In the lab: Corsair's Bulldog mini-PC kit

Over the past few years, Corsair has expanded from its roots as a premium RAM provider to become nearly a one-stop shop for the PC builder. The company's closed-loop liquid coolers, power supplies, memory, cases, storage, and peripherals are all high-quality parts, and they're deservedly popular. The Bulldog PC kit takes all of the expertise the company has gathered making those discrete components and wraps it up into one neat, stealthy-looking box. Corsair has been teasing the Bulldog since last year's Computex, and after a long series of refinements, the company is finally ready to sic the Bulldog on the living room.

To let me see how this puppy behaves, Corsair sent me a Bulldog barebones that's similar to what buyers will get if they purchase the $400 "basic kit" version of the PC. That kit includes the case itself, an SF600 SFX power supply, and the H5 SF CPU cooler, plus a pre-installed Gigabyte GA-Z170N-Wifi motherboard. The company also sent me an Intel Core i7-6700K CPU, the G1 Gaming version of Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics card, and its own Hydro GFX liquid-cooled GTX 980 Ti (produced in partnership with MSI) so that we could get a feel for whether 4K gaming in the living room is a prospect worth drooling over.

While you'll have to wait for our full review for all the details of how the Bulldog performs, I think Corsair has largely succeeded in its mission, all without without inviting unpleasant noise levels along for the rideā€”at least, so long as one goes all-in on liquid-cooled components. Running games like Grand Theft Auto V at 4K and 60FPS in the living room is the kind of experience console players can only dream of, for example, though we'd expect nothing less from a system that would ring in at over $1500 at retail. I've also discovered that the Bulldog makes a fairly tote-able VR demo rig for showing off what the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift can do outside of TR's labs.

We're headed across the Pacific this week in preparation for Computex, but we'll be publishing an in-depth review of the Bulldog as soon as we can. Stay tuned.

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