CLX Scarab review (2022): Extreme-end PC gaming at its most attention-grabbing

CLX Scarab

MSRP $5,000.00

“The CLX Scarab is a worthy choice for avid avid gamers who want a high-end PC that video video games properly and seems clear.”

Professionals

  • Good cable administration
  • A great deal of customization picks
  • Extreme effectivity out of the sector
  • Client upgradable

Cons

  • Pricey, notably for cheaper configurations
  • Some oddities with the case

CLX is a boutique PC builder you won’t have heard of. It’s solely been spherical for six years, nonetheless is trying to drawback numerous the higher names available on the market akin to Origin PC, Falcon Northwest, and Digital Storm — all producers that let you customise your desktop assemble down to each aspect.

I’m reviewing CLX’s Scarab PC, which is doubtless one of many agency’s most premium desktops. Equipped with as a lot as a Core i9-12900KS and an RTX 3090, it really has top-of-the-line specs. It’s not good, nonetheless this technique’s smart half alternative, meticulous cable administration, and a highlight to aspect makes the Scarab one in every of many highest-quality gaming PCs within the market.

Design

The CLX Scarab in the dark.Matthew Connatser/Digital Tendencies

The Scarab PC that CLX configured for us makes use of a black-and-white shade scheme with an emphasis on distinction, and it seems to be like very good. On the floor, the chassis is white, whereas the glass panels have a black bezel; on the inside, the PSU power cables, the AIO cooler, and RGB followers are white, and the motherboard and GPU are black. The retail mannequin of this case doesn’t have black bezels throughout the glass panels, which suggests CLX modified it. That’s just one occasion of CLX’s consideration to aspect with the Scarab.

In actual fact, like many alternative gaming PCs, the Scarab has tons of RGB followers, and whereas I’m not an unlimited fan of RGB personally, it’s pretty a lightweight current. 9 followers is likely to be overkill, though, even for a 12900K and a 3090. Fortuitously, the Scarab comes with a distant that controls every the RGB and the followers, though I do have just a few factors with it.

I may need cherished far more administration, akin to with the power to flip the followers down quieter or toggle off RGB absolutely. There are moreover no fan velocity profiles each, which could have been further helpful than merely an increase and cut back button.

The Scarab will get just about each little factor correct; this is usually a really nicelooking and tidy machine.

The Scarab makes use of the Lian Li O11 Dynamic Mini Snow White, and I’ve mixed feelings about this case. It seems to be like sharp and has a great deal of room on the inside, nonetheless there are some oddities about it. The doorway and facet glass panels can’t be eradicated with out eradicating a panel on the best of the PC, and putting the panels once more on could possibly be somewhat little bit of an issue.

I had a really onerous time eradicating and reinstalling the once more panel and, surprisingly, the once more panel doesn’t even have captive screws. As a minimum on my unit, the power button may also be unusually unfastened and off-center. I do know that’s nitpicky, nonetheless when a PC costs $5,000, you anticipate perfection. I may need favored CLX to take yet one more step and make its private personalized chassis so that it might properly have a bit further administration over the design and top quality of its PCs. Falcon Northwest’s Talon has a novel case for its $5,500 prebuilt, and by no means solely does it look spectacular, it has optimistic internal design as properly.

The HDD bay in the CLX Scarab.Matthew Connatser/Digital Tendencies

This case moreover has a ton of thumbscrews and screws, notably on the once more the place the motherboard ports are. There are just too many screws and panels to remove. From what I can inform, there’s even one small removable panel that doesn’t seem to have a level.

One different panel can open entry to the HDD bay, nonetheless I couldn’t pull out any of the HDDs farther than you may even see inside the above image. Whereas Lian Li was making an attempt to design the HDD bay to be merely accessible, in observe, I had a troublesome time figuring out how on this planet I would even get a HDD in or out. I need CLX had merely chosen a further common chassis.

The one totally different substantial criticism I’ve regarding the Scarab is the thermals. It’s not CLX’s fault that the Core i9-12900K attracts a ton of power and isn’t easy to sit back, but it surely absolutely always ran at 100-degrees Celsius in any sustained CPU workload. I may need favored to see a personalized liquid cooling alternative for the Scarab so that CPUs similar to the 12900K wouldn’t look so worrying, and PCs similar to the EK 275 Conquest really present {{that a}} prebuilt can embrace a personalized liquid cooling decision at this value stage. Nonetheless aside from, the Scarab will get each little factor else correct; this is usually a really nice-looking and tidy machine.

Specs and pricing

The CLX Scarab doesn’t use any proprietary {{hardware}}, which suggests it’s merely as upgradeable as any DIY PC. It’s moreover worth noting that you could be customise nearly any part of the Scarab, so the PC we’re reviewing is just one of many attainable configurations.

CPU Intel Core i9-12900K
GPU EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming WiFi
Case Lian Li O11 Dynamic Mini Snow White
Memory 32GB G.Expertise DDR5-5600
Storage Samsung 980 Skilled 1TB, Seagate Barracuda 4TB
Power present Silverstone SX1000
USB ports 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2×2, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
Networking 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E

CLX affords a formidable amount of {{hardware}} selections that cowl every part from the low end all the best way wherein to the best end, and by no means solely do they supply numerous fully totally different Intel CPUs and Nvidia GPUs to pick from, however as well as AMD {{hardware}}. You could configure the Scarab with a Ryzen 9 5950X and an RX 6950 XT if you need AMD, for example.

