After detaching both steel side panels on Blackfire Apex, we are met by an attractive set of components. In the main chamber on the prominent side the pathway is clear of any obstruction and is tidy – on the reverse however, the cable management could be ordered in a better way. Although this won’t be detrimental to the operation of the system, we like things nice and tidy!
One particular choice which is rather puzzling is the inclusion of a Micro-ATX motherboard in a computer chassis of this size. As you can see from the above pictures, there is excessive space around the motherboard. Perhaps a smaller, more condensed chassis could have been used if the Micro-ATX form factor is the direction Fierce PC want to go with this rig.
Taking a closer look at the components selection, the driving force behind Blackfire Apex is the Intel Core i5-6500 processor which touts a 3.20GHz base clock and up to 3.6GHz Turbo Boost. The 6500 sits on an GIGABYTE GA-H110M-S2H motherboard, this board uses the H110 chipset and while it is an entry-level solution, it bears the essentials that most users will require. Cooling the CPU Fierce PC has decided to opt for the Cooler Master Seidon 120V closed loop liquid cooler. The radiator and fan combo for this solution occupies the rear exhaust cooling fan location, rather than use the Cooler Master fan which come with Seidon, Fierce PC has taken advantage of the Gamemax Vegas RGB fan – underload the system is quiet and can be regarded as undisruptive.
Immediately next to the CPU and its cooling block we have 16GB of ADATA XPG Dazzle 2400MHz DDR4. If we take into account the overall configuration, along with this 16GB of memory we have a good foundation for basic content creation, gaming and general usage.
For graphics delivery this system takes advantage of the XFX RX 470 RS Black Edition. For 1080p gaming, this graphics card offers good performance for a mid-range solution. Over on the subsequent pages we’ll see just how capable this card and the components are when we run some 3D performance benchmarks.
Blackfire Apex uses a storage combination which we see common nowadays. For the primary (Windows 10) drive, Fierce PC have used an ADATA SP550 SATA-based SSD which is capable of delivering 400-500MB/s+. Having an SSD for the boot drive means the startup time will be quick and the core software suite will tap into significantly quicker transfer rates for sequential read/write and IOPS. There is also a standard mechanical 3.5” drive which again is SATA-based. This is a Western Digital Blue 1TB drive and will be ideal for the games, music, movies libraries.
Behind the 3.5” drive the GameMax Vegas features a 120mm RGB fan which brings cool air into the chassis and will help to drive down the temperature of the HDD.
So that’s all a tour of the Blackfire Apex complete, on the following pages we'll be testing out the performance of this system to see how capable it really is.