YOY­OTECH Red­back N6

£2,150 • From www.yoy­otech.co.uk

Computer Shopper - - REVIEWS - James Archer

VERDICT

A ver­sa­tile Ryzen 7-based rig that ex­cels at Win­dows tasks and de­mand­ing games alike

WITH THE AR­RIVAL of Intel’s 8th-gen chips and the mid-range Ryzen 5 se­ries putting in some stel­lar per­for­mances, let’s not for­get about what the orig­i­nal Ryzen 7 fam­ily can do. Case in point, Yoy­otech has pro­duced a cou­ple of PCs cen­tered around the top-of-the­line, octa-core Ryzen 7 1800X: the Red­back N6 and the Red­back N6 WS.

The ‘WS’ suf­fix iden­ti­fies the lat­ter as a work­sta­tion. It comes with pro­duc­tiv­ity-minded parts such as an AMD Radeon Pro WX 1700 graph­ics card and 32GB of DDR4 RAM. The stan­dard N6, which we re­viewed, is a gam­ing ma­chine – it’s £50 more ex­pen­sive and has half the mem­ory, but swaps the Radeon Pro GPU in favour of an EVGA-built GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edi­tion.

Both PCs share the same ex­quis­ite Game Max chas­sis, which to us looks more suit­able as part of a gam­ing sys­tem than a se­ri­ous work­sta­tion. With tem­pered glass on the front and both sides, plus a smart LED-il­lu­mi­nated hon­ey­comb pat­tern at the front, it’s a bit of a show-off, and a but­ton on the top I/O panel cy­cles through var­i­ous colours and ef­fects for a touch of easy cus­tomi­sa­tion.

HARD CORES

The al­ready-mighty Ryzen 7 1800X has been over­clocked to 4GHz. That’s only the same as its stock boost clock, but here it’s set to run at that speed per­ma­nently. It’s an out­stand­ing per­former: in our 4K bench­marks, the Red­back N6 scored 151 in the video test, 260 in the video test and a hugely im­pres­sive 317 in the mul­ti­task­ing test. These give it an

over­all score of 270, mak­ing it vi­able for reg­u­lar imag­ing, edit­ing and en­cod­ing work, even if it’s not tech­ni­cally a work­sta­tion.

It out­paces sim­i­larly priced Intel sys­tems by enor­mous de­grees. The £2,100 Chill­blast Fu­sion Por­tal (Shop­per 353), for ex­am­ple, which has the same GPU but a quad-core Intel Core i7-7700K, scored 169 over­all.

How­ever, it’s gam­ing that the Red­back N6 is most con­cerned with, and here it brings the 11GB GTX 1080 Ti’s su­perla­tive power to bear. In Dirt Show­down, run­ning with Ul­tra qual­ity set­tings and 4x MSAA en­abled, it pro­duced 146fps at 1,920x1,080, 145fps at 2,560x1,440 and 118fps at 4K. It runs beau­ti­fully smoothly, as you’d ex­pect from a rel­a­tively un­de­mand­ing game on top-notch hard­ware.

It also put up a great show­ing in the much tougher Metro: Last Light Re­dux, where (with Very High set­tings and SSAA en­abled) it man­aged a slick 102fps at 1,920x1,080 and 63fps at 2,560x1,440. Switch­ing to 4K saw a drop to 28fps, which is just below what we’d con­sider playable, but sim­ply dis­abling SSAA boosts it up to a much bet­ter 54fps.

VIR­TU­ALLY IDEN­TI­CAL

It’s worth not­ing that the Fu­sion Por­tal did slightly bet­ter in cer­tain tests, par­tic­u­larly Dirt Show­down, where it scored 159fps at 1080p and 157fps at 1440p. How­ever, it would be hard to no­tice such dif­fer­ences even if your mon­i­tor was ca­pa­ble of show­ing it, and the Red­back N6 at least matched Chill­blast’s PC in most other tests. That in­cludes the SteamVR Per­for­mance Test, which mea­sures how well a sys­tem can run VR games and hard­ware; both PCs scored 11, the high­est mark pos­si­ble.

The two PCs are also evenly matched on stor­age, with the same NVMe SSD – a 250GB Sam­sung 960 Evo – plus a 2TB hard disk. The for­mer is ex­cel­lent, pro­duc­ing se­quen­tial read speeds of 2,259MB/s and write speeds of 1,600MB/s in the AS SSD bench­mark.

The moth­er­board is also as high end as you can ex­pect from the X370 chipset. There’s room for up to two ad­di­tional PCI-E x16 de­vices and up to three PCI-E x1 de­vices and, un­like the Fu­sion Por­tal, you can up­grade the Red­back N6’s mem­ory via two spare DIMM slots. The rear I/O panel is teem­ing with con­nec­tions, too, in­clud­ing one USB3.1 port, one USB Type-C port, a gen­er­ous eight USB3 ports and four ex­tra USB2 ports. Mean­while, op­ti­cal S/PDIF, rear speaker and C/SUB out­puts al­low for im­proved com­pat­i­bil­ity with pre­mium au­dio kit; per­fect if you don’t want to set­tle for stan­dard desk­top speak­ers.

If we had a com­plaint, it’s that the case isn’t ter­ri­bly upgrad­able – there’s only one ad­di­tional 3.5in drive bay, for in­stance, and just two 2.5in mounts. It’s also strange that there’s no rear ex­haust fan, through the three front in­take fans and CPU wa­ter­cooler – NZXT’s beau­ti­fully quiet Kraken X31 – do a de­cent enough job with air­flow.

Truth be told, fu­ture up­grades aren’t too im­por­tant when the Red­back N6 is so pow­er­ful right out of the box. This does mean it’s ex­tremely ex­pen­sive, and we won­der whether it would have been wiser to go with the cheaper Ryzen 7 1700 (which can be over­clocked to per­form fairly closely to the 1800X) in­stead. That said, it’s a much more ver­sa­tile sys­tem than most PCs we’ve seen in this price range, in­clud­ing the Fu­sion Por­tal, so it makes a lot of sense as a lux­ury pur­chase.

SPEC­I­FI­CA­TIONS

• PRO­CES­SOR Octa-core 4GHz AMD Ryzen 7 1800X RAM 16GB DDR4 FRONT USB PORTS 2x USB2, 1x USB3 REAR USB PORTS 4x USB2, 8x USB3, 1x USB3.1, 1x USB Type-C GRAPH­ICS CARD 11GB Evga GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edi­tion STOR­AGE 250GB SSD, 2TB hard disk DIS­PLAY None OP­ER­AT­ING SYS­TEM Win­dows 10 Home WAR­RANTY 30 days col­lect and re­turn, one year parts and labour, three years labour DE­TAILS www.yoy­otech.co.uk PART CODE 10701098

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