Introduction & Closer Look
When a box the size of a small family house arrives by courier at the Play3r offices, you know it’s going to be a good day! After a good few minutes of opening numerous boxes, and sifting through a mountain of bubble wrap and polystyrene, the beast which is the Fierce PC Dragon Slayer was revealed.
Fierce PC are a company based in the North West of England, who pride themselves on using the best components, built by expert enthusiasts, and sold at competitive prices. The Dragon Slayer is from the Fierce Dragon range of custom water looped gaming pcs. With a hefty price tag of a shade under £2,400, does this system live up to its billing as a “4K Gaming Monster”?
Immediately apparent is that this is an inverted system, wrapped in the Corsair 600C clear windowed, full tower case. The large clear door gives us a glimpse of the water cooled goodness that awaits inside.
At first glance, the system appears to be built in a very tidy, clutter-less fashion. Taking pride of place is the water cooling reservoir, pumping the red clear liquid throughout the system, incorporating a front mounted Alphacool radiator & CPU block. Due to the inverted nature of the system, the EK water block attached to the GPU is clearly visible. We can also see red PSU cable extensions connected to the motherboard, which is a Gigabyte Z170X Ultra Gaming.
Just before we power it on, a quick look around the back shows that a reasonable amount of care has been taken with the cable management. It’s not the tidiest it could be, but certainly better than some or the pre-built systems we have seen in the past. The only other things to note here is that the PSU is a Corsair RM650i, and a Samsung SSD is also mounted on the back.
Depressing the power button launches the system into a blaze of red led’s, apart from a small amount of green to the upper right corner (more of that later). Colour engulfs the system from every angle inside the case, but the jewel in the crown is the RAM. I have, to be honest & say that I hadn’t even noticed the RAM during our first look…but now it’s powered on it looks amazing, due to its integrated led lighting effect. Taking a closer look reveals it to be the ADATA XPG Dazzle DDR4. Now lighting effects on RAM isn’t a breakthrough idea, but these 2 sticks look really nice in this system.
The system looks great, but the very small amount of green puzzled us. Upon further inspection, you can see that it is just 3 led’s attached to the roof of the case. During the unpacking of the system, we did find a small remote…surely this remote wasn’t just for these 3 led’s??? Well, yes….it was! Had there been more led’s available throughout the case to control, then great…but 3?! I don’t see the point personally, especially as the lighting from the fans & the ram cannot be changed to any other colour than red!
OK, enough of just looking at it…we need to see how it performs, right?
CPU: Intel Core i7 6700K – 4.6GHz Overclock
Cooling: Full Custom Loop – Clear Red Liquid
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB – Overclocked to Limit
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z170X-Ultra Gaming
RAM: 16GB ADATA XPG Dazzle 3000MHz DDR4 Memory
SSD: 512GB Samsung Sm951 M.2 NVME SSD
Hard Drive: 2TB SATA3 6Gbps Hard Drive
Power Supply: Corsair RM650i 80+ Gold Modular PSU
Software: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit, Free BullGuard Internet Security
Warranty: 5 Year Prestige Protect Warranty (2 Year Parts, 5 Years Labour)
AIDA64 – 2D Benchmark
This simple integer benchmark focuses on the branch prediction capabilities and the misprediction penalties of the CPU. It finds the solutions for the classic “Queens problem” on a 10 by 10 sized chessboard. At the same clock speed, theoretically, the processor with the shorter pipeline and smaller misprediction penalties will attain higher benchmark scores. For example — with HyperThreading disabled — the Intel Northwood core processors get higher scores than the Intel Prescott core based ones due to the 20-step vs 31-step long pipeline. CPU Queen Test uses integer MMX, SSE2, and SSSE3 optimisations.
PCMark 8 – 2D Benchmark
PCMark 8 is a complete PC benchmarking solution for Windows 7 and Windows 8. It includes 7 tests combining more than 25 individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, web browsing and gaming. Specifically designed for the full range of PC hardware from netbooks and tablets to notebooks and desktops, PCMark 7 offers complete Windows PC performance testing for home and business use.
