PC Specialist LS-H01 Review
Published: 9th May 2016 | Source: PC Specialist | Price: £3299 |
We all have a list of components that we'd love to own if money wasn't an object, and we all look through various builds and find ones which look just how we'd choose to have them. The PC Specialist LS-H01 ticks all those boxes for the majority of people. It's a hugely desirable piece of kit. You can approach it from any angle you wish, and it comes up trumps every time.
Let's start with the looks. That "EK High Kit" is a thing of beauty. The big reservoir helps show of your choice of the many colours PC Specialist can supply you with, and also neatly fills in the awkward gap between your motherboard and the drive cluster on an average tower. Always somewhere that tends to be an expanse of nothingness. With radiators mounted both at the front and the top of the case there is plenty of tubing around to further emphasise your sophisticated choice of hue, yet it is also tasteful enough to be pleasant to the eye. There isn't so much tubing - to show off the coolant - that it looks like a bag of knitting, yet there isn't so little that you feel robbed of the pleasing looks. Your colour choice is further enhanced by the matching cables used, which fill in the gaps and are a great match for the richness of the Mayhem coolant. All those elements would be wonderful on their own, but the absolute stars of the show are the EK GPU blocks and matching connection block. You would never grow tired of looking at them. If you ever want something that catches peoples attention there is no doubt that this arrangement is the one to go for. Even as the current trend is for chromed hard pipes, we still prefer the looks of a clear "here is my coolant" offering.
Of course cooling capabilities are only part of the recipe, and the LS-H01 has got all the component side down perfectly too. The Corsair 750D is classy enough to look lovely on its own, yet understated enough to understand that the coolant colours are the real stars. It's great that there aren't any colours on the case either - even the power light is white - so you can pick whichever colour you like without ending up with something that resembles a bag of Skittles. The ASUS Maximus VIII Hero is one of the best motherboards around and is the perfect foil for the heavily overclocked Core i7-6700K. The memory isn't letting the side down either as 32GB of 2600MHz DDR4 HyperX ensures that even the most power hungry user wont be left caching things off to the storage device. Although if you do somehow run out of memory the Samsung SM951 is so fast that you'll never notice. Well over 2GB/s speeds are figures that didn't seem possible barely a handful of years ago. Even the Corsair RM1000 power supply is a very well chosen item, providing solid, ripple free power delivery in a no nonsense fashion, without incurring the extra expense that an AX model would bring. It's impossible to talk about the hardware without mentioning the SLI GTX 980 Ti EVGA graphics cards. You'd have to have been living under a rock to not know the polygon chomping numbers of which the nVidias card is capable, and with water cooling adding further GPU Boost 2.0 performance it is very very difficult to get them flustered.
Are there any negatives? If we were super picky, and we have to be, we'd prefer some slightly quieter fans. The exhaust fan on our review sample seemed particularly loud, and it's clear that there is plenty of thermal headroom free for fans that are quieter at the expense of a tiny bit of performance. Maybe with a water cooled system we expect quietness to be the second benefit after temperatures when compared to an air-cooled system. But once a game is up and running you don't notice and they are by no means 'loud', just not quiet either.
With mind-boggling levels of performance whether you're editing video content or just fragging your friends, looks that need to be seen to be believed and a build quality that makes us wish our own systems were half as well cable-managed, all wrapped up in a price that you'll struggle to beat doing it yourself and the reassurance that comes from the PC Specialist warranty, the LS-H01 has to win our OC3D Enthusiast award, and that amazing EK water setup wins our Aesthetic award too.