Fourth go with Digital Storm, still happy – Review of my 2022 Lynx

It’s actually been a little over a week since I got my newest computer, in fact my fourth from Digital Storm. As usual…

1: Background with Digital Storm

The last machine I got from DS was a Digital Storm Bolt III, reviewed here. (and also describes my first Bolt PC and Lance laptop with DS) It has served me reasonably well for 6 years, although I recently had to send it in for repairs because its old video card had gone kaput for some reason–after I had it replaced, they told me the card had suffered oxidation of some sort, which was lamentable but not something I could do a whole lot about, I suppose. The CD drive was a little finicky and the normal hard drive a little slow, but the SSD worked fine. It could have continued serving me for the foreseeable future, but it was Windows 7, which was no longer supported, and some games like Death Stranding wouldn’t run on it at all. So I figured it was time to get a whole new computer, as I only replaced the graphics card for my Bolt. And since my previous machines from DS were so reliable, I decided to stick with them. My Bolt could have probably lasted for another 4 years if it had windows 10 or 11, but as it didn’t, I went all out…

So for my new compy, I decided to go with their flagship machine, the Lynx, albeit customized rather than out of the box. This would end up being the largest, heaviest, and almost most expensive machine I’ve bought from Digital Storm, at about 2886 dollars (originally a little more, but I’ll get to that). So just slightly less than my Bolt 3, actually.

2: Order Details

Chassis Model: Digital Storm Lynx
Exterior Finish: – Standard Factory Finish
Trim Accents: – Standard Factory Finish
Processor: Intel Core i7-12700K (4.9 GHz Turbo) (20-Thread) (12-Core) 3.6 GHz (Alder Lake)
Motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming D4 (Wi-Fi) (Intel Z690) (Up to 3x PCI-E Devices) (No SLI) (DDR4)
System Memory: 32GB DDR4 3600MHz HyperX Fury RGB
Power Supply: 850W Digital Storm Performance Series (Modular) (80 Plus Gold)
Expansion Bay: – No Thanks
Optical Drive: External USB – Blu-Ray & DVD Multi-Drive (Burn + Play Blu-Ray & DVDs) (6x BD-R)
Storage Set 1: 1x SSD M.2 (1TB Seagate FireCuda 520) (NVM Express) (Gen4 PCIe)
Storage Set 2: 1x Storage (4TB Western Digital / Seagate – Ultrastar Data Center / IronWolf)
Storage Set 3: 1x SSD (240GB Digital Storm Performance Series)
RAID Config: – No Thanks
RAID Card: – No Thanks
Internet Access: High Speed Network Port (Supports High-Speed Cable / DSL / Network Connections)
Graphics Card(s): 1x GeForce GTX 1660 6GB (VR Ready)
Sound Card: Integrated Motherboard Audio
Add On Card: – No Thanks
Extreme Cooling: H20: Stage 2: Digital Storm Vortex Liquid CPU Cooler (Dual Fan) (Fully Sealed + No Maintenance)
HydroLux Tubing Style: – Not Applicable, I do not have a custom HydroLux liquid cooling system selected
HydroLux Fluid Color: – Not Applicable, I do not have a custom HydroLux liquid cooling system selected
Cable Management: Premium Cable Management (Strategically Routed & Organized for Airflow)
Chassis Fans: Digital Storm Performance Series (RGB Fans)
Internal Lighting: Digital Storm LED Lighting System
Software Control: – No Thanks
Chassis Mods: – No Thanks
Noise Reduction: – No Thanks
LaserMark: Option Not Available
CPU Boost: Turbo Boost Advanced Automatic Overclocking
Graphics: – No Thanks, Please do not overclock my video card(s)
OS Boost: – No Thanks, Please do not tweak the services on the operating system
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 11 Home (64-Bit)
Recovery Tools: – No Thanks
Virus Protection: Windows Defender Antivirus (Built-in to Windows)
Office: – No Thanks
Mouse Pad: Digital Storm Premium Mouse Pad (Standard Size) (Stitched Edges)
Display: – No Thanks
Surge Shield: – No Thanks
Speakers: – No Thanks
Keyboard: – No Thanks
Mouse: – No Thanks
Branded Gear: – No Thanks
Priority Build: – No Thanks, Ship Within 14-21 Business Days After Order Is Successfully Processed
Warranty: Life-time Expert Care with 4 Year Limited Warranty (4 Year Labor & 2 Year Part Replacement)

Grand Total: $2,886.00

Maybe I shoulda gotten then 10 TB Western Digital hard drive they had available, but the 1TB main flash drive (the Firecuda) already gave me 500 GB more space than my main flash drive for my previous Bolt (500 GB), plus a very cheap 240 GB extra flash drive gave me a total 740 more storage GB over my previous compy, which should be just enough to last me a while, as judicious use of my Steam storage (deleting games I’m not playing at the moment) ought to keep storage use low enough. It’s also my first time with a liquid cooling system, I usually just got fans but apparently for the processor I had they didn’t recommend anything below a liquid system. As I’ll mention, though, it seems to be working well enough. As for my RAM and motherboard, well, there’s a bit of a story behind that…

Shipping Saga:

