Review: CLX Scarab Gaming PC

While there are plenty of pre-built computer manufacturers out there to select setups from, there are others that focus on builds that use a multitude of parts. CLX is a company that allows users to choose the parts they desire to build a PC with, but also has preset designs in mind. CLX has managed to build the dream AMD machine which features a liquid-cooled AMD RX 6900XT and pairs it with the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X for the pure AMD enthusiast. This build comes in at a steep price, but if money is no issue and AMD is all that matters, this is an impressive machine.

The first thing you notice upon pulling the Scarab out of the box and powering it on is the overwhelming amount of red lighting that help signifies AMD. The RX 6900XT glows a dark red that also features a 120mm radiator that’s mounted to the rear of the case. The case that CLX went with on this Scarab is the Phanteks Eclipse P200, which is a mid-tower case that seems bigger than what the size indicates. The amount of space inside allows for ample airflow as everything has been packed tight in the places that the parts need to be. A front-mounted 240mm radiator helps cool off the Ryzen 9 5900X, as CLX has included its own water pump.

There are a total of six Aeolus fans to help push air through the radiator and out the side panel of the Phanteks Eclipse case. This allowed temperatures under load on the CPU while gaming to hover at around 60 degrees Celsius. This pre-built does include an external RGB hub with a remote control that also powers the fans. Under full fan load, this thing can be loud. As for the AMD RX 6900XT, the temperature on this maxing out under load usually stayed at 75 degrees, which is still sufficient for stability, but toasty. Coming from a NVIDIA RTX 3080 that generally sits at 65 degrees during load, it’s a stark difference in temperature that doesn’t necessarily equate for the performance differences.

Housing the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is the Gigabyte AORUS X570 PRO WIFI Mini ITX system board, a small board that’s packed neat and tidy into the case. The built-in Wi-Fi 6 comes with the shark fin antenna to allow for great connectivity. The build includes G.Skill 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4 3600 MHZ RAM, but the board supports up to 64 GB while only have two DIMM slots. In addition, storage includes a rear mounted SSD and M.2 NVME drive totaling 2 TB with Seagate and Samsung as the provided parts manufacturers. CLX included a beast of a power supply with this build with selecting the EVGA 1000 G5, an 80-plus Gold certified unit that runs at 1000 watts and even has a little green indicator on the rear of the unit.

In terms of putting elite AMD specs into a build, CLX offers a nice-looking setup. Is AMD the way to go when it comes to GPU selection, though? There’s no doubt that the Ryzen 9 5900X is the go-to for any PC enthusiast out there, but for the price of the 6900 XT, it lacks in options what the NVIDIA equivalent can do. Running Time Spy Extreme Benchmark in 3DMark grabbed a 9667 overall score with 10119 on the graphics score and 7715 on the CPU score. This sits above average, but about 2000 points less than the best score with this setup. The system is strong, but when spending this amount of money, you don’t expect to have to make any compromises.

While AMD had introduced Ray Tracing with these RX cards, the results haven’t been great. For 4K gaming, the 6900 XT was mostly solid outside of Cyberpunk 2077. Along with CyberpunkCall of Duty: Black Ops Cold WarApex Legends and Doom Eternal were benchmarked. Ray Tracing was also benchmarked alongside Call of Duty and Doom, but the results aren’t fantastic. This is where the separation comes in at for those wanting the most out of modern day gaming technology. The 6900 XT seems to sit best for high refresh 1440p gaming as the card will push the frames well with better Ray Tracing options. Cyberpunk was able to run well in 4K with the AMD FidelityFX running to help obtain 60 FPS, but then you get left with a blurry items in the distance.

It’s also worth noting that the AMD Radeon Software offers numerous options for advanced users to overclock and adjust, but I encountered a few issues. Upon initially updating the drivers, the system would continually lock up and the issue managed to resolve itself. Screen tearing, even with AMD Freesync enabled, was still abundant in games and for some reason it would not engage. The refresh rate of the screen in Windows would also revert back to 60hz for some reason, even after selecting 120hz, which is what the display is set for. This tends to be much more simple in NVIDIA Control Panel to set.

Closing Comments:

I feel special being able to bare witness to an AMD RX 6900 XT that’s liquid cooled as the CLX Scarab is basically a unicorn in the wild. Any AMD fan would love this build from CLX as it uses excellent parts and provides excellent air flow for a mostly cool gaming experience. This CLX Scarab comes in at over $4,000, however, and I feel the fact that AMD is behind on the likes of Ray Tracing and its own DLSS makes it hard to recommend for someone that is truly looking for the best options out there. The Phanteks case looks fantastic and is surprisingly heavy for a mid-tower case. The specs just sit in a difficult spot as this AMD pairing seems to be overkill for 1440p gaming especially when factoring in the price.