Back when Intel announced its eleventh-generation desktop processors, CLX Gaming reached out to me asking if I’d like to check out one of their PC review units. I’ve never heard of the CybertronPC owned brand outside of Kansas. CLX Gaming builds gaming PCs, and I ended up getting the Ra.
When I say custom, I mean it. You pick every part you want in your tower, then CLX builds it and ships it. As part of the review experience, I have to choose my parts. At first I maxed out everything and got a $15,000 gaming PC, but CLX came back to me and suggested something more along the lines of $7,000.
CLX Ra . Specifications
|CPU||Intel Core i9-11900K 3.5GHz|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 24GB GDDR6X|
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero – ATX|
|memory||2x G.SKILL Z Trident
Total dual channel memory 64 GB
|storage||2 TB GAMMIX XPG S5 M.2 SSD|
|cooling||CLX Quench 360 مغلق Closed Liquid Cooler|
|the structure||Ra Evolve Elite Mid Tower Black|
|custom coating||CLX space theme|
|fans||7 x 120mm 1500rpm Riing Plus LED RGB 1PK|
|power supply||EVGA SuperNOVA 1300 G2 – 80+ Gold 1300 W
Cable Sleeve Set Black/Red
|thermal collector||Thermal Compound – CLX FLUXX|
|You||Windows 10 Pro|
The only thing that’s great about the customization experience is that you can actually share your design. This is the thing CLX sent me, although apparently some parts on my unit are no longer included.
First of all, when you head over to CLXGaming.com, you’ll find a range of pre-made options at all price points. For under $600, there’s a machine with an AMD Ryzen 3 3200G processor and 8GB of RAM. If you scroll down, there’s a unit with an AMD Threadripper 3960X 24-core with 32GB DDR4-2666 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 for $5,898.
Then there are options to build your own. You can choose from four different groups – the group, the scarab, the horus, and the ra. I went with Ra, because it’s the biggest and the one that can handle all the bits I’ve tried to put in.
Once you choose the model, you can choose between different towers with different colors. This is below the Look and Feel section, where you’ll also find options for a custom paint job, fans, and interior lighting.
After you’ve prepared your look and feel, it’s time to decide on your key ingredients. If you don’t know anything about building a PC, CLX will help you here. After all, you can’t have a small tower and put a huge GPU in there, or get a cheap power supply with components that consume a lot of power.
This section is where you’ll choose the CPU, GPU, motherboard, RAM, power supply, cables, storage, sound card, network card, and capture card. It’s the inner guts of a computer. If you pick the CPU you got, there are 21 Z590 motherboards to choose from, and there are more Z490 motherboards. For graphics, you can choose between AMD and NVIDIA, and get anything up to an RTX 3090 (yes, you can save $552 by getting an RTX 3080 Ti, or $1,035 by getting an RTX 3080).
The next tab is The Foundry Performance. In fact, you can have the best ingredients, but if they don’t stay cold, they are useless. This is where you can choose your own CPU cooler and thermal compound, as well as some overclocking solutions.
The next section is all about software and services, so you can spend an extra $40 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro instead of Home. You can also add a perpetual license from Microsoft Office, some free games that can be preloaded, and you can also preload browsers like Chrome and Firefox if you don’t want the extra step of getting them through Edge.
Warranty is the only thing that is definitely important in this department. In fact, the nice thing about horoscopes is that they are modular. If your storage gets worse, you can replace it. However, if you go out and spend $7,000 for competitive gaming, you probably don’t want to deal with that.
The final tab for accessories and peripherals. This is exactly what it sounds like, and I don’t want to go into it. It includes anything from T-shirts to mechanical keyboards, with mice, mouse pads, monitors, headphones, controllers, and much more in the middle.
CLX’s custom PC build system is pretty cool, and it’s an essential part of what’s being offered here. There is absolutely nothing stopping you from buying all these parts and putting them together on your own. But when buying a toy tower from most sellers, there are a limited amount of configuration options. With CLX, your imagination is the limit.
Look, feel and performance
You obviously can’t review a computer like this without at least talking about performance a bit, and we’ll have benchmarks for that. The performance is clearly good as is. But I didn’t want to focus on that because frankly, this review is not about a tower with a Core i9-11900K and NVIDIA RTX 3090 GPU. After all, if you head to the CLX website to build your own PC right now, you probably won’t get either. You’ll get another thing the company has to offer, and that’s more about that.