So initially, I placed an order for a 32GB DDR5 5200MHz FURY Beast RAM set with a compatible DDR5 motherboard, the ASUS Prime Z690-A (Intel Z690 Chipset) (Up to 3x PCI-E Devices) (No SLI) (DDR5). I put it in on December 17th. Now, at the time it said the DDR5 RAM was backordered till the end of december, which was fine with me, I wasn’t in that much of a rush. I wanted to try to get into DDR5 cause I’d heard it was even faster, more reliable RAM. However, the end of december came and went, and I received no updates on my machine. By mid February, I wanted to see what was up. So I contacted Digital Storm and the customer service guy (whom I’ve recommended to his higher ups) was really helpful. He told me that shipping for the DDR5 materials was going much slower than expected and I might not get my machine till late February. That was too much for me, so on January 17, I changed (maybe downgraded slightly) to the ASUS ROG motherboard and the Fury 32GB DDR4 ram stick. Got a 27 dollar refund though, hooray. So I suppose I wasn’t as lucky with this machine as I was with my Bolt 3, which came out to me very quickly despite its parts being on backorder when I first asked for it.

Even after that, it still took quite a while. It wasn’t even ready to ship until February 2, and finally arrived only a week later, on February 9. This was because Digital Storm apparently had a very large backlog, again due to the supply problems. I’ve been doing pretty well for myself over the course of the pandemic, but I guess this was one instance where the world economy–the shipping snags, a lot of computer parts being much harder to get due to politics in other countries, and so on–really got to me. I can’t blame DS too much, though, since I doubt there was a lot they could have done about this anyways. I’d be harsher if it weren’t for those external factors, so in the end I’d give DS an 8/10 for shipping and speed in this instance. However, the machine itself was delivered by Fedex, and I’m not as happy with them…they said they needed a signature from me, but on Feb 9 they just left it outside my door without even ringing the bell! Thankfully I was up and around at that time, or else someone migt have been able to steal it! So yeah, not happy with Fedex, they get a 5/10.

3: Extra Stuff

The first thing I was delighted to find was that my graphics card had a DVI port–I thought it only had HDMI and Displayports, so I bought an HDMI to VGA converter, but it seems I didn’t need to and I returned it; I used my spare DVI to VGA converters for my Lynx and all was good. Aside from that, I got a lot of extra screws and best of all a nice little antenna, which was very useful. I moved my old Bolt downstairs where it was having some trouble getting a wireless signal, but with the free extra antenna it worked fine, while my new Lynx didn’t need it cause it was right next to my upstairs wifi generator. Aside from that, I also got a nice lil free mouspad, hooray.

4: The Machine Itself

As I said, this was definitely the biggest computer I’ve ever got from Digital Storm, but it’s not too huge, only about maybe 20, 25% bigger than the Bolt 3 in terms of weight and volume I’d say. The one complaint I have is that initially, I thought they failed to install my other two hard drives (the 4TB and 240 GB ones), as I only saw the C drive there. However, I did some looking and it turned out I had to manually assign the drives letters, it seems digital storm didn’t do that themselves. That’s my only caveat.

Aside from that, my Windows 11 Lynx is working really really well! It’s been a week and I havent had any problems or crashes. Vindy runs like a charm on the highest settings, Steam is working fine, I can finally play Death Stranding and Mechwarrior 5, I can surf the web and do word documents wonderfully, and it generally seems fantastic. I’ll keep an eye out for any screwups, but so far it’s running super smoothly. Also got a decent little portable CD/DVD drive, though I need some stuff for VLC to play Blu-Rays. Additionally, my Lynx is VERY quiet, almost silent, which I love. And the RGB LED lights are a plus for me…I never used the feature much with my Bolt, but with the Lynx and its big window (and also because I’m keeping the tower upright rather than on its side like I usually do, as I was told that was better for it, the gentle pulsing of the colored lights is super relaxing, especially with some of the other changes I’ve made to my room, like getting a little lava lamp. I feel much more peaceful in my room now than I used to!

5: OVERVIEW: Good things about my experience

Quality of the machine

Bad Things

Long shipping time, and having to manually give my drives letters. Also not happy with Fedex but that wasn’t DS’s fault.

6: Suggestions:

It would have saved me some trouble if Digital Storm had said their DDR5s were backordered to February rather than end of December.

Things I should have done differently:

Gone with DDR4 first. Also, it seems like a few people are having trouble with shipping and such at this time of year. I might have been better off waiting a couple months to get a new computer, after the supply chain snags (and political troubles, I hear if war breaks out in Ukraine economic rifts between Russia and the US might make getting computer parts harder) had passed.

Finally, pictures!

The box. As I said, Fedex didnt ask for a signature and it was also a little wet. Not happy with Fedex.

 

My Bluray player, as well as some of the extras (like the mousepad) and cables and such. Nice!

 

The Lynx itself, before I put the glass cover on. Nice nice!

Here it is, set up and plugged in. I later moved it to the more normal vertical stance after being told that was better for it though, you’ll see.

 

Moar plugs

Initial startup. Nice!

Here it is running

Nother pic of the LED lights

 

Running Death Stranding at night 😀

Got the computer more properly set up with a vertical orientation, as well as my favorite desktop background, a colored page from Berserk by Dave the Word 😀

Running at night

My keyboard and new controller I got 😀

Some more USB cords and lighting for my room I also got from best Buy and Target! 😀

Aw yess, light

 

New printer from Best Buy as well 😀

Also got a nice little cylindrical pillow for extra comfiness in my bed 😀

 

 

Finally, this is my very favorite picture. My setup running at night. The glow from my lava lamp and the Lynx itself is so peaceful, IMO 😀 😀

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