3DMark Fire Strike – 3D Benchmark
3DMark is a computer benchmarking tool created and developed by Futuremark Corporation (formerly MadOnion.com and initially Futuremark) to determine the performance of a computer’s 3D graphic rendering and CPU workload processing capabilities. Running 3DMark produces a 3DMark score, with higher numbers indicating better performance. The 3DMark measurement unit is intended to give a normalised mean for comparing different PC hardware configurations (mostly graphics processing units and central processing units), which proponents such as gamers and overclocking enthusiasts assert is indicative of end-user performance capabilities.
CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 – Storage Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software that analyses different types of hard drive. Giving sequential benchmark write and read statistics in MB/s. A simple program that is very useful. We have included a separate graph for the OS/Storage drives.
Bioshock Infinite – Game Benchmark
BioShock® Infinite is a first-person shooter like you’ve never seen. Just ask the judges from E3 2011, where the Irrational Games title won over 85 editorial awards, including the Game Critics Awards Best of Show. Set in 1912, players assume the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, sent to the flying city of Columbia on a rescue mission. His target? Elizabeth, imprisoned since childhood. During their daring escape, Booker and Elizabeth form a powerful bond — one that lets Booker augment his own abilities with her world-altering control over the environment. Together, they fight from high-speed Sky-Lines, in the streets and houses of Columbia, on giant Zeppelins, and in the clouds, all while learning to harness an expanding arsenal of weapons and abilities, and immersing players in a story that are not only steeped in profound thrills and surprises.
Thief – Game Benchmark
Garrett, the Master Thief, steps out of the shadows into the City. In this treacherous place, where the Baron’s Watch spreads a rising tide of fear and oppression, his skills are the only things he can trust. Even the most cautious citizens and their best-guarded possessions are not safe from his reach.
As an uprising emerges, Garrett finds himself entangled in growing layers of conflict. Lead by Orion, the voice of the people, the tyrannised citizens will do everything they can to claim back the City from the Baron’s grasp. The revolution is inevitable. If Garrett doesn’t get involved, the streets will run red with blood and the City will tear itself apart.
Tom Clancy’s The Division – Game Benchmark
The Division takes place in mid-crisis Manhattan, an open world with destructive environments that are free for players to explore. The player’s mission is to restore order by investigating the source of a virus. The player character can carry three weapons, and explosives like sticky bombs and smart mines to fight against enemies.
So our time with the Dragon Slayer has come to an end…and I have to say it is indeed a beast of a system. The build is spot on and is a credit to the guys at Fierce PC, and it looks the business aesthetically too. Given its high-end list of components, it also performs right where it should too. Any system that boasts a 6700k in tandem with a GTX1080 is going to perform at the very highest level.
On a personal note, I’m just not a fan of inverted systems, though. My OCD just can’t handle the little things like the text on the motherboard being upside down.
Without a doubt though, the absolute stand out star of the system was the ADATA Dazzle DDR4 memory…the performance of this kit is outstanding! Not only does it perform, but it also looks great too with it’s integrated led’s. As an all round package, this stuff is highly recommended.
It’s not all good news though, and the Fierce PC Dragon Slayer does have its faults. Despite having a custom water loop, it got really quite noisy at full load. At the time of the test, there was 3 of us chatting in the office, but we all stopped and looked over to the system in unison, for fear of it taking off!
The Corsair 600C case used here is OK, but for the price it costs, I do believe there is better out there. The amount of flex in the door was massive, and it just wasn’t easy to open & close. A further disappointment was the CPU, in that we expected at least an overclock of 4.8GHz on a cherry picked specimen, on a custom loop…but that just wasn’t possible.
Finally, the price…£2,350 is a massive chunk of cash, but the Dragon Slayer system is probably where it should be, given the labour & parts that have gone into the custom loop. Having said that however, an air-cooled equivalent would probably perform in the same ballpark, but would cost a considerable amount less.
Therefore, taking everything into account, the Fierce PC Dragon Slayer walks away with our Silver Award.
Massive thanks to Fierce PC for sending the Dragon Slayer system in for review.
- Well built system with great aesthetics
- Great custom water loop
- ADATA XPG Dazzle RAM is outstanding
- CPU overclock could be higher for a "cherry picked" sample
- Very loud at full load
- Similar performance could be found on a much cheaper air cooled system