Wired2fire Pyro VX
Faster than the average PC
We weren’t surprised when Wired2fire offered to send us a Ryzen desktop PC they were planning to sell for under £800. After all, AMD’S new processor range starts with the very affordable Ryzen 3 1200. Even if your budget stretches to a more powerful Ryzen 5 1400, you can bung in a bog-standard graphics card and a basic 1TB hard drive and build a good PC reasonably cheaply.
Hang on, though. The Pyro VX comes with a 2GB drive and a 240GB SSD, so booting up Windows 10, loading programs and switching between them, is super-fast. And it has 16GB of memory, twice what you’d expect. The graphics card is an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 (see screenshot below) – low down in the range, perhaps, but this is the range that’s wowed gamers with a whole new level of performance. And that Ryzen processor? It’s the Ryzen 5 1600, a six- core chip that costs the best part of 200 quid by itself. Oh, and they’ve overclocked it (a Wired2fire speciality) from 3.2 to 3.7GHZ.
This all adds up to a fantastic system for the money. Remember Overclockers’ Titan Merlin (Issue 509, page 20)? That used a Ryzen 5 1400, which was meant to be overclocked to 3.7GHZ but ran at its standard 3.2GHZ during our tests. It matched an Intel i5-7400 processor in most tasks and zoomed 20 per cent ahead in heavy tasks like video editing. Well, helped along by the extra memory and SSD, the Pyro VX left it in the dust, scoring more than 40 per cent higher overall. These are big numbers: a 10 per cent difference in speed is enough to get our attention.
Nvidia’s GTX 1050, as we’ve found before, is a superb performer despite its ‘budget’ status. Video and photo programs tend to favour Nvidia graphics cards, so it should speed up tasks like adding effects.
You wouldn’t guess all this was packed inside the Cooler Master Masterbox Lite 5 case, with its distinctively chiselled ‘black mirror’ front. It doesn’t look quite as empty as in our picture (which shows the case without the internals installed). The motherboard is microatx, a standard which means expansion potential is a bit more limited than it might have been. But there are still a couple of spare RAM slots, a PCI x16 slot for a second graphics card and an M.2 port for another fast SSD, as well as space for extra hard drives.
On the outside are six USB 3.0 ports (we’d prefer USB 3.1 Gen 2 10Mbit to support the fastest external storage, but that’s still rare in this price bracket), two USB 2.0, and Gigabit Ethernet for wired networking, as well as two HDMI, two DVI, one Displayport and a VGA for all the monitors you could want. Wi-fi would have to be added via USB if your desk isn’t close to your router.
The icing on the doughnut is that, unlike some PCS powered by AMD processors, the Pyro VX runs without making very much noise at all.
Booting up Windows 10 and loading programs is super-fast