CLX Scarab review (2022): High-end PC gaming at its finest

CLX Scarab

MSRP $5,000.00

“The CLX Scarab is a worthy selection for gamers who need a high-end PC that games well and appears clean.”


  • Great cable management
  • Loads of customization decisions
  • High performance out of the box
  • User upgradable


  • Expensive, especially for cheaper configurations
  • Some oddities with the case

CLX is a boutique PC builder you could not have heard of. It’s only been around for six years, but is attempting to challenge a number of the greater names on the market akin to Origin PC, Falcon Northwest, and Digital Storm — all brands that allow you customize your desktop construct right down to each component.

I’m reviewing CLX’s Scarab PC, which is certainly one of the corporate’s most premium desktops. Equipped with as much as a Core i9-12900KS and an RTX 3090, it actually has top-of-the-line specs. It’s not perfect, but this technique’s smart part selection, meticulous cable management, and a spotlight to detail makes the Scarab certainly one of the highest-quality gaming PCs in the marketplace.


The CLX Scarab in the dark.Matthew Connatser/Digital Trends

The Scarab PC that CLX configured for us uses a black-and-white color scheme with an emphasis on contrast, and it looks very nice. On the skin, the chassis is white, while the glass panels have a black bezel; on the within, the PSU power cables, the AIO cooler, and RGB fans are white, and the motherboard and GPU are black. The retail version of this case doesn’t have black bezels across the glass panels, which suggests CLX modified it. That’s only one example of CLX’s attention to detail with the Scarab.

In fact, like many other gaming PCs, the Scarab has tons of RGB fans, and while I’m not an enormous fan of RGB personally, it’s quite a lightweight show. Nine fans might be overkill, though, even for a 12900K and a 3090. Thankfully, the Scarab comes with a distant that controls each the RGB and the fans, though I do have a few issues with it.

I might have loved much more control, akin to with the ability to turn the fans down quieter or toggle off RGB entirely. There are also no fan speed profiles either, which might have been more convenient than simply a rise and reduce button.

The Scarab gets almost every part right; this can be a really nicelooking and tidy machine.

The Scarab uses the Lian Li O11 Dynamic Mini Snow White, and I actually have mixed feelings about this case. It looks sharp and has loads of room on the within, but there are some oddities about it. The front and side glass panels can’t be removed without removing a panel on the highest of the PC, and putting the panels back on could be a little bit of a hassle.

I had a very hard time removing and reinstalling the back panel and, surprisingly, the back panel doesn’t even have captive screws. Not less than on my unit, the ability button can also be strangely loose and off-center. I do know that is nitpicky, but when a PC costs $5,000, you expect perfection. I might have liked CLX to take another step and make its own custom chassis in order that it could have a bit more control over the design and quality of its PCs. Falcon Northwest’s Talon has a singular case for its $5,500 prebuilt, and never only does it look impressive, it has effective internal design as well.

The HDD bay in the CLX Scarab.Matthew Connatser/Digital Trends

This case also has a ton of thumbscrews and screws, especially on the back where the motherboard ports are. There are only too many screws and panels to remove. From what I can tell, there’s even one small removable panel that doesn’t appear to have some extent.

One other panel can open access to the HDD bay, but I couldn’t pull out any of the HDDs farther than you’ll be able to see within the above image. While Lian Li was attempting to design the HDD bay to be easily accessible, in practice, I had a tough time determining how on the earth I might even get a HDD in or out. I wish CLX had just chosen a more normal chassis.

The one other substantial grievance I actually have concerning the Scarab is the thermals. It’s not CLX’s fault that the Core i9-12900K draws a ton of power and isn’t easy to chill, however it all the time ran at 100-degrees Celsius in any sustained CPU workload. I might have liked to see a custom liquid cooling option for the Scarab in order that CPUs just like the 12900K wouldn’t look so worrying, and PCs just like the EK 275 Conquest actually prove that a prebuilt can include a custom liquid cooling solution at this price point. But except for, the Scarab gets every part else right; this can be a really nice-looking and tidy machine.

Specs and pricing

The CLX Scarab doesn’t use any proprietary hardware, which suggests it’s just as upgradeable as any DIY PC. It’s also value noting you can customize just about any a part of the Scarab, so the PC we’re reviewing is just certainly one of many possible configurations.

