CUK Axiom TS Review
If you’re one to follow PC technology with any regularity, you must have heard of CES. Better yet, AMD’s assault on the desktop PC market at the CES. This year AMD launched the Raven Ridge, a creation that had been on its lips for far too long. For the past few months, AMD had been talking about bringing together its Zen CPU and Vega GPU microarchitecture.
Fast forward a few months later and the long-awaited AMD Raven Ridge Desktop dream was realized. The CUK Axiom TS Tiny Gamer Desktop is an inception of that long overdue brainstorm and becomes among the first PCs to run the new APU (Accelerated Processing Units) and GPU in the desktop market.
So, why is this PC so important, you might ask? Well, in a nutshell, AMD has been making APU desktops before this, in fact for years on end (almost 10 years now). In comparison, Intel also makes Intel desktop processors that come with integrated graphics. What makes this PC special is AMD stands as the only manufacturer to integrate premium CPU cores with premium graphics cores particularly meant for gaming. Interesting huh? Well, let’s crack this nut open CUK Axiom TS Review
- Light and Portable Diminutive Design
- Powerful and high-end components
- Budget priced
- No expandability options
Although pitched as a mini desktop, the CUK Axiom TS Tiny Gamer Desktop is a powerful gamer. It combines state of the art components including the new Vega graphics and Raven Ridge APU recently released by AMD and announced at the CES. With that and 8GB DDR4, this 4.8Lb baby delivers an impressive punch in performance. We highly recommend for its undeniably impressive price/performance proposition.
CUK Axiom TS Specs
|Processor||3.6 GHz AMD Ryzen 5 2400G Quad-Core Processor (4MB Cache,3.6GHz) NO Overclocking Available due to temp restrictions|
|Memory||8GB DDR4 3000 MHz|
|Memory Slots||2 DIMM|
|Graphics Card||Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics with Nvidia GT 1030 2GB level performance|
|Motherboard Form Factor||A320M Motherboard|
|Connectivity||Wireless LAN 802.11 AC USB Adapter|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
|Dimensions||9.7 x 2.6 x 12.2 inches (HWD)|
|Optical Drive||DVD Writer|
|Power Supply||200 W|
|Warranty||1 year limited hardware warranty|
CUK Axiom Case and features
Outside of its reasonable price, the CUK Axiom TS mini is compact and diminutive size may be its biggest strength. Measuring at 9.7 x 2.6 x 12.2 inches (HWD), it registers a small footprint capable of fitting under your desk, on the desk or on a desk cutout. Fortunately, the CUK Axiom TS mini with its simplicity won’t embarrass you. It fits right next to your office monitor or home gaming monitor.
The side panels aren’t any special either and are plain without any translucent glass panels. Both sides have ventilation to air out the case with the right side having the larger vents.
Don’t be fooled by the size, this sturdy PC comes with enough ports to connect external displays. As a PC made for pro users on a budget, the CUK Axiom TS small form factor does not disappoint here. You get a HDMI port for such connections. The front has a single USB 3.0, single USB 2.0, 1x Headphone Out and a Microphone In.
At the heart of the Axiom TS mini desktop is a MicroATX A320M form factor motherboard. However, there are other configurations that sport the B350 motherboard. Either of the two motherboards is compatible with the new Raven Ridge APU through a BIOS update.
Our reviewed unit’s configuration works with a 3.6 GHz AMD Ryzen 5 2400G Quad-Core Processor coupled with the Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics. Both of these with the help of the 8GB memory help this PC to excel at day to day task such as media creation and editing, Photoshop, video editing and ultimately some gaming. This configuration is ideal for gamers on a budget but who fancy a system rigged with the power of handling modern AAA titles. For storage hogs looking for higher performance, the highest configuration with 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD should be a perfect fit. For more detail on that check the configuration section below.
Memory and Gaming
It bears reminding that when considering performance, that the CUK Axiom TS mini has limited space for expansion, therefore, limiting the addition of other higher-end components. If you ever find yourself thinking to expand the graphics card or the storage, you’ll find yourself in a dilemma. Ideally, about the only components that can be upgraded is the M.2 drive or the memory.
For gaming, the CUK Axiom TS spots a Radeon RX onboard Graphics based on Vega 11 architecture (sporting 44 TMUs and clock speeds up to 1250MHz). According to benchmarks (3D Mark Fire Strike) posted by AMD when introducing this APU, it offers close performance to the dated Radeon R9 M280X. But because it lacks a dedicated graphics memory, modern games performance may be bottlenecked forcing one to play at lower settings. As a result, the best games to play on with this onboard graphics unit would be less demanding ones, for instance, Overwatch and Dota 2.
According to AMD, this APU stands head-to-head performance-wise to Intel processors when paired Intel’s Nvidia GT 1030 GPU with 2GB memory.
CUK Axiom TS Gaming Benchmarks
|Rocket League||165 fps||83||60|
|GTA 5||97 fps||89||38||15|
|Fallout 4||70 fps||49||27||22|
Increasing a PCs clock rate causes it to perform at a higher rate than usual and the end result is usually production of additional heat. Our unit, the CUK Axiom TS desktop processor plays by the same rules so we didn’t have to worry about the system heating up under load. Generally, the PC works fine and it shouldn’t give you any problems while gaming.
Our reviewed unit was basically an in-between model with neither the strongest nor the weakest components in its specification list. The base model for the CUK Axiom TS mini starts with a Ryzen 3 processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD for slightly more than 450 bucks. The highest model comes with a Ryzen 5 processor with 16GB of memory, 512GB NVMe SSD and extra 1TB HDD selling for a dime short of $800.
At the base price, it’s actually cheaper to buy a prebuild price than to build one (we recommend the former) especially considering the PC comes pre-configured with a Windows 10 License. We’ve summarized a configuration table for better understanding:
The CUK Axiom TS mini Desktop might not be the biggest PC, aesthetic appealing or most powerful PC. But it ticks a couple of boxes right. With a set of high-end components, this tiny PC makes its debut as a gaming icon among mini-sized desktops. It combines the versatile 3.6 GHz AMD R Series, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB Solid State Drive and Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics making it a powerful foe. You also get a system pre-configured with a Windows 10 License ultimately resulting in the PC being cheaper than building one on your own.
Apart from gaming, the CUK Axiom TS mini is also a reliable all-around desktop. It makes a powerful ally through day-to-day tasks like web browsing, moderate multimedia creation, and editing and handling software. Student Architects and Engineers can run software and get assignments done with the Axiom TS.
That said, it makes it to the top of our budget gaming laptops. If you’re in the market for a potent gaming PC at a sub $700 price tag, the CUK Axiom TS Tiny Desktop fits the bill easily.
Buy the CUK Axiom TS Tiny Gamer Desktop at Amazon.