Don’t problem ordering a Scarab besides you’re eager to shell out for the top-end elements.

One different benefit of the Scarab using retail {{hardware}} is that you could be’t really be shocked with how a particular aspect goes to hold out. For individuals who’re undecided regarding the CPU cooler or the storage for example, then it’s possible you’ll merely uncover a review and determine on your self. This revenue isn’t distinctive to the Scarab (notably as an growing variety of prebuilt fashions are getting away from proprietary {{hardware}}), but it surely absolutely’s nonetheless worth mentioning.

Cable management in the Scarab PC.Matthew Connatser/Digital Tendencies

The Scarab’s solely precise draw back is the worth. At $5,000, our configuration is de facto pricey, and since that’s made using off-the-shelf elements, you probably can assemble your self primarily the similar issue for spherical $3,500. We don’t anticipate PCs this pricey to be considerably good value, though. The HP Omen 45L has a very comparable spec sheet for concerning the similar value, so CLX isn’t charging far more than its opponents.

An absence of value will not problem someone with a $5,000 funds, nonetheless that’s positively a difficulty for someone who could also be desirous about an upper-midrange PC such as a result of the MSI Aegis RS 12, which has a Core i7-12700K and an RTX 3070. It costs $2,200 whereas a equally configured Scarab goes for nearly $3,300. The Aegis is in no way a perfect PC, nonetheless $1,100 is a ton of money to spend on what’s primarily top quality assurance. Don’t problem ordering a Scarab besides you’re eager to shell out for the top-end elements similar to the Core i9-12900K and the RTX 3090. The premium is simply too quite a bit.

Internals and upgradability

Referring to the inside of the PC, CLX did an sincere job basic. The first chamber the place the motherboard and GPU are located have great cable administration, making the Scarab not solely one in every of many neatest-looking PCs I’ve ever seen, nonetheless positively neater-looking than my very personal. The white braided PSU cables are notably good to see, and positively look increased than the same old black cables that I see in my very personal.

Cables on the back of the Scarab PC.Matthew Connatser/Digital Tendencies

The once more of the PC is totally totally different, nonetheless. To have the ability to assemble a PC that has a top-end CPU, top-end GPU, 9 followers, and two RGB hubs for all these followers, CLX ended up using a ton of cables. If plenty of the dimensions of those cables aren’t seen within the major chamber, it’s possible you’ll perhaps guess the place they ended up: stuffed inside the once more.

Whereas I am impressed with how neatly these cables are jammed proper right into a small house that’s perhaps designed for holding further cables anyhow, there are so many that it’s going to be troublesome engaged on this PC if you ever must do one factor that requires together with or eradicating cables, like upgrading a aspect.

Speaking of upgrading, the Scarab is principally similar to any common DIY PC as a result of it’s made out of elements you probably should purchase at retail. Because of the exact model we’re reviewing has a 600 sequence Intel motherboard, you don’t even wish to interchange one thing nonetheless the CPU with a view to enhance to the upcoming Thirteenth Gen CPUs based totally on Raptor Lake, which is sweet because of it means you don’t have to deal with all the cables. Upgrading the GPU should even be comparatively easy due to all the room inside the chassis, and in addition you will not even wish to fret about cables in case your hypothetical subsequent card makes use of the similar amount of power plugs.

Effectivity

Referring to productiveness features and totally different purposes, this explicit model of the Scarab does very properly due to its top-end specs. The Core i9-12900K is basic the quickest CPU you should purchase and the RTX 3090 is tied for the quickest GPU, up there with Nvidia’s private RTX 3090 Ti and AMD’s RX 6900 XT and 6950 XT.

CLX Scarab (Core i9-12900K) Origin Neuron (Ryzen 9 5950X) HP Omen 45L (Core i9-12900K)
Cinebench R23 multi-core 26496 25,166 23,068
Cinebench R23 single-core 1925 1,587 1,893
Geekbench 5 multi-core 18405 15,872 15,685
Geekbench 5 single-core 1959 1,682 1,910
PugetBench for Premiere Skilled 1139 1,088 1,025
Blender widespread (in seconds, lower is more healthy) 125 N/A N/A
Handbrake (in seconds, lower is more healthy) 46 50 51
PCMark 10 9063 N/A 9,034

In the direction of the Origin Neuron, which makes use of the Ryzen 9 5950X, the Scarab scores small victories in multi-threaded features and large wins in single-threaded workloads. That’s about what we anticipate for this matchup, though the 12900K does eat pretty a bit further power to amass this diploma of effectivity.

Although I did categorical my disappointment regarding the Scarab’s lack of personalized liquid cooling, I wasn’t saying it’s lacking compared with totally different desktops. The HP Omen 45L, which made our guidelines for best gaming desktops, is noticeably slower than the Scarab though every have the similar CPU, the 12900K.

