Review: Mighty Ape PC World Monkey
- — 01 October, 2012 22:00
|Name||Gaming Desktop: Mighty Ape PC World Monkey|
|At a glance:||Intel Core i5-3570K @ 3.4GHz,8GB DDR3-1600 RAM,AMD HD7970 3GB video card,128GB SSD + 1TB HDD,Sound-dampened case|
|Summary:||A good combination of silence and performance.|
September 2012 Gaming PC Shootout. Find full specifications, benchmarks and comparable models here.
North Shore based mega ‘e-tailer ‘ Mighty Ape has dabbled in PC components for a few years now, but it’s not until recently that it has started to push its own brand of custom-built gaming PCs, complete with primate-themed names like ‘The War Monkey’ and ‘The Iron Kong’.
Such was the store’s enthusiasm for sending us a rig to test out, it concocted an eponymous ‘PC World Monkey’ just for us (and you too! It’s for sale of course).
Of all the desktop gaming computers we have reviewed recently, the PC World Monkey is one of the smallest thanks to the petite Cooler Master Silencio 550 case – not quite as tiny as the small-form-factor Alienware X51 desktop, but certainly very luggable.
This particular case is not just small, but very quiet too with built-in noise dampening material on the side and front panels. Combined with the Intel watercooling kit the whole system is virtually silent in operation – in fact, throughout testing, the only time I ever noticed any noise from the case was during heavy 3D gaming scenes where the video card’s fans would spin up, and even then it was still quiet.
The build quality and cable management is what I would rate ‘acceptable’. Not as good as some of the other rigs we’ve tested in this price range, but certainly no cause for concern either.
Powering the PC World Monkey is an Intel Core i5-3570K processor. Sadly it has been left at stock speeds (3.4GHz, with TurboBoost up to 3.8GHz) which is a shame. It’s a suitable chip for overclocking, and the watercooling kit is more than capable of keeping the CPU temperature at a safe level well past the 4GHz mark.
With a bit of nous you could do this yourself – the i5-3570K is multiplier-unlocked, so simply changing the CPU multiplier will net you at least a few hundred MHz for free without having to fluff about with voltages or any other settings.
Next on the parts list is a factory-overclocked AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB from Asus, with a massive three-slot heatsink and fan setup. This card is roughly on par with Nvidia’s GTX 670, which is commonly found in other gaming PCs in this price range. It’s good to see Mighty Ape daring to be a little different in this aspect.
On storage duty is an excellent combo of solid state and spinning disk drives – a 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 SSD as the O/S drive, and a 2TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM for storage. No operating system is included in the price, but our review unit did come with both Windows 7 and 8 pre-installed for testing.
Lastly, the PC World Monkey packs 8GB of dual channel G.Skill DDR3-1600 CL9 memory, an Asus Z77 Deluxe motherboard, 650W Cooler Master GX power supply, and an Asus Blu-ray writer combo drive.
As for performance, the AMD HD 7970 video card generally holds its own against its Nvidia competition (found in the likes of the Acer Aspire G5 Predator). when it came to the CPU-bound tests if fell short compared to the Computer Lounge Special Ops rig using the same CPU (albeit with a heftly overclock).
Overall I think the PC World Monkey is a great little machine, and the low-noise factor is certainly appealing. However, at this price point I think Mighty Ape could and should include a copy of Windows, and a little overclock on the CPU would go a long way towards improving this rig’s performance.September 2012 Gaming PC Shootout. Find full specifications, benchmarks and comparable models here.