PC Specialist Magma L1 System Review
Published: 25th September 2019 | Source: PC Specialist | Price: |
This has been a very interesting review to do and system to test.
Normally we do system reviews so sporadically that you can almost never test similar setups against each other. Go back one system review further into our archives than we did today and it's the gorgeous, insanely powerful, utterly desirable PC Specialist Velocity R1 which was a Core i9-9900X and RTX 2080 Ti with heavy watercooling and all the bells and whistles. Usually it's that type of back and forth. Here though we've not long looked at the even cheaper than this system, the PCS Apollo T1 which had a Ryzen 3 2300X but otherwise was the same case, same GPU. That made the Magma L1 a great test to see what extra benefits you can expect from the slightly higher price tag.
As much as we might adore high end stuff, the reality is that if you're either making your first foray into the PC Gaming world or are merely on a limited budget then extracting the maximum value for money is paramount and thus systems like the Magma L1 and Apollo T1 being under a grand are going to sell by the bucketload. Is the additional £200 for the Magma L1 worth it though? Yes it looks better on paper, but how does it fair in the real world. The answer is extremely well. Like all things it's about your intended use. If you just plan on gaming, nothing more, at all, then the Apollo T1 will keep you happy. There is a slender performance boost with the Magma L1 but not enough to justify the extra money that might otherwise get you a few games or peripherals.
Where the PC Specialist Magma L1 really spanks its more affordable stablemate though is in every other test. Whether you're 3D rendering, photo editing, or just converting digital media, the extra cores on the Ryzen 5 3600 annihilate the Ryzen 3 2300X. It's definitely worth bearing in mind that whilst you might not imagine yourself as a creative behemoth, if you plan to do anything from streaming your gaming or just uploading brief snippets to a video platform then you will get on your knees and thank the stars that you went with the Magma L1. The CPU performance benefits and blazing fast storage drive leave you twiddling your thumbs much less in absolutely every single scenario. Even a second or two saved here and there quickly add up on those repetitive tasks, and the Magma L1 with its six core Ryzen CPU will save you much more than that every day. The added performance also saw benefits in our gaming tests with every game enjoying the beefier processor and two, Hitman and Rise of the Tomb Raider, really stretching their legs in a barely believable manner compared to the Apollo.
The only area we'd be tempted to take advantage of the fulsome PC Specialist system customisation tool is to boost the CPU cooling from the stock AMD option to either a Noctua air one or even an AIO. Whilst the stock cooler is quiet enough and just about keeps the processor from burning a hole in your soul, the added security and component longevity that the lower temperatures of a better cooler would provide are something we'd like to have. This is particularly the case given that those on a tight budget can't afford to replace their system all the time, so having one you can just stick a modern GPU into whenever you have the funds would make more financial sense. Again, the supplied cooler is fine enough, but if you can stretch your budget a little it's the one area of weakness in an otherwise bulletproof setup.
For a sub £900 system the PC Specialist Magma L1 ticks all of your boxes. The case isn't ugly or heavy, none of the cooling is noisy or incapable of doing its job and the performance is exceptional whether you're gaming or creating. It is incredible how much performance you can get for £899 these days.