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Corsair's Bulldog PC kit will bring next-gen Skylake CPU to the living room

Hayden Dingman | June 2, 2015
Corsair's Bulldog supports Intel's next-gen Skylake CPU, and it's dead silent thanks to a liquid-cooled CPU and GPU.

You then supply your own CPU, storage, RAM, and (if you want) graphics card.

If you decide to toss in a graphics card, you'll probably want to take advantage of one more custom piece of kit--a liquid graphics card cooler.

It's those two liquid-cooled pieces that make the Bulldog one of the--if not the--most quiet living room PCs I've seen. The Hydro Series liquid CPU cooler in particular is designed for the Bulldog--it slots into the machine in such a way that it vents straight out the back of the case, rather than blowing hot air around inside and relying on other fans to pump it out.

Then there's the liquid GPU cooling. Corsair's internal benchmarks show liquid-cooled cards running approximately 25 degrees Celsius cooler and pumping out (on average) about five more frames per second, because they can be overclocked higher. For instance, playing Far Cry 4 at 4K on a standard Titan X gave Corsair 40 frames per second. Liquid-cooled and overclocked, they managed to get 45--while simultaneously running the card cooler.

What does that mean for you? It means Corsair's Bulldog has the potential to be more powerful than even something like Falcon Northwest's Tiki in graphics performance (which liquid cools the CPU but not the GPU) although a multi-card setup like the much larger Origin Omega will still do better overall.

And it's also--to reiterate one more time--quiet. Liquid-cooled CPUs are fairly common nowadays, but most people are still using relatively loud fans on GPUs. That might not matter in the office or whatever where people are willing to put up with the noise, but in a living room environment, quiet is king.

Luckily Corsair will also be selling its GPU cooler separately as a DIY kit--plans are to support all current and upcoming AMD and Nvidia graphics cards, and you could use it in your tower PC if you wanted. You won't have to purchase Bulldog, to take advantage of some of its tech.

One last thing--in case you couldn't have guessed from the fact that you're already supplying your own components: The Bulldog is easily upgradeable, which is key to living room PCs as far as I'm concerned. Some of Valve's Steam Machine crop are designed more like gaming laptops than tower PCs--in other words, upgradeability sacrificed at the altar of "smaller is better." I disagree. PC hardware moves so quickly, I think it's silly to lock yourself into a PC that will only be good for a few years max.

With the Bulldog, you can swap out everything--CPU, GPU, RAM, storage, whatever. That's important. Add in a few goodies like out-of-the-box 7.1 audio support and room for 32GB of DDR4, and Bulldog has the potential to be one of the most powerful living room PCs on the market.

 

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