The PC has always been seen as the enthusiast’s platform for gaming for two key reasons. Reason one, it’s invariably slightly more difficult to get playing than it is on consoles. But point two is more important: it’s nowhere near as static. We wait years for new mainstream gaming platforms, but the PC gets incrementally better all the time.
Adding extras over time isn’t exactly cost-effective, but an investment in PC gaming means you’ll get the finest graphical fidelity, the most control options, and your old games will only get better as your hardware does.
But starting in the right place is vitally important. Begin your PC journey behind the curve and you’ll face an uphill battle from the start. On the other hand, pick up the cream of the crop, and you’ll get a good few years of performance before you even need to think about adding anything new. And that’s what we have here: Overclockers’ custom-built Titan Gladius brings together the absolute best components – the finest graphics card on the market, speedy storage, high-end RAM – tucked incredibly neatly inside a beautiful case. When you’re ready for more, there’s room to breathe.
Price, availability and value
Since it’s built to order, the Titan Gladius comes in a number of configurations. You can skimp on the case, you can dial back on the CPU, you can cut all the corners you’d like. But equally, you can bump up the core specs. A serious gamer with a serious wallet wants the best, and every component of the £2,160.88 (US $2,668 / AU $3,475, plus shipping from UK) setup we have here is built for speed.
There’s a reason it’s so pricey, of course. It’s built to order, meaning a short wait while a technician constructs it from available parts. Then there’s the internals; a liquid-cooled, 7th generation Intel Kaby Lake i7-7700k CPU is not cheap. Neither is 16GB of extremely fast Corsair Vengeance DDR4 RAM, or a huge, super-speedy Intel 512GB PCI-e SSD. Oh, and the fastest graphics card on the market right now: the 11GB Nvidia GeForce 1080Ti Founder’s Edition? That’s a good £500 more expensive than the still-awesome GeForce 1060.
Whether that’s good value or not depends on your perspective. You could get decent performance from a PC that costs the same amount you’d save by dropping down a graphical step – the mid-range Zoostorm Desktop Gaming PC will set you back just £499 (around $705, AU$950) and play games just fine. But for how long?
Our Gladius comes clad in a stunning Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ATX case, with easy-to-remove tempered glass sides, sandblasted aluminium, and a dark interior highlighted by a small amount of internal RGB LED lighting which runs on Asus’ Aura system – meaning you can light it up in all kinds of fancy ways.
While there’s no luridly-colored watercooling tubing or ridiculous extra fancywork, the whole package is incredibly clean and open. The Gladius’ cables have been impeccably managed, unneeded bays and options being removed. This is a clean, tidy desktop PC you won’t be afraid to show off.
That tidy design extends to airflow, too: even under heavy load, the CPU radiator is quiet and well positioned, and the machine never spins up to jet-engine levels despite the muscle inside; Nvidia’s Pascal GPU architecture really is something in terms of its power to heat efficiently.
The unit is, however, huge. It’s a mid tower, but on the tall end of that definition, and it’s very heavy – certainly not something you’ll want to lug to a friend’s house.
Have we said it enough in this review? Let’s say it again: this is a top-spec PC. And it performs as such even when you’re not running games on it; the enormous PCI-e SSD means software is quick to load and super-smooth, and the WIndows 10 desktop is predictably buttery.
The only practical connectivity option it lacks is Wi-Fi, but if you can’t solve that little problem, you probably won’t be investing in a machine this expensive. But then, if you’re spending this kind of money, desktop performance is slightly irrelevant too.
As you can see in our benchmarks boxout, the numbers this machine hits are astonishing, but not unexpected. Something will come along that challenges a collection of the highest-end hardware possible – and these benchmarks are the new target for whatever that is. The Titan Gladius consistently ranks in the top 95% of all machines. But there’s a reason why…
The Titan Gladius costs more than this reviewer’s car. It might be significantly more fun and contain fewer food wrappers, but that’s not the point: you’re going to have to be dedicated to cutting edge PC gaming to stump up this kind of cash.
There’s no question that it’s worth it for some, but a first step on the ladder at the price of six PS4 Pros might be a bit much for the average gamer.
It’s gorgeous, it’s ridiculously powerful, and it’s ready to give you more once today’s top-line kit becomes tomorrow’s mid-range. Since that’s going to be a long time coming, you’re making an investment in a PC that will retain its bite well into the next decade – with room to spare for upgrades that’ll keep it healthy for years beyond that.
However muscular this rig might be, it’s a tough sell with the components at today’s high-end prices. It’s also not going far from your desk – there’s no mobile solution that comes even close to this level of power.
You have alternatives. You can spend less money, you can play games on lesser hardware, you can upgrade your current rig to get close.
But without a whole new setup, you won’t get the absolute best. The Titan Gladius, specced as ours was, brings together the finest components available today, for just about the best PC you can buy.
It looks great, it plays great, and you probably can’t afford it – but if you’re ready for that dream PC, this is a great way to look.