Revolt 2 SFF Gaming PC Review: Thermal & FPS Benchmarks

By Published February 06, 2016 at 11:55 am

Additional Info

  • Component: System
  • Original MSRP: 1900
  • Manufacturer: iBUYPOWER

Revolt 2 Thermal Benchmark – Comparative CPU Temperatures

The below chart shows comparative CPU temperatures between the Revolt 2 and other ITX cases on the market, including the new Manta (reviewed), the Thermaltake V1, and Rosewill Legacy W1. The same components were used in all the cases shown on this chart, including the Corsair H55 CLC. These smaller enclosures tend to run a bit warmer than their mid-tower counterparts already, and the Revolt 2 exacerbates that a bit with its 8C gain over the Manta. The range for this chart is 12.14C, a fair bit wider than the range of our mid-tower reviews.

50.35C is certainly warm for a liquid cooler, but still well within acceptable target temperatures for a CPU – it's just that you'd normally expect these types of temps from a low-end air cooler. The Revolt 2 pulls all its intake from the bottom (pull configuration – not push) and uses the GPU's blower fan to push heated air out the back of the case (the PSU also assists). Between the PSU and GPU fans rests the motherboard and its PCH, which we measured at about ~34C (fairly average). Despite the fact that the radiator fans are pumping heat into a tight enclosure, the PCH, memory, PSU, and GPU VRM are all able to retain fairly reasonable temperatures – and we think that's because of the PSU and GPU fans sharing in the dumping of heat out the back of the case.

manta-temp-eq-cpu-comparison

manta-tot-cpu-comparison

The Revolt 2 is definitely not a performance case when it comes to cooling capabilities. We tested a few different configurations from what iBUYPOWER shipped – including with the acrylic window open (1-2C cooler) and with the radiator fans configured as push (~1.5C cooler, but tubes were abusively routed due to constrictive space). Insofar as the case's cooling abilities, ours was shipped in its optimal configuration. Mounting the fans as push would be preferable in most use cases as they'll have better access to cool air, but doing so in the Revolt 2 forces the tubes close to the PSU rack. That's undesirable in this instance, since it pinches the tubes pretty tightly – we'd rather have ~1.5C warmer CPU & GPU thermals than a cooler that might get damaged over time.

Thermals are just barely acceptable; the system runs warm, but isn't anywhere close to dangerous thermals. That's the tradeoff for this aesthetic: Closed paneling and a non-ventilated window restrict air to bottom intake, and there's no good way around that. iBUYPOWER could try cutting ventilation ducts into the lower, angled side of the side panels; we think this would draft heated air away from the system by using normal positive pressure dynamics, but it would ruin the aesthetic.

ibuypower-revolt2-temperatures

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This chart shows only the Revolt 2's temperatures. These are all presented as Delta T over ambient (measured 19.7C for this test). The GPU pushes 35.2C load, which is a testament to EVGA's Hybrid CLC. The Hybrid in the Revolt 2 is running about 12-13C warmer than our load testing in open air benches – a large, 46% difference – but operates far below what any air-cooled GPU would read-out. The Hybrid is well within safety in this enclosure.

The SSD and HDD operate at acceptable temperatures. The motherboard runs a high idle, but is overall acceptable.

Revolt 2 Gaming Benchmarks – Witcher 3, GTA V, Black Ops III, & More

ibuypower-revolt2-1440p-fps

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Our Revolt 2 model – an amped up “Extreme” build – effortlessly powered 1440p at framerates often approaching 90 to 100FPS, with low frametimes (1% low and 0.1% low) retaining consistent and tight timings across the board. This means a perceptible impact to fluidity and smoothness of gameplay, with few noticeable dips in performance while gaming at 1080p and 1440p resolutions. For gamers seeking 4K compatibility, you'll find from our previous GTX 980 Ti benchmarks that the card is wholly capable of playing some games at 4K resolutions. You'll need to peruse our catalog of game benchmarks to determine case-by-case.

Dropping to 1080p shoots Black Ops III's framerate far-and-away above the 144FPS threshold for true 144Hz monitor support – a fitting accompaniment for a box that's at least partially targeted at eSports gamers. We observed no flaws in gaming playback and framerate throughput for 1080p and 1440p resolutions.

As our regulars know, the EVGA GTX 980 Ti Hybrid has historically held chart-topping performance among our gaming benchmarks, presently laying claim to the highest overclocks and framerates we've ever tested. Any system with such a card is going to perform well.

Conclusion

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iBUYPOWER's Revolt 2 gaming PC makes use of a unique, interesting case. Its compact form factor makes the Revolt 2 portable and well-deployed at eSports or other LAN/gaming events, and thermal concerns are largely mitigated by a forced requirement of liquid cooling on the CPU.

We think iBUYPOWER's test engineering and rules (requirements on the customization page) are well-executed and a strong point of the Revolt 2. The aesthetics are wholly up to you as a reader – that's what our video is for – but design is something we can speak to.

ibuypower-revolt2-r-1

(Above: iBUYPOWER would like to some day offer custom stickers/logo printing for its customers, like the above logo)

iBUYPOWER has a few hits and a few misses with its case design. In interest of consistency with our previous case reviews, we've got to point-out the utter uselessness that is the Revolt 2's thumbscrews. This is, honestly, about as petty an issue as we could take-up – but it's one that the entire industry can't seem to get right, and whoever does it will receive our recognition. The thumbscrews are buried beneath panel extrusions that make them entirely inaccessible by – you guessed it – thumbs (and fingers). The only realistic way to remove them is a screwdriver, which sort of eliminates the whole point.

A small complaint in the scheme of things – but there's really no reason not to get that right.

Thermals are also worth calling to attention (again). Using a push fan GPU cooler in the Revolt 2 will cause heat to build-up and get trapped within the case, but blower fans will force air out of the system. The CPU and GPU thermals are overall acceptable, but a bit warm. Most ITX cases we've tested will operate ~8-12C better than the Revolt 2 – definitely substantial, but still well within safe operating temperatures. iBUYPOWER is able to get by with its temperatures given its liquid cooling utilization, a component choice with which we strongly agree.

ibuypower-revolt2-3

The company also did some stuff well with the case. Its acrylic window and exposed GPU faceplate (and SSDs) are excellent ideas; we've seen each of these experimented with independently, but haven't yet seen many cases which expose both the SSD and GPU faceplates. This approach makes for more of a living room 'showcase' for the right household. The feet are also well-designed – they're tall enough to allow for adequate ventilation for bottom intake, something that we've seen a lot of case manufacturers overlook.

Pricing is generally fair and, part-for-part, actually a good deal – though you do pay a slight premium for the case by nature of (1) liquid requirements and (2) the case itself. But it is ultimately a show-piece, as illustrated by the RGB LED strip that spotlights the GPU's faceplate.

As for whether the iBUYPOWER Revolt 2 is “worth it,” that depends on the use case. Gaming performance is very strong with the component selection, thermals are mostly acceptable, and the RGB LED lighting with acrylic window makes for a uniquely designed living room enclosure. People who aren't interested in paying the extra for a show piece should look elsewhere for something more discreet and lower priced. The same goes for folks who just plain don't like the looks – which is fair, but subjective. For instances where a living room showcase is desired, the Revolt 2 is well worth a look for its unique design and full-frontal components.

Editorial, Test Lead, Video: Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke
Comparative Thermal Testing: Mike "Budekai" Gaglione


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Last modified on February 06, 2016 at 11:55 am
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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