CPU Intel Core i9-12900K
GPU EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming WiFi
Case Lian Li O11 Dynamic Mini Snow White
Memory 32GB G.Skill DDR5-5600
Storage Samsung 980 Pro 1TB, Seagate Barracuda 4TB
Power supply Silverstone SX1000
USB ports 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2×2, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
Networking 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E

CLX offers a powerful amount of hardware options that cover every segment from the low end all of the solution to the highest end, and never only do they provide several different Intel CPUs and Nvidia GPUs to select from, but additionally AMD hardware. You might configure the Scarab with a Ryzen 9 5950X and an RX 6950 XT for those who prefer AMD, as an example.

Don’t hassle ordering a Scarab unless you’re willing to shell out for the top-end parts.

One other advantage of the Scarab using retail hardware is you can’t really be surprised with how a selected component goes to perform. Should you’re unsure concerning the CPU cooler or the storage for instance, then you definitely can just discover a review and judge for yourself. This profit isn’t unique to the Scarab (especially as an increasing number of prebuilt models are getting away from proprietary hardware), however it’s still value mentioning.

Cable management in the Scarab PC.Matthew Connatser/Digital Trends

The Scarab’s only real problem is the worth. At $5,000, our configuration is de facto expensive, and since that is made using off-the-shelf parts, you may construct yourself principally the identical thing for around $3,500. We don’t expect PCs this expensive to be particularly great value, though. The HP Omen 45L has a really similar spec sheet for concerning the same price, so CLX isn’t charging far more than its competitors.

A scarcity of value may not hassle someone with a $5,000 budget, but this is certainly an issue for somebody who may be enthusiastic about an upper-midrange PC akin to the MSI Aegis RS 12, which has a Core i7-12700K and an RTX 3070. It costs $2,200 while a similarly configured Scarab goes for nearly $3,300. The Aegis is in no way an ideal PC, but $1,100 is a ton of cash to spend on what is largely quality assurance. Don’t hassle ordering a Scarab unless you’re willing to shell out for the top-end parts just like the Core i9-12900K and the RTX 3090. The premium is just an excessive amount of.

Internals and upgradability

With regards to the inside the PC, CLX did a good job overall. The important chamber where the motherboard and GPU are positioned have excellent cable management, making the Scarab not only certainly one of the neatest-looking PCs I’ve ever seen, but definitely neater-looking than my very own. The white braided PSU cables are especially nice to see, and definitely look higher than the usual black cables that I see in my very own.

Cables on the back of the Scarab PC.Matthew Connatser/Digital Trends

The back of the PC is different, nevertheless. So as to construct a PC that has a top-end CPU, top-end GPU, nine fans, and two RGB hubs for all those fans, CLX ended up using a ton of cables. If a lot of the length of those cables aren’t visible within the important chamber, you’ll be able to probably guess where they ended up: stuffed within the back.

While I’m impressed with how neatly these cables are jammed right into a small area that’s probably designed for holding excess cables in any case, there are such a lot of that it’s going to be difficult working on this PC for those who ever have to do something that requires adding or removing cables, like upgrading a component.

Speaking of upgrading, the Scarab is largely just like several normal DIY PC because it’s produced from parts you may buy at retail. Because the particular model we’re reviewing has a 600 series Intel motherboard, you don’t even need to exchange anything however the CPU with a purpose to upgrade to the upcoming Thirteenth Gen CPUs based on Raptor Lake, which is sweet since it means you don’t have to cope with all of the cables. Upgrading the GPU must also be relatively easy because of all of the room within the chassis, and you would possibly not even have to worry about cables in case your hypothetical next card uses the identical amount of power plugs.


With regards to productivity applications and other programs, this specific model of the Scarab does thoroughly because of its top-end specs. The Core i9-12900K is overall the fastest CPU you’ll be able to buy and the RTX 3090 is tied for the fastest GPU, up there with Nvidia’s own RTX 3090 Ti and AMD’s RX 6900 XT and 6950 XT.

CLX Scarab (Core i9-12900K) Origin Neuron (Ryzen 9 5950X) HP Omen 45L (Core i9-12900K)
Cinebench R23 multi-core 26496 25,166 23,068
Cinebench R23 single-core 1925 1,587 1,893
Geekbench 5 multi-core 18405 15,872 15,685
Geekbench 5 single-core 1959 1,682 1,910
PugetBench for Premiere Pro 1139 1,088 1,025
Blender average (in seconds, lower is best) 125 N/A N/A
Handbrake (in seconds, lower is best) 46 50 51
PCMark 10 9063 N/A 9,034

Against the Origin Neuron, which uses the Ryzen 9 5950X, the Scarab scores small victories in multi-threaded applications and massive wins in single-threaded workloads. That’s about what we expect for this matchup, though the 12900K does eat quite a bit more power to acquire this level of performance.

