When we told manufacturers that the top price for this roundup was going to be £8,000 inc VAT, only PC Specialist and Scan decided to take full advantage. However, in the case of the 3XS GWP-ME Q164T, Scan has opted for a more balanced all-round specification, and crucially opted for the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X.

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This 32-core monster is truly cementing AMD’s resurgence. Scan partners it with a 128GB of 3,600MHz memory in four 32GB DIMMs, taking full advantage of the Threadripper’s 3,200MHz quad-channel memory controller, whilst leaving four DIMM slots free for upgrade.

Although RAM is expensive, the main area where Scan has spent its eight grand budget is in the graphics department. This is the only workstation on this list to opt for Nvidia’s hugely pricey Quadro RTX 6000. It’s a beast of a card, with 4,608 CUDA cores – twice as many as the RTX 4000 – and 24GB of GDDR6 RAM, which is three times as much memory. This runs on a 384-bit bus, so offers a whopping 672GB/sec of bandwidth.

No expense is spared for storage, either, with a PCI Express 4 NVMe M.2 SSD for the main drive in the shape of a 2TB Corsair MP600, delivering blistering sustained reading of 4,829MB/sec and writing of 4,266MB/sec. The secondary drive is an SSD as well, but in this case a SATA-connected 4TB Samsung 860 Evo; as a result, its sustained reading and writing rates are a more pedestrian 549MB/sec and 485MB/sec respectively, but this is still twice as fast as any conventional hard disk.

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The Q164T achieved a stunning 702 overall in our benchmarks. True, the Scan was outclassed by Armari in rendering, achieving 17,180 in Cinebench R20 and taking 359 seconds to complete the Blender Gooseberry frame on CPU. It was also a little behind Armari and Chillblast with the Adobe Media Encoder CC 2020 4K video encode. However, with 9,856 in LuxMark 3.1 and the fastest single-graphics card render time in Blender Gooseberry, this is a superb system for GPU compute activities. Naturally, with the RTX 6000 on hand, this is also the fastest system by a country mile for 3D modelling viewsets. The SPECviewperf 13 results show that this system will handle the largest 3D designs or scientific visualisations with ease.

This is a beast of a workstation, making its exc VAT price of £6,666.66 numerologically correct, and also what you’d expect to pay for this much workstation ability.

Scan 3XS GWP-ME Q164T specification

Processor

3.7GHz AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X

Motherboard

Asus Rog Zenith II Extreme

Expansion slots

8 x RAM slots (4 free), 4 x PCIe x16 (3 free), 4 x M.2 (3 free), 8 x SATA 600 (7 free)

RAM

128GB DDR4, 3,600MHz

GPU

PNY Quadro RTX 6000, 24GB GDDR6

Outputs

4 x DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C VirtualLink

SSD

Corsair MP600 2TB NVMe M.2 PCI Express 4.0

Secondary drives

Samsung 860 Evo 4TB SATA, N/A N/A

Optical drives

N/A

Dimensions (WDH)

Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C (233 x 543 x 465mm)

PSU make and model (power output)

Corsair RMX850 80PLUS Gold (850W)

CPU cooler

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 watercooler (360mm)

Rear ports

10 Gigabit Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, 5 x 3.5mm audio jack, optical S/PDIF, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 6 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-A), 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C), Wi-Fi 6 aerial header

Front/top ports

3.5mm audio jack, 3.5mm microphone jack, 2 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C)

Operating system

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Warranty (parts & labour unless stated)

3yr (1yr on-site, 2yr RTB)

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