GameFrame: Doom Slayer GTX 1080
GameFrames: Because the way you play a game is just as important as the game you're playing.
What we're playing: Doom.
Any way you slice it, the reborn Doom is a huge success. We love it, the people love it, and it manages to deliver on nostalgia while still being a modern and innovative shooter that's among the best games we've seen in 2016.
Doom also offers a single-player experience you'll want to dive back into again and again, as the levels are packed with secrets and challenges to keep even veteran FPS players engaged for many hours beyond your first completion of the campaign.
So we figured, if we're going to playing Doom so much anyways, it only made sense to maximize our experience with the game. Thus, the Doom Slayer GTX 1080 Frame was born.
The PC: CyberpowerPC Panzer VR XL
We considered building a PC from the ground up for our optimal Doom experience, but in the end decided it just wasn't necessary, as we already had the CyberpowerPC Panzer VR XL in the house. Remember that mind-blowing video of Doom running on the NVIDIA GTX 1080? Yeah. Gaming like this is pretty darn sweet.
Here's what our partner site Unlocked (which is wonderful and which you should visit if you're a fan of PC building and hardware) had to say about this Cyberpower rig:
"Internally, there's a lot to be excited about. The MSI X99A motherboard is legit and not a bargain no-name affair. The MSI also offers powerful overclocking capabilities if you want to push the i7 6900K to the limit. RAM wise, the Panzer VR XL has 32 gigs of DDR4 3000 RAM, which adds up to a heck of a lot of Chrome tabs, and a 500GB SSD and a 3TB hard drive so you'll never have to manage your hard drive space anytime soon.
The GTX 1080 is a true beast of a graphics card, using NVIDIA's new Pascal architecture. It's more than capable of 4k and VR gaming. The 1080 is a Founder's Edition model, meaning it's the first edition of the 1080s, not a custom overclocked number that will appear later."
As you can see in the pictures, the case lighting in the Panzer is capable of just the shade of red we need to complement a game which takes place on Mars and in Hell. And of course, thanks to the hardware this beast is packing, if Bethesda manages to deliver on their virtual reality-Doom promises, we shouldn't need to change anything about the rig to dive right into that experience too.
For more, head on over and read Unlocked's full review of the Vulcan VR XL.
The Monitor: Acer Predator Z35
Beautiful, isn't it?
We're fortunate enough to have a number of curved and ultra-wide monitors in the office right now, but there are three things about the Acer Predator Z35 that make it the right choice for this GameFrame.
1. It has red on it.
2. It has ambient underlighting, which can also be red.
3. It features NVIDIA G-SYNC.
The Z35 sports a 2560x1080 resolution, which isn't as much as the 3440x1440 you get in Acer's X34, but the Z35 delivers faster refresh rates, a tighter curve, and more intense contrast ratios (something that really stands out in a game like Doom). The Z35 is also a few hundred dollars cheaper than the X34, which may seem silly when we're already talking about around $4000 for just the rig and monitor, but it's a fact worth noting.
The Z35 also has more red on it than the X34, which is another major selling point.
The keyboard: Corsair STRAFE MX Silent (Red LEDs)
The STRAFE line is one of Corsair's main keyboard options, along with the K70, and the new STRAFE MX Silent features mechanical switches that are advertised as "30% quieter" than other options. These switches take a little getting used to (the tactile feedback is less clicky than with mainstream MX options and the lack of sound can be downright spooky at first) but after playing Doom on our Doom Slayer setup for far longer than was strictly necessary to write this article, I can attest the STRAFE MX Silent is a great choice for gaming, and won't slow you down a bit after the initial adjustment period. It also comes with optional tactile WASD keycaps and a textured spacebar, which is a nice touch when things get sweaty
It's not the heat of Hell that gets you, it's the humidity. And also the demons.
There are other versions of the STRAFE out there, but continuing our theme of "aside from the monstrous PC let's be a little budget conscious with this GameFrame" we thought the red LED option, rather than something with full RGB, was the way to go. It would be the worst kind of blasphemy to use any color lighting on the keyboard aside from red with this build anyway.
There's even a discount code for the STRAFE MX Silent available on Newegg right now, and you can snag it for around $100 to use in your own Doom Slayer. Pro tip: the "rain" lighting animation option is the perfect complement for the fire and sparks that fill Doom.
The mouse: Corsair Scimitar RGB
The Corsair Scimitar RGB was the most controversial part of our Doom Slayer GameFrame. Some folks around the office advocated for a more traditional FPS mouse, like Corsair's popular (and excellent) M65. In the end we made the choice to go with the Scimitar because we found that Doom can actually benefit from the increased mouse button options more than a lot of other FPS games (mapping the equipment swap to the side buttons rather than F1 made things much easier, for example).
Visually the Scimitar also feels like the right choice, specifically this yellow-accented model rather than the alternate black and silver. If you've played Doom you know that a yellow accent color comes up frequently in the game, in the form of keycards or skulls, so in this way we managed to bring our Frame a little more into alignment with the game itself.
Also, the Scimitar features more LEDs than the M65, with lights in the front, on the mousewheel, under the palm, backlighting the number pad, and along the left side. Once all of those lights were properly set to red, the Scimitar was ready for anything Hell wanted to throw at it.
The headset: Corsair VOID Surround
Doom is one of the best-sounding games in recent memory, with a dynamic churning electric guitar soundtrack that you should probably crank up and leave playing in the background for the rest of this article:
The game also features top-notch sound effects, from screaming demons to hellish whispers to the overpowering blast of your shotgun. When looking for a headset that would best capture what we needed for the optimal doom experience and that would fit with the larger theme of the Frame, we settled on the Corsair VOID Surround.
The VOID Surround sadly isn't covered with hellish red lights, but comes in at a lower price point than some competing options. It does have red accents on it, it's comfortable, and the sound is great for the price. You can read more about it in our full review.
The speakers: Rosewill SP-7260
Playing with a headset is all well and good, but if you do that then nobody else in the office can appreciate Doom's relentless musical score and insane sound effects cranked up to eleven. We wanted some speakers for this Frame too, and got some sweet ones from Rosewill (a company which, like us at GameCrate, is part of Newegg). The SP-7260 is a 2.0 woofer and tweeter system that is powerful and clear, even with the bass on the higher settings.
There are more technically impressive choices out there, but you'd be hard-pressed to find many that can compete with the current $89.99 cost of these speakers. We haven't had a chance to do a full review of these yet, but they have a 4/5 score with 15 customer reviews currently on Newegg, so check out what the people are saying if you want more info.
The chair: E-Blue Cobra Gaming Chair
With a setup like our Doom Slayer, there's a real danger of sitting and playing for so long that your butt falls off (please note: I am not a doctor or medical professional). To help address this concern we needed a gaming chair that actually delivers on its promises and, say it with me now, has red on it. And the Cobra Gaming Chair from E-Blue delivers.
$249.99 isn't cheap, but it's a competitive price in the gaming chair world. And the Cobra has the added benefit of actually being one of the very best chairs we've ever tried. It has fantastic back and body support while still feeling lighter and more agile than some of the more heavy-duty options.
The total package: $4565
What do you think? And what game would you like us to frame next? Let us know in the comments below!