Yoy­otech Red­back N6

This Ryzen 7 1800X-based PC will han­dle any task you want, if you’re will­ing to pay for the priv­i­lege

PC Pro - - November 2017 Issue 277 - JAMES ARCHER

Look fa­mil­iar? The Yoy­otech Red­back N6 is es­sen­tially a gam­ing ver­sion of the Red­back N6 WS work­sta­tion ( see is­sue 275, p58). It’s £50 more ex­pen­sive, and you only get half the DDR4 mem­ory – 16GB to the N6 WS’ 32GB – but the AMD Radeon Pro WX 1700 graph­ics card has been swapped out in favour of an EVGA-built GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edi­tion.

It’s not as if many changes from the N6 WS were nec­es­sary. You still get that ex­quis­ite Game Max chas­sis, with tem­pered glass on the front and both sides, plus a smart LED-il­lu­mi­nated hon­ey­comb pat­tern at the front. A but­ton on the top I/O panel cy­cles through var­i­ous colours and ef­fects, for a touch of easy cus­tomi­sa­tion.

Best of all, the eight-core Ryzen 7 1800X re­turns, over­clocked to a per­ma­nent 4GHz. It’s a bril­liant per­former – in our bench­marks, the Red­back N6 scored 151 in the im­age-edit­ing test, 260 in the video test and a stonk­ing 317 in the mul­ti­task­ing test.

Th­ese give it an over­all score of 270, a mere seven points be­hind the N6 WS; cer­tain CAD ap­pli­ca­tions will ben­e­fit more from that PC’s Radeon pro GPU, but this is still a ca­pa­ble pseudo-work­sta­tion.

No­tably, it also out­paces sim­i­larly priced In­tel sys­tems by sev­eral fur­longs. Take the £2,100 Chill­blast Fu­sion Por­tal, which has the same GPU but a quad-core In­tel Core i7-7700K – this scored 169 over­all, miles be­hind the Red­back N6.

Of course, it’s gam­ing, not work, that the Red­back N6 is most con­cerned with, and here it brings the 11GB GTX 1080 Ti’s power to bear. In the Dirt: Show­down bench­mark, run­ning with Ul­tra qual­ity set­tings and 4x MSAA en­abled, it pro­duced 146fps at 1,920 x 1,080 res­o­lu­tion, 145fps at 2,560 x 1,440 and 118fps at 4K. And it runs just as smoothly as you’d ex­pect on such top-notch hard­ware.

It also put up a great show­ing in the much tougher Metro: Last Light Re­dux bench­mark, where (with Very High set­tings and SSAA en­abled) it man­aged a slick 102fps at 1,920 x 1,080 and 63fps at 2,560 x 1,440. Switch­ing to 4K saw a drop to 28fps, which is just be­low playable, but 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 157 at 1440p. How­ever, it would be im­pos­si­ble 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 vir­tual re­al­ity games and hard­ware; both the Fu­sion Por­tal and Red­back N6

“It’s a bril­liant per­former, with an over­all score of 270. That out­paces sim­i­larly priced In­tel sys­tems by sev­eral fur­longs”

scored 11, the high­est mark pos­si­ble.

Th­ese two PCs are also evenly matched on stor­age, hav­ing the ex­act same NVMe SSD – a 250GB Sam­sung 960 Evo – plus a 2TB hard disk. The for­mer is par­tic­u­larly ex­cel­lent, pro­duc­ing se­quen­tial read speeds of 2,259MB/ sec and se­quen­tial 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 PCIe x16 de­vices and up to three PCIe 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, in­clud­ing one USB 3.1 port, one USB-C port, a gen­er­ous eight USB 3 ports and four ex­tra USB 2 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 lacks ex­pan­sion – there’s only one ad­di­tional 3.5in drive bay, for in­stance, and only two 2.5in mounts. It’s also strange that there’s no rear ex­haust fan, al­though the three front in­take fans and CPU wa­ter­cooler – NZXT’s beau­ti­fully quiet Kraken X31 – do a good 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 closely to the 1800X) in­stead. That said, it is a much more ver­sa­tile sys­tem than most PCs we’ve seen in this price range, so it makes a lot of sense as a lux­ury pur­chase.

SCORE ✪✪✪✪✪ PRICE £1,792 (£2,150 inc VAT) from yoy­otech.co.uk ABOVE The Red­back N6 ex­udes qual­ity from the mo­ment you switch it on SPEC­I­FI­CA­TIONS 4GHz AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU 16GB 2,400MHz SDRAM Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero moth­er­board 11GB EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graph­ics 250GB Sam­sung 960 Evo M.2 NVMe SSD 2TB hard disk Game Max chas­sis 205 x 468 x 439mm (WDH) Win­dows 10 Home 64-bit 3yr war­ranty (30day C&R, 1yr parts and labour, 2yr labour only)

LEFT We’re fans of the Game Max chas­sis, with tem­pered glass on the front and sides

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