With 16 fans, Digital Storm’s Aventum III is part gaming PC, part space heater

CES 2015 was all about small computers. There were new laptops with fifth-generation Core processors, Intel’s tiny NUC desktops, and even a PC on a stick. Only one company had a massive new full-tower system: Digital Storm.

I stopped by its suite to take a look at the Aventum III, a huge computer designed with hardcore gamers in mind. Its most striking trait was undoubtedly its size, as the two models on display towered above everything else in the room. Digital Storm says it plans to support the Haswell-E platform, up to four video cards and up to eight hard drives, capabilities that will put this upcoming desktop head-to-head with Origin’s Millennium and Falcon Northwest’s Mach V.

The Aventum III stands out through sheer volume of cooling.

Any company can stick a bunch of hardware in a tower, however. Something else is needed to set a new desktop apart. The Aventum III’s party trick is its unique, modular internal wiring and liquid cooling arrangement that Digital Storm says will help users upgrade or customize their system. Cords and cooling tubes are positioned at key locations in the case, so it’s easier to connect or disconnect hardware.

Sheer volume of cooling also differentiates the Aventum III. The desktops I saw had a total of sixteen fans along the top, front, rear and inside the case itself. Digital Storm hopes this configuration will allow for extreme overclocking of the processor and the video cards, though the company wasn’t willing to make any promises about maximum clock speeds just yet. Still, it seems clear that cooling will not limit what this desktop can achieve.

The design of the enclosure obviously targets the hardcore audience with its plethora of LEDs and liberal use of cooling vents. In fact, it appears that almost as much of the tower’s surface area is dedicated to intake or exhaust than not. While a certain audience will love this approach, I have to wonder how such aggressive cooling will affect noise. A system as powerful as the Aventum III can generate significant volume, and the only way to counter it is with solid, sound-deadening panels. Digital Storm isn’t including any such measures in this desktop.

Digital-Storm-Aventum-III-hands-on-6

(Digital Trends | Matt Smith)

Both the systems used for display were open, affording us an easy look at the innards. To be honest, there’s not much to remark on besides the cooling and wiring features already mentioned. The layout is entirely conventional; power supply at the bottom, motherboard ports facing the rear, hard drives at the front. Conventional can be a boon, though, as it means the system will be easy for owners to understand.

Gamers can snag the newest Aventum this spring. While the model I saw was close to finished, it wasn’t a final production unit. The design may change before release. Pricing isn’t available this far out, but it’s expected that high-end models will easily top $6,000.

Highs

  • Plenty of cooling
  • Spacious enclosure
  • Easy to upgrade wiring and cooling
  • Extreme hardware options

Lows

  • Extremely large
  • Might be loud
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