Intel Alder Lake is here and it’s set to change the PC gaming landscape. System makers are keen to show what they can do with Intel’s new gaming powerhouse as well, particularly when paired with Nvidia’s high-end graphics cards. We’ve already looked at new systems from Corsair and HP using the same Core i9 12900K that you’ll find inside this machine, but the Velocity Micro took a different approach to these two systems, and this Raptor Z55 shipped pre-baked at 5.1GHz overclocking all cores (that’s the P-cores , the electronic cores are recorded at 4 GHz). This is a great achievement, as you will see shortly.
Although it is not cheap. Ticket price for this device? Fantastic $4,999.
That’s similar to the $4,700 HP Omen 45L and $4,999 the Corsair One i300. These are cutting edge systems, make no mistake, and system builders are still figuring out the best way to show what Intel Alder Lake can do while still making money. You can configure these builds according to your budget and needs, so don’t be too late for their pricing—think of it as a masterclass demo of your builder’s skills.
Another thing to keep in mind is the ongoing silicon crunch, which makes it difficult to allocate a reasonable cost to any system that uses a high-end graphics card. I mean, how much does an RTX 3080 Ti cost in this system? The launch price is a known entity, but you can’t get the EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 version in this machine for $1,200 right now. Not anywhere near, actually. Basically, it’s hard to avoid overheating your existing graphics card. There’s a similar issue with DDR5 RAM right now too, especially when it’s a little faster than usual.
So, forget the cost for a moment, and instead find out what Velocity Micro has created with this system. This is a machine built for the future. It’s overclocked out of the box, brilliantly cooled, has a less than amazing aesthetic, and is spacious enough to expand later. It’s a 4K beast that you can buy today and enjoy for years to come, basically.
Micro Raptor Z55 Speed Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i9 12900K @ 5.1GHz
GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3.2.0 (Unlocked)
RAM: 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR5-5200
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Master
storage: 2TB Samsung 980 Pro NVMe SSD
Front Input/Output: 1x 3.5mm audio, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
Back I/O: 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 5x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 10GbE LAN, HD Audio, 3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI
Prince sultan university: Supernova EVGA 850W
You: Windows 11 Home
Dimensions: 20.25 x 20.5 x 8.25 inches
Weight: 30 lbs
Guarantee: One year
The full specs feature plenty of well-known brands, from the aforementioned EVGA graphics card to the 2TB Samsung 980 Pro PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD. Both the case and CPU cooler are Velocity Micro branded, with the first being a custom-built aluminum chassis with plenty of cooling space and a side window so you can look through all your expensive hardware.
The Raptor Z55 comes with two fans on the roof and a rear exhaust, as well as a three-fan cooler for the CPU cooler. This rad is side-mounted to the air intake through a grill on the right side of the case, although this side window doesn’t extend forward enough to really show it, which is a shame, because it’s charming when you press the side off, a tool-free affair .
The Velocity Micro has clearly put in the time and effort to get this instrument’s acoustics right, and even when run at maximum cavity, it’s never going to be loud. The three-fan CPU cooler means it’s easy to get back to normal temperatures as well, which is a good thing because the CPU can run very hot when stressed.
During testing, the 5.1GHz overclock yielded some seriously impressive results, but it could also hit 111°C when doing so. This is super hot, but you honestly wouldn’t know it from the sound of the platform playing. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t reach that temperature when gaming, tops out at 100°C, and overall the average is much lower at around 60°C, but nevertheless, it’s surprising to see that it’s so hot.
In case you haven’t guessed it already, this is a very fast machine. The CPU overclock, coupled with the overclocked RTX 3080 Ti (boosting to 1800MHz versus the 1670MHz of the standard RTX 3080 Ti), makes the pairing particularly strong. You won’t have any problems running your games on this device, even in 4K resolution with all settings maxed out.
Horizon Zero Dawn managed an astonishing 91fps in 4K, while the RTX ray-tracing Metro Exodus achieved a staggering 78fps. Hitman 3 level in Dubai saw an average frame rate of 127 fps. All three of these scores top the benchmarking charts and are faster than the HP Omen and Corsair One, which is impressive considering the former has an RTX 3090. However, it’s not a clean sweep, with the non-RTX runs of the Metro Exodus being slower than Pirate One. .
If you’re looking at this machine for a more serious number besides gaming prowess, the good news is that the 32GB cluster of DDR5-5200 and the 5.1GHz overclock equates to some massive throughput. The Cinebench R20 managed to break through the 10K barrier for the first time, and the X264 benchmark scored 81 fps as well.
However, the Hitman 3’s CPU test lagged behind the other two, as did the single-core performance of the Cinebench R20, suggesting that its extensive overclocking means single-core performance doesn’t quite reach the 5.2GHz heights of the chip it’s running Special watches. However, single-core performance is rarely called out these days.
If there is a problem with the Raptor Z55, it is, if anything, that it is too reserved. It’s a great machine, no doubt, but it’s basically on the inside. And while this may be enough for many buyers, it lacks “something special” to make it truly stand out from the growing crowd of high-end machines.
After reviewing the Corsair One i300 recently, this compact computer is what stands out to me. So, even though it tracks this device in a lot of benchmarks (albeit by only a few percentage points at most), it’s the system I’d recommend for the money. Looks important after all.
Not that this machine lacks in any case the performance bets. Indeed, upgrading a Velocity Micro machine over the years will be a lot easier than upgrading a Corsair, but when you’re looking to spend $5,000 on a high-end PC, pure logic won’t always be enough. What’s clear from the Raptor Z55 is that the Velocity Micro knows how to build gaming PCs, and the level of detail here is exceptional.