Compact Performance Without Compromise
The Dark Engine
Not everybody wants their computer to look like a desktop chemistry set, tubes of neon liquid, bubbling reservoirs, and techno fans illuminating the room in a disco of colour. Not everybody has the space for a second desk just to home a PC rig the size of a Victorian radiator. Not everyone has a dedicated room to turn into a command center that Nasa would be proud of. But, if you only want the best high-performance system, capable of production standard content creation, AAA gameplay at the highest settings or simply a multi-function workstation capable of handling any workload you throw at it, the Kennedy International Space Centre seems your only option.
The Dark Engine mission was to build a system that does not compromise on the performance that these high-end PC rigs offer but delivers this in a small footprint, capable of squeezing into the tightest home-office desktop environments; an unobtrusive design that can nestle seamlessly in a bookcase in the lounge and remains whisper quiet enough to perform unnoticed in the corner of a bedroom.
The Dark Engine ethos is to only use class leading components from each manufacturer, engineer these into a build of flawless standard and quality and ultimately produce a system that is the best of the best, without compromise.
Compact Performance Without Compromise
Trying to fit the Best-In-Class components in something roughly the size of your average toaster, does not mean you have to compromise on performance when opting for a compact system. Utilising the best airflow chassis and advanced cooling solutions, the DARK ENGINE system has been engineered to overcome the restrictions that have always beset small form factor performance desktops. Designed after two years of product selection, testing and development, our DARK ENGINE system takes all Best-In-Class components found in a full-sized desktop and delivers them in a high-performance compact chassis.
Small Form Factor
The Dark Engine system features the Best-In-Class SSF Mini-ITX chassis for maximising airflow, through its innovative layout it still manages fit in a full-size desktop water cooling solution. Efficient cooling enables the Dark Engine system to utilise the latest AMD Ryzen™ desktop processors, top-of-the-line graphics cards, and even add Gen4 PCIe® NVMe SSDs in a blisteringly fast RAID0 configuration.
Available exclusively with 4th Generation AMD Ryzen™ Zen 3 desktop processors, with up to 16 cores and 32 threads, the Dark Engine system supports the fastest desktop processors available, offering incredible processing power as stock but with the ability to over-clock the components to unprecedented levels only associated with high end gaming rigs. Both stock or overclocked configurations give you the freedom to do everything and anything without the limitations you would expect from Mini-ITX based system.
Removing the Rev Limiter
All the components we use are designed to be fast, really fast. But if you are looking for the fastest and then want to go faster still, our Dark Engine system will deliver. By optimizing matched components and improved liquid cooling with our custom loop, we can push the boundaries of the stock settings beyond the factory specification. Designed to be uniformly stable across multiple usage scenarios factory settings act like a rev limiter keeping the system within a generic safe zone but limiting performance. By tailoring the bios settings, voltages, and clock speeds we can unleash this potential knowing that the Dark Engine can handle a higher boundary and still remain consistently stable.
Every Dark Engine build is assigned to a single expert who takes ownership of the system from bare chassis, component installation, through to bench-testing, over-clocking and finally shipping. We do not just cram components into a hidden case, we utilize custom connectors, brackets, and cable management to maintain an optimal clutter free air flow throughout the case increasing stability and performance. Our ethos is that a system should look and perform as well on the inside as it does on the out.
Best-In -Class Components
When building a high-end specification into such a small environment you need to make sure every square inch performs not only to its maximum but serves the greater good of the entire system. We bench test 100s of product each year and only select the best in class for our needs. We do not just select a component because it is compatible with the rest of the system but because it will enhance the performance of the other components it is paired with, always striving for the 1+1=3 solution.
High performance means increased heat, small form factor cases have less air volume and therefore that heat builds up more quickly, eventually throttling performance. To maintain performance you need to absorb that heat away from your components efficiently and in a compact case traditional air-cooling just won’t get the job done. The Dark Engine system uses a custom liquid cooling loop and dual 240mm radiators to cool both CPU and GPU conducting heat away from the primary components and enabling them to maintain performance and stability. The dual radiators do such and efficient job that the Dark Engine system can even operate beyond the factory specification giving even higher performance than you’d expect from a open case gaming rig.
