The Novatech Reign Sentry Echelon is a great example of that recent adage: The best way of getting a new graphics card is to buy a whole PC. If you've had your eye on AMD's most recent GPU launch, namely the Radeon RX 6700 XT, then this gives it as good a home as you could hope for. Along with the excellent AMD Ryzen 5 5600X providing the brainpower for your games, you'll also find solid storage in the form of the WD_Black SN850 for super speedy performance.
Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
Memory: G.Skill 16GB DDR4-3600
Motherboard: MSI MAG B550M Bazooka
Storage: 1TB WD_Black SN850 PCIe SSD
Connectivity: 2x USB 3.2 Type-C, 3x USB 3.2. 4x USB 2.0, 802.11ac
PSU: Corsair TX650M 650W 80 Plus Gold
Case: Corsair 4000D Airflow
OS: Windows 10 Home
Dimensions: 230 x 466 x 453 mm
Warranty: 3 year
The core components tick all the right boxes, with the MSI MAG B550 Bazooka motherboard providing plenty of connectivity and upgrade opportunities if needed too. You get 16GB G.Skill Trident Z Neo 3600MHz memory by default, which you can double up later on if needed, along with a reasonable 650W Corsair PSU, which can handle any other upgrades reasonably easily.
This is another outing for the excellent Corsair 4000D Airflow case, which has room for extra drives and more fans if you feel the need—although the cooling as configured by Novatech really doesn't need touching. Novatech has shown great restraint on the lighting front as well, with only the RAM and graphics card lighting up, and both of those are relatively subtle. It's a subtle build, with the components doing the talking, not a constant pulsating rainbow of visual noise.
The model supplied for review packs an Asus TUF Gaming RX 6700XT, which is a factory overclocked card that bumps the clockspeeds ever so slightly. Novatech did say it can't guarantee which RX 6700 XT will come with shipping machines as, somewhat understandably, it doesn't know what stock of which cards it will have.
In practice, we saw no notable framerate differences between this card and the reference model we looked at in our Radeon RX 6700 XT review, which goes to show that factory overclocked cards don't add all that much.
The only real benefit we saw from this particular card is the triple-fan cooler which meant it ran very cool and quiet—in testing the peak operating temperature hit just 58°C. The CPU also ran cool too, hitting a maximum temperature of just 66°C under heavy load. That's pretty impressive given Novatech has used an air cooler here, albeit a reliable one in the form of the be quiet! Pure Rock 2 Black. The overall machine isn't totally silent in operation when pushed, but it is absolutely much quieter than many.
3DMark Time Spy: 8,248 (CPU) 12,282 (GPU)
Hitman 3 (Dubai): 201fps (1080p) 140fps (1440p) 178fps (4k)
F1 2020 (Ultra, DX12): 208fps (1080p) 180fps (1440P) 105fps (4K)
Metro Exodus (Ultra, DX12): 95fps (1080p) 75fps (1440p) 45fps (4K)
Horizon Zero Dawn (Ultimate) 121fps (1080p) 95fps (1440p) 50fps (4K)
3DMark Port Royal: 5,956
Metro Exodus (RTX) 67fps (1080p) 48fps (1440p) 25fps (4K)
Cinebench R20: 4,209 (Multi) 601 (Single)
X264 v5.0.1: 38.71 fps
Sandra (RAM bandwidth): 35.57 GB/s
Hitman 3 (Dartmoor) : 116fps (1080p)
Final Fantasy XIV Game load time: 10.907 Sec
This is a quality build then, but it's the gaming performance that matters for any gaming machine, and here it's the Radeon RX 6700 XT that ultimately holds this back from being a must-buy gaming PC. Not that there's anything wrong with AMD's latest RDNA2 GPU, it's just that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 is better for roughly the same sort of cash. If you can get one, and availability is a problem for all GPUs right now, even for system builders.
Still, we can't help but think that your money is better spent on the Reign Sentry Elite instead, which has the same CPU but packs the faster RTX 3070 for just £50 more (you only get a 250GB NVMe SSD and a 2TB HDD though).
If you're looking for a 1440p gaming machine, and resolutely want to stick with AMD, then this is definitely a capable option, able to pushing pictures to your monitor of choice at a speedy rate. You're looking at 95fps in Horizon Zero Dawn, 75fps in Metro Exodus, 180fps in F1 2020, and 140fps in Hitman 3 at that resolution.
4K isn't completely out of the question, although the minimum frame rates do drop to uncomfortable levels, and you will want to dial back some of the settings if that's your goal. Ray-tracing performance isn't too exciting though, and AMD really does need an answer to DLSS soon.
Novatech has built an impressive machine here, even if it does have a thoroughly ridiculous name. The fact that it is an all-AMD affair doesn't feel like a compromise and makes the most of the latest tech from the red corner—Resize BAR wasn't on by default on our model, although flicking the switch in the BIOS didn't seem to have much effect in our benchmark games anyway.
If you can't quite stretch to the RTX 3070 machine, then this is still capable of delivering solid performance at 1440p, and WD's capacious NVMe SSD is a joy to throw games and less fun things around on.
This system also represents solid value for money; if you could buy these components yourself you'd be looking at roughly £1,500. When you consider that difference gets you a three-year warranty, and more importantly, access to hardware you can't readily buy at the moment, this is a decent deal all round.
Fast, quiet, well-built and a great price? Oh, there's no bloatware on here either. There's not a lot more you can ask of a system builder really. Apart from maybe an RTX 3070.