find/change/update/edit on their website, but you put all of this in a tiny case that takes up about half the size of a normal ATX tower you have not only my interest but definitely my loyalty. The overall unit is solidly built and feels like it could take a mortar round or a few minutes in the ring with Ali. The case is ventilated all to hell with enough circulation to help cool all of the excessive horsepower that’s under the hood.

    To top it all off, each desktop system comes with a lifetime parts and service warranty. The laptops are limited to 2 years of parts. But that’s unheard of in the computing world. Say you keep this rig around long enough that it’ll need a replacement HDD, or graphics card in 10 years or so…you’re covered, no questions asked. That’s pretty damn cool.

    That’s another thing I failed to mention, you can trade in your old XIDAX rig for a new one, so if you think about the initial investment that is required to get into the system you want, divide it by the amount of time you will be using it under warranty and subtract the trade in you can get for it in order to trade-in, you’re looking at a very very reasonable price.

    Don’t think that this system is good only for gaming, pshaw, it’s good for EVERYTHING, I ran some audio editing that rendered about 12x as fast as I normally could with my current setup, and video is smooth as butter even when running many other applications in the background. I couldn’t throw enough at this computer to even make it sweat! I guess I could have spent the better part of a day installing Maya on it and trying to render characters from various Pixar features, but let’s be honest, this is a gaming computer, you’re going to buy one to play games.

    Alas, my time with the system came to a close at too early a time after about one week’s worth of playing around with it all. I honestly had a hard time sending this unit back to them after my review period was over. I was tempted at this juncture to slap down my credit card and buy my own but had to refrain. If I did that with every computer or hotness that came my way, I’d be in debt up to my eyeballs.

    I have to say that I’ve never come across a computer that has impressed me as much as this one did. I’m sold on picking up my next system with the people at Xidax when I’ve finally got enough cash on hand. I’m completely impressed with their build quality, their methods, and especially their guarantee. Buying from other companies just seems like a gamble compared to the fine folks at Xidax.

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