PCSpecialist Quartz Elite R Review
Published: 18th June 2021 | Source: PCSpecialist | Price: £1299 |
We've done a lot of comparing the PCSpecialist Quartz Elite R with the most recent PCS system we've tested, the Lunar Spark. There is method to this though as the Lunar Spark was specifically designed to hit a very tight price point of £999. Anyone who has ever budgeted for a new build will know how tempting it is to think, "if I spent another twenty quid I could upgrade my x to the next model up", and before you know it you've done that to all your hardware and suddenly the system costs £500 more than you can afford. We've all built dream, lottery win, systems and know how fast you can get into the thick end of a years wages, but building a capable system that hits a low target is much harder. Like all their systems the Quartz Elite R has a beautifully chosen set of components.
Why then the comparison to the Lunar Spark? Well primarily it's two fold. Firstly both the Quartz Elite R and Lunar Spark have a RTX 3060 in them, and indeed we're sure that this is the exact same card unless the market has a glut of white Zotac cards around. Although you aren't guaranteed to receive this particular RTX 3060 it does mean we can pretend we're the people we spoke about in the paragraph above and see what a little expansion of the budget can bring, and if it's worth it. The Lunar Spark had to make so many concessions to hit that price point that you ended up with a sytem which performed very well, but the case was a bit cheap, the cooler was a single 120mm air cooler, zero intake fans, no RGB, regular SSD, Intel i5-11400 which is a 6 core, 12 thread 4.39 GHz CPU.
For your extra £300 with the Quartz Elite R you're moving to a very nice case with a high build quality, excellent ventilation and a solid feel. Okay it's no Corsair 1000D, but what did you expect? Moving along our list the CPU is now cooled by the PCS FrostFlow 240 RGB AIO. The popularity of AIO CPU coolers cannot be overstated and for good reason. Much quieter than an air cooler, with better temperatures or more headroom to boost your CPU speed even higher. You have three RGB intake fans that are quiet enough given their cost and provide a real boost to your cooling. Our RTX 3060 was 3°C cooler even though it boosted higher so the performance increased too. Total win. Instead of the regular 550MB/s SSD in the Lunar Spark the Quartz Elite R moves you into the rarefied air of the M.2 world with the 500 GB Intel 670P pushing 3 GB/s. This makes a big difference to the overall responsiveness of your system given how often Windows is reading and writing stuff in the background. Lastly the CPU is another step up and perhaps the biggest change of all. The Core i5-11400 is a great gaming CPU but a bit breathless in regular tasks, whilst the 8C16T 4.8 GHz Ryzen 7 5800X is a magnificent all-rounder. It's just as happy pushing FPS as it is helping you edit photos and will serve you well for years to come.
We think you'll agree that if you can push your budget a little further, whilst still remaining affordable, the Quartz Elite R is a blinding system. The performance graphs bear this out, extracting even more performance from the RTX 3060. Whilst GPUs are a touchy subject at the moment thanks to availability and scalping, by giving you quality components everywhere and a good GPU to begin with you have the perfect platform to upgrade later once the GPU world returns to some level of sanity.
The PCSpecialist Quartz Elite R is the perfect system for all but the most snooty gamer. You'd have to go past the £2000 threshhold to significantly upgrade it and there is enough quality of life improvements that if you have tight purse strings it's worth doing all you can to move from the Lunar Spark up to the Quartz Elite R. Not that the Lunar Spark is bad, but this is a wholesale improvement for a small extra cost and wins our OC3D Performance Award.