The latest Overclockers machine is one of the best-designed gaming PCs we've ever seen, with bespoke water-cooling, a great colour scheme and keen attention to detail. It pairs its great design with class-leading performance in games and applications, and it's never hot or loud. It's expensive and niche, but it's one of the world's best gaming computers.
Handles any gaming task
World-class, compact design
Customised flight case
Has SATA storage rather than an M.2 SSD
No real upgrade potential
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The latest machine from Stoke, UK-based PC builders Overclockers UK is a monster, but it's surprisingly small and affordable considering the other systems in the firm's famous 8Pack range.
That's because this is one of the best gaming desktops in the world – but it's also a mini-ITX machine that's designed for LAN events. It even arrives in a customised flight case.
The Asteroid is immediately stunning, and that's no surprise – this machine has been designed, built and tweaked in Ian "8Pack" Parry. He's a renowned overclocking expert who holds numerous world-records, and he works at Overclockers UK, developing the firm's high-end machines. We interviewed 8Pack last year to find out more about his PC building methods.
He usually designs monster rigs that cost between $7,083 (about £5,000, AU$9,339) and $14,168 (about £10,000, AU$18,583). Starting at £3989.99 (around US$5,624 or AUS$7,509), the Asteroid is a departure – but Overclockers' master builder has amply risen to the challenge.
Water-cooling and a custom case
It all starts with a customised Parvum Veer chassis. It's a mini-ITX case made entirely from acrylic, with layers of plastic in white, black and red deployed to match the Asteroid's colour scheme. The top of the machine serves up a window and an opaque view into the reservoir, which bubbles and swirls with red coolant when the Asteroid is activated.
The front of the machine has angled inlays that show off the acrylic, and a slatted section shows the 8Pack-branded fans that function as an all-important air intake.
It's a stunning start – and the Asteroid only gets better once its windowed side panel is removed. Four pipes filled with red coolant sit vertically, with a pair of pipes at the front and two shorter units at the back.
The former pipes head upwards to the graphics card, which has been modified with a clear EK waterblock that's made from acrylic and nickel, while the latter tubes delve towards the processor and its solid black EK Supremacy EVO block. They're fed by a thick sheet of custom-made acrylic that functions as a second reservoir: coolant flows through its plastic recesses and around an 8Pack logo before heading upwards to the components.
The extra acrylic layer means Overclockers can hide the EK CoolStream PE-series radiator beneath – and the rest of the cooling gear, along with the PSU, sits beneath a slab of black acrylic that functions as the motherboard tray. The entire machine sits on small feet that raise the case up, allowing air to reach the cooling hardware.
The Asus motherboard sits vertically behind the cooling pipes, and matches the colour theme thanks to red-and-black heatsinks. The graphics card and motherboard power cables are individually braided with red, black and grey fibres, and the black case fans are covered with a red 8Pack logo.
The entire interior is illuminated by a white strip-light, and the back has a smart plate of authenticity that's decorated with 8Pack's logo.
There's no question about the design nous of this system. It's one of the smallest gaming PCs I've ever seen, but it's also one of the best-looking, with fantastic, attentive design and consistent colours. It's the kind of rig that'll draw admiring glances when it's unveiled at a LAN party.
The design carries through to the outside, too: the Asteroid comes with its own 8Pack-branded flight case for transport to LAN events.
Mike has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade and has written for most of the UK’s big technology titles alongside numerous global outlets. He loves PCs, laptops and any new hardware, and covers everything from the latest business trends to high-end gaming gear.