Yoyotech Redback N6
This Ryzen 7 1800X-based PC will handle any task you want, if you’re willing to pay for the privilege
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