PCSpecialist Topaz Exige Review
Published: 29th April 2022 | Source: PCSpecialist | Price: £2399 |
If you've ever been in the market and looked around at what is on offer from various builders then you'll have definitely had a feeling that certain configurations are unbalanced, or certain components have been included because they are high ticket items and thus have a larger profit margin. Perhaps worst of all is when you're stuck with something that you don't like but that's the way it comes and you have no choice. Like gherkins in a Big Mac.
PCSpecialist have always eliminated this problem with their hugely adjustable configurator, letting you have almost exactly the system you desire. Where they really score highly though is how good their base systems are. Look at the Topaz Exige for example. The case is exactly as flash as it needs to be to hold everything inside and keep it cool. The cooler is enough to keep the processor cool without also doubling as a vacuum cleaner noise and is always tailored to each processor. You don't get a 360mm radiator on a low end CPU, but neither are they expecting you to keep an eight core CPU cool on a 120mm air cooler. It would be so easy to do what we all do when building a system on paper and just going for the high-end parts, but they are incredibly good at building a system that has all the components working in harmony, nothing standing out like a whole ghost chili on a salad, but neither is anything holding things back.
Unquestionably the headline item in the Topaz Exige is the new Ryzen 7 5800X3D. AMD have redesigned how a CPU is put together to ensure the highest gaming performance per MegaHertz, and been successful at it. Yes there are some compromises made because it can't be overclocked and the boost speed isn't quite as high as the vanilla 5800X, but if you're in the market for a CPU that will give you a benefit in games then the newest Ryzen is the way forwards. Putting it alongside another AMD star in the form of the Radeon RX 6800 XT also gives solidly smooth gaming across a variety of titles as you saw in our graph. PCSpecialist resisted the temptation to push the price of the Topaz Exige upwards by utilising the RX 6900 XT, and it is another example of the careful balance with which their systems are put together. The quiet star of the show is the Samsung 980 Pro M.2. With 7 GB/s peak read and 5 GB/s peak write, you'll never be left twiddling your thumbs, and the 2TB size means you won't be constantly juggling your Steam library. Lastly if you want a system that looks like it costs exactly what you paid then the swathes of RGB lighting let you have a system that glows from every inch in your favourite colour.
About the only area where we might make use of the PCSpecialist configurator is to swap the case for one that doesn't have the 'only slightly magnetic' mesh covering the top and bottom, but that's because it's a feature of cheaper cases and one we personally don't like. The case itself is well built and has excellent airflow, but with so much RGB inside we might want something a little flashier on the outside. Although we accept that the TD500 is the best of the affordable ones we'd stretch the budget. Again, that speaks to how good the Topaz Exige is, that we wouldn't even consider changing anything else and even the Cooler Master TD500 we could totally live with.
With supremely good performance in every benchmark, and able to play all the games at 1440 with all the detail turned up, coupled to the glitz and glamour of all that RGB lighting the £2399 PCSpecialist Topaz Exige wins our OC3D Gamers Choice award.
System Specification as reviewed here.