There are a plethora of options out there when it comes to companies that build gaming PCs. Choosing the right company to handle your build is almost as important as choosing the actual components you want to include in the PC itself. I typically handle my own PC builds and can be hyper-critical of pre-built systems. Why pay more for the same parts that I can buy and install myself? CLX is the first company I have come across that really puts value into the pre-built model. Another big part of the draw recently has been the shortage of parts available for doing your own builds. The convenience and availability that comes along with the pre-built model combined with the overall quality of the CLX builds make them the number one choice for pre-built gaming PCs right now.
The system that CLX sent over to me for testing included an AMD Ryzen 9 5900x CPU, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 24GB GPU, 32GB of DDR4-3600 RAM, 5TB of storage, and plenty of liquid and mechanical cooling to sustain the system through long hours of high-level output. It was all wrapped up in a gorgeous white case with plenty of RGB lighting and a custom tree design that all looked fantastic together. The total cost for my build comes out to $5298. Nothing to scoff at, but not at all unreasonable for what is included in the build.
A big concern that some people have with buying pre-built is shipping. That is a lot of money to spend on a relatively fragile piece of technology, and there is a lot of risk involved in shipping. The CLX RA that I received came in a giant wooden crate shrink-wrapped on top of a wooden pallet. Inside the crate was a thick cardboard box, and inside that was ANOTHER box, with shock absorption and padding galore. The level of care and effort apparent up front with the packaging and shipping is the first look at what CLX is, and a solid indicator of the rest of the build quality.
Once you get the RA unboxed, the next step will be finding where to put this beast. The system is massive, which is to be expected from a tower boasting this much power. One of the key takeaways for me right away was how much space I still had available inside for additions/replacements. If you build it right, the RA will last you for years to come without a noticeable dip in performance, but the case itself can last you far beyond any of the components inside. The custom paint job further enhances the value you get from the case itself, and I would suggest you take your time and make sure to invest in the case you want for the long haul.
The tempered glass side puts the core of the RA on full display, and demands a place atop your desk or facing out toward the room at the very least. It also offers an easy access point to get inside your system to tinker around and make any changes you need. The easy-opening panels make maintenance on the RA a breeze.
As far as performance goes, your mileage will vary wildly depending on what exactly you put into the system. With the unit I was sent for review, I was able to comfortably run anything available today in 1440p and uncapped framerate, and was able to run games like Call of Duty and Elden Ring in 4k at 60+fps consistently. Even Cyberpunk 2077, a notoriously power-hungry game, ran at a solid 45fps at 4k with max settings. With a slight tweak to the overall graphics and a push to favor performance, I was able to run a slightly downscaled 4k at 60fps.
The CLX RA configurator makes actually building your custom PC extremely easy. It walks you through step by step to ensure that you get everything you need, with transparent pricing for each component and their own compatibility checker running to make sure you don?t accidentally try to build something with conflicting parts. If you add a part that won?t work, it pops up and demands you solve the conflict before you can add it to your cart. If there is a conflict that needs to be resolved, the configurator will show you what needs to be replaced and why, as well as suggestions for alternative parts.
In addition to the transparent pricing, any parts you select that may hinder the shipping speed notify you of such, which may seem like a small thing but is a really great touch when you?re building and most likely want to know exactly when you are going to get what you ordered. They also have a great ?compare? feature that allows you to do a side-by-side comparison of different parts within the same component group to see how much of a difference you are looking at with each addition.
With the ability to customize your RA from the baseline price of $1799 to a monstrous price tag of nearly $10,000, there is something in the RA line for every gamer. Of course, being a pre-built, you ARE going to be paying a premium over the DIY cost for the exact same rig, but the convenience of getting it built for you as well as the elimination of the need to hunt down all of the components yourself really help justify the higher price tag.
As someone who has always preferred to build my own PC, the CLX RA was enough to get me to start really digging into the pre-built scene. My current PC is nothing to scoff at, with my 3080ti still a recent enough upgrade to keep me going for a while. When it comes time to look into a whole system upgrade though, I can promise you that I will be checking out what CLX has to offer first.
Note: CLX provided us with CLX RA hardware loaner for review purposes.