Wired2­fire Pyro VX

Faster than the av­er­age PC

Computer Active (UK) - - Contents -

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

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