PC Specialist Azure (LGA 1151) Gaming PC Review
John Williamson / 2 years ago
PC Specialist has an illustrious reputation for creating some of the most reliable and thought-provoking builds in the custom PC industry. Their latest creation, code-named Azure, is based on Intel’s brand new Z170 chipset and includes the flagship, i7-6700K Skylake processor (review here). While the CPU has a stock clock of 4.0GHz, there is ample headroom for a hefty overclock with assistance from the Corsair 240mm liquid-cooling solution. PC Specialist opted for the Asus Z170-A motherboard (review here) which offers excellent voltage regulation, dynamic fan control and an intuitive BIOS interface. Only the best components are used throughout, such as NVIDIA’s top-tier GTX 980Ti graphics card and Kingston’s HyperX Predator 3000MHz DDR4 memory.
In terms of storage, the Azure is bundled with a 480GB SSD boot drive and 2TB mechanical for data storage purposes. The PC is powered by an 850W Corsair RM power supply and neatly presented in the Corsair 780T case. Previously, we reviewed the X99-based Vortex 440 which performed superbly and exceeded our expectations. Therefore, I’m hoping the Azure will be cool, quiet and leading the benchmark figures whilst retailing at a respectable £1499 price point.
- Name: PC Specialist Azure
- Case: Corsair White Graphite Series 780T Full-Tower
- Motherboard: Asus Z170-A
- Processor – Intel Core i7-6700k Skylake running at stock 4.0GHz/4.2GHz boost
- Processor Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series™ H100i GTX Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
- System Memory: 16GB Kingston KHX3000C15D4/8GX HyperX Predator DDR4 3000MHz CAS 15
- Main Boot Drive: 480GB Kingston SHSS37A480G HyperX Savage SSD
- Additional Storage Drive(s): 2TB Toshiba DT01ACA200 SATA 6GB/s 7200RPM HDD
- Graphics card: Zotac NVIDIA GTX 980Ti Reference Design
- Power Supply: Corsair RM Series™ RM850 — 850 Watt 80 PLUS® Gold Certified Fully Modular PSU
- Peripherals: Not Included
- Monitor: Not Included
- Optical Drive: Lite-On Corp DVD/CD Writer
- Wireless: None
- OS: Windows 10 64-Bit
- Warranty: 3 years (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
- Price: £1499 inc VAT and delivery
Packing and Accessories
The chassis arrived in a gargantuan box and contains precautionary labels to prevent the courier from adopting a haphazard approach. I was genuinely surprised with the box’s size which provides superb protection during transit. The packaging itself also utilizes a thick grade of cardboard and encompasses the case to withstand any sudden impact.
Once opened, the case is revealed and cushioned by a cloth cover to stop accidental scratches from occurring. If the case was packaged without any padding, the chassis could rub against the box and become damaged. This is especially true with delicate windowed side panels.
From another angle, we can see the flexible foam supports which add a great deal of rigidity and keeps the case perfectly aligned. I have to commend PC Specialist for using some of the strongest foam inserts I’ve ever seen. For example, I intentionally bent the inserts to see if they would snap under pressure, but they withstood this rigorous testing procedure rather well.
The accessories are bundled in a lovely Welcome Pack which evokes a professional feel from the presentation alone.
Included in the Welcome Pack is a setup guide, component documentation, driver disks, extra SSD mounts, power cables, and much more! Everything is separated into segments which makes it easier to find specific parts.
The accessories can be easily stored away in the original packaging and has enough room to house future purchases such as a DisplayPort cable. While the box is too large to fit in a small drawer, it does prevent you from losing any accessories and keeps everything in a neat package.