I went with the space theme, because space is awesome. I love it, but there are so many others to choose from that are just as exciting. It’s all a matter of preference.
Up front, there’s a flap that opens to reveal two USB Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port, and a 3.5mm audio input and output jack. The front panel can be removed to access the dust-collecting filter. Everything is easy to clean.
All these pieces pop up and back again. The design without tools here is very cool. In fact, both sides of the structure have glass doors that close magnetically. Not only are they without tools, they are also without buttons.
You may be wondering why you need to access the bottom of the motherboard. This is a customizable thing. If you want to get there to work with the cables or replace the CPU cooler, you can easily do so.
Also, speaking of the motherboard, I just want to give a shout out to the fact that all of the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero packs in the box with the CLX Ra PC. If you go and buy that board now, it will come with a manual, a bunch of extra cables, etc. It’s all in the box, and yes, this guide will come in handy if you want to mess with your new gaming PC.
That’s what I love so much about the CLX. You may not want to build everything yourself, but it’s clearly something that was designed to play with. You can easily upgrade parts, replace them, etc.
The back of the PC isn’t particularly sexy. Unlike the ports on the front, none of what you look at comes with the case. The main ports are part of the motherboard, the graphics parts are part of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 card, and the power port is part of the PSU. Those ports on the front come as part of the case, and they connect to the motherboard.
And of course the interior is very beautiful. Almost everything is RGB lit, including several fans, memory, and more.
Even the front of it has RGB lighting coming from behind the panel. The lighting is already incorporated into the panel, as you may have noticed that it is not present in the pictures where the panel has been removed.
As promised, I ran a bunch of benchmarks. I have used PCMark 8, PCMark 10, 3DMark, Geekbench, Cinebenchm, and VRMark.
Core i9-11900K, RTX 3090
|HP OMEN 30L Desktop Computer
Core i9-10900K, RTX 3080
|HP Z2 SFF G8 Printer
Core i7-11700K, Quadro RTX 3000
|PCMark 8: Home||5,007||5,472||3863|
|PCMark 8: Creative||7510||7,691||6054|
|PCMark 8: Action||3916||4169||3585|
|3DMark: Time Spy||17456||16553||5,382|
|jeepbench||1,803 / 9,887||1,365/10933||1,714/10,175|
|Cinebench||1,675/15,098||1,312 / 15,266||1,574 / 12,195|
|VRmark: Orange Room||14,555||14,723||7494|
|VRMark: The Blue Room||6225||5223||1,544|
Usually when I add benchmarks to a review, I just pull up my spreadsheet of PC benchmarks and compare the device to the closest few in the PCMark 10 list, then maybe add a last-generation product on top of that. I really didn’t have much to compare this to though. The CLX Ra is just as powerful as it is. It was at the top of my list in most categories.
If I was buying a gaming PC, I would go for the CLX. You are pretty much building a computer without having to build a computer. Some would say design is part of the experience, and for those people, you can still build your own PC.
Honestly, the thing that impressed me the most, even more than the entire configuration experience, is that it comes with the box, manual, and accessories from the motherboard packaging. You won’t find that on an Alienware, HP, or Lenovo gaming computer. This doesn’t sound like a pre-built computer like the Alienware Area-51. It looks like a custom build.
It’s also just a nice machine. I absolutely love it, from the paint job to the lighting. I’ve seen some other designs too, and they’re pretty cool too. I really came out of this with an appreciation for CLX, a brand I had never heard of.
Usually when I post a review, I make sure to come up with some negatives about a product, as nothing is perfect. The biggest one here is the time it will take to get it to your computer. Mine took about three months. Of course, that had to do with dealing with what was going to be going on in the press unit and the like. Still, it will take some time. If you want anything except a “factory standard color” for the case, you’ll need an extra two or three weeks, plus the team has to build the thing and probably contact you about any issues. Of course, customization takes time.
I’d like to criticize the fact that the Thunderbolt ports on the back don’t work properly at all, but that’s an ASUS issue, not a CLX issue. It’s a motherboard issue.
Like most custom PC builders, CLX mostly uses off-the-shelf parts but with their own custom touch. I have to say, it’s a good look.
- CLX makes gaming PCs that have just about anything you want.