Whereas 100 C is definitely a temperature I don’t like seeing, the effectivity is definitely sturdy.

The reason is pretty clear: the 45L’s 240mm AIO merely isn’t ample to tame the 12900K. That’s moreover compounded by the 45L using DDR4 reasonably than DDR5 like inside the Scarab, though that’s not associated in every benchmark; in Cinebench, the effectivity distinction is down absolutely because of lower CPU clock speeds on the 45L.

The 360mm AIO cooler could be very important for the Scarab as CLX has enabled Multi-core Enhancement or MCE on the 12900K. This primarily removes a lot of the power and thermal limits on the CPU so that it might properly merely enhance with out finish, or not lower than until it hits 100 C. Whereas 100 C is definitely a temperature I don’t like seeing, the effectivity is definitely sturdy.

In the direction of totally different 12900K-equipped PCs, along with PCs that go for Ryzen, this model of the Scarab is never in last place. At worst, it’s merely tied for first or barely inside the lead. Nonetheless, I can’t say that’s really the quickest the 12900K can get, because of in our private testing, we found that the 12900K could attain over 27,000 components in Cinebench R23 multi-core, which is a bit bigger than the Scarab achieved.

Gaming effectivity

The CLX Scarab on a wooden table.

No matter having an similar {{hardware}} to the Omen 45L, the Scarab maintains a lead in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Pink Lifeless Redemption 2. I must bear in mind, nonetheless, that the Neuron and 45L have been examined numerous months previously on older drivers, which can have given a bonus to the Scarab. Nonetheless even when that’s the case, we’re talking about numerous further frames, not a further 10 or 20 for the other desktops. The Scarab is clearly a bit sooner proper right here, or at worst, tied for first place.

One issue to note is that these are 4K, max top quality settings benchmarks, and the Scarab solely dipped beneath 60 frames per second (fps) in Cyberpunk 2077. It’s not shocking that it’s getting 220 fps in Civilization VI, nonetheless its effectivity in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Pink Lifeless Redemption 2 is certainly spectacular, and for people who need increased seen fidelity, the physique charge is extreme ample.

CLX Scarab (RTX 3090) Origin Neuron (RTX 3080 Ti) HP Omen 45L (RTX 3090)
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 69 fps 55 fps N/A
Pink Lifeless Redemption 2 84 fps 72 fps 76 fps
Civilization VI 220 fps N/A N/A
Fortnite 82 fps 89 fps 82 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 50 fps N/A N/A
3DMark Hearth Strike 41122 N/A N/A
3DMark Time Spy 20791 17397 18523

For individuals who have been to objective for really extreme physique expenses like 240fps or further, you shouldn’t have any points with the Core i9-12900K, one in every of many quickest gaming CPUs. You might also choose a configuration using the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which is solely as fast in video video games whereas costing significantly decrease than the 12900K.

In 3DMark’s Time Spy benchmark, we see primarily the similar issue we observed in gaming benchmarks. With over a 2,000 stage lead, the Scarab is about 10% before the 45L, which is pretty spectacular given they use the similar CPU and GPU. Cooling is de facto very important, and whereas I consider 9  followers is overkill, they’re really proving their worth.

Given the Scarab’s value, it’s good that it’s on the excessive of the charts (and it kind of should be). That’s positively one in every of many quickest PCs we’ve ever examined, and CLX has carried out an admirable job making certain the 3090 has the thermal headroom to hold out the best it might properly.

Our take

The CLX Scarab is a high-performing and fashionable gaming desktop that’s solely held once more by the worth of buying one. Whereas CLX has put quite a bit care into assembling this PC, the premium is troublesome to justify besides you’re deciding on top-end elements. Nonetheless, it’s possible you’ll anticipate great effectivity from the Scarab if you configure one like our review unit, and that really makes it stand out from totally different prebuilt selections.

Are there any alternate choices?

The very best-end HP Omen 45L is a equally priced and configured PC, that features the similar Core i9-12900K CPU and a RTX 3090 GPU, nonetheless falls a bit behind in effectivity because of lower frequencies.

For individuals who’re going with top-end elements like these, it’s onerous to not choose the Scarab. For individuals who’re looking for increased value nonetheless, there’s the Origin Neuron, which is barely a bit slower for half the worth whereas having comparable assemble top quality.

How prolonged will it last?

This specific configuration of the Scarab must last pretty a while. The 12900K and 3090 are every very extremely efficient elements that obtained’t be thought-about gradual any time rapidly, and there’s a great deal of room for together with further storage and RAM. Intel’s 600 sequence motherboards will even help upcoming Thirteenth-gen Intel Raptor Lake CPUs, which offers you somewhat little bit of an enhance path even when in case you could have a 12900K. These boards will even help PCIe 5.0 GPUs, though for a lot of prospects that perhaps obtained’t be an enormous deal.

Do you must buy it?

Certain, nonetheless offered that you simply’re deciding on top-end elements similar to the Core i9-12900K or the RTX 3090. The Scarab is simply too pricey if you configure it as a midrange PC and may worth over a thousand {{dollars}} higher than value-oriented gaming desktops with the similar components.

Editors’ Recommendations




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