Pulling heat away from the components is one step but you also need to get that heat out of the case. Optimal airflow is achieved by maintaining impeccable build standards, keeping clutter free airways throughout the case. The Dark Engine custom loop set up then matches dual radiators with a mixture of push and pull fans to create a constant negative pressure within the case, forcing fresh cool air to be drawn into the case and hot air to be expelled by the exhaust fans. Overall we can achieve over a 10o drop in standard system temperatures and utilise this overhead to push performance levels higher.
7700% faster than HDD
1500% faster than SATA SSD
300% faster than PCIe 3.0 NVME
80% faster than a Single PCIe 4.0 NVME
You Are What You Read
With NextGen GPUs now able to process data faster than hard drives can deliver it is no longer adequate to think that any old disks will do, being able to rapidly deliver content to the GPU is becoming exponentially more important. Your standard SATA III drive bus delivered SSD speeds of 600MB/s, high performance M.2 NVME drives as PCIe-based SSDs can deliver 1000MB/s per lane but the Dark Engine utilizes PCIe Gen4 that doubles the transfer rate per lane. Deploying two 1TB PCIe Gen 4 drives in a RAID 0 configuration, the Dark Engine presents the operating system a single 2TB drive capable of Read/Write speeds in the region of 9000MB/s, nearly 300% faster than your standard NVME based system. If you are what you read, then the Dark Engine has read it all… in seconds.
Powered to Perform
Great performance comes from power, the latest NextGen GPUs and CPUs will use nearly 500-watts between them meaning the 450-watt PSU bundled with your average small form factor PC just will not cut it. The Dark Engine system supports an 800-watt continuous power output PSU, titanium rated for 24/7 operation, giving you more than enough grunt to run all of today's best in class components. Using an ultra-quiet 120mm fan with intelligent RPM control guarantees cool performance and silent operation with minimum of 18dBA during fan operation. The PSU even supports a fan less mode that operates when the loading is under 20%.
The Ultimate Gaming Console
Even with the pre-release data for the next generation of consoles raving about double previous performance levels, these are less than 20% of the flagship RTX 3090 GPU, there really is no contest. As consoles strive to deliver 4k content or hit up to 120FPS gaming with 60FPS as standard, PCs have moved on and are delivering 8k content, 1440p at minimum 144FPS or supporting FullHD at 360Hz. With the Dark Engine system occupying a similar footprint to the most common consoles and also capable of office work, content creation, video editing, streaming, application development, 3D,VR; it really is time to leave the console behind and give your controller an upgrade by connecting it to a PC.
Play Games As Intended
When Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, he was not expecting people to view it through a dirty window. Likewise, when game developers meticulously create the perfect virtual world environments it is not their intention that you go in to your settings screen and dial them back so that you remove half the content just to make the game playable. The Dark Engine system is powerful enough to give you super slick game play, on the latest AAA games, and still produce eye watering graphics as the developers intended them to be seen, all your settings at the max.
Silence of the Fans
The Dark Engine combines highly efficient cooling, dynamic fan control and superior performance at low load to produce a system that will operate in near silence. Even as you demand more performance, higher loads and generate greater heat, the Dark Engine’s optimized airflow combined with fans supporting AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimisation) means that the system will remain unobtrusively quiet even at the maximum.
AMD RYZEN 9 5950X 16-Core 3.4 GHz (4.9 GHz Max Boost)
AMD X570 – ASUS ROG Strix X570-I Gaming
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 24GB G6X
32GB DDR4-3600 2x16GB (Dual Channel) CL16
2 x m.2 PCIe 4.0 NVME SSD (RAID0)
1 x 2.5" 4TB SATA SSD
800 Watt 80 PLUS® Titanium Certified High Performance SFX PSU
CPU+GPU Open Loop – Dual 240mm Radiators
258mm – Height
333mm – Depth