YOYOTECH Redback N6
£2,150 • From www.yoyotech.co.uk
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.
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.
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.
• 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