Although I did express my disappointment concerning the Scarab’s lack of custom liquid cooling, I wasn’t saying it’s lacking in comparison with other desktops. The HP Omen 45L, which made our list for best gaming desktops, is noticeably slower than the Scarab despite the incontrovertible fact that each have the identical CPU, the 12900K.

While 100 C is actually a temperature I don’t like seeing, the performance is actually strong.

The explanation is pretty clear: the 45L’s 240mm AIO just isn’t enough to tame the 12900K. This can also be compounded by the 45L using DDR4 fairly than DDR5 like within the Scarab, though that’s not relevant in every benchmark; in Cinebench, the performance difference is down entirely because of lower CPU clock speeds on the 45L.

The 360mm AIO cooler is very crucial for the Scarab as CLX has enabled Multi-core Enhancement or MCE on the 12900K. This principally removes most of the power and thermal limits on the CPU in order that it could just boost eternally, or a minimum of until it hits 100 C. While 100 C is actually a temperature I don’t like seeing, the performance is actually strong.

Against other 12900K-equipped PCs, in addition to PCs that go for Ryzen, this model of the Scarab isn’t in last place. At worst, it’s just tied for first or barely within the lead. Nevertheless, I can’t say this is really the fastest the 12900K can get, because in our own testing, we found that the 12900K could reach over 27,000 points in Cinebench R23 multi-core, which is a bit higher than the Scarab achieved.

Gaming performance

The CLX Scarab on a wooden table.

Despite having equivalent hardware to the Omen 45L, the Scarab maintains a lead in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Red Dead Redemption 2. I should note, nevertheless, that the Neuron and 45L were tested just a few months ago on older drivers, which could have given a bonus to the Scarab. But even when that’s the case, we’re talking about just a few more frames, not an additional 10 or 20 for the opposite desktops. The Scarab is clearly a bit faster here, or at worst, tied for first place.

One thing to notice is that these are 4K, max quality settings benchmarks, and the Scarab only dipped below 60 frames per second (fps) in Cyberpunk 2077. It’s not shocking that it’s getting 220 fps in Civilization VI, but its performance in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Red Dead Redemption 2 is certainly impressive, and for individuals who prefer higher visual fidelity, the frame rate is high enough.

CLX Scarab (RTX 3090) Origin Neuron (RTX 3080 Ti) HP Omen 45L (RTX 3090)
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 69 fps 55 fps N/A
Red Dead Redemption 2 84 fps 72 fps 76 fps
Civilization VI 220 fps N/A N/A
Fortnite 82 fps 89 fps 82 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 50 fps N/A N/A
3DMark Fire Strike 41122 N/A N/A
3DMark Time Spy 20791 17397 18523

Should you were to aim for really high frame rates like 240fps or more, you shouldn’t have any problems with the Core i9-12900K, certainly one of the fastest gaming CPUs. You might also select a configuration using the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which is just as fast in games while costing significantly lower than the 12900K.

In 3DMark’s Time Spy benchmark, we see principally the identical thing we saw in gaming benchmarks. With over a 2,000 point lead, the Scarab is about 10% faster than the 45L, which is pretty impressive given they use the identical CPU and GPU. Cooling is de facto vital, and while I believe nine  fans is overkill, they’re actually proving their value.

Given the Scarab’s price, it’s good that it’s at the highest of the charts (and it type of must be). This is certainly certainly one of the fastest PCs we’ve ever tested, and CLX has done an admirable job ensuring the 3090 has the thermal headroom to perform the most effective it could.

Our take

The CLX Scarab is a high-performing and classy gaming desktop that’s only held back by the fee of shopping for one. While CLX has put much care into assembling this PC, the premium is tough to justify unless you’re selecting top-end parts. Still, you’ll be able to expect excellent performance from the Scarab for those who configure one like our review unit, and that actually makes it stand out from other prebuilt offerings.

Are there any alternatives?

The highest-end HP Omen 45L is a similarly priced and configured PC, featuring the identical Core i9-12900K CPU and a RTX 3090 GPU, but falls a bit behind in performance because of lower frequencies.

Should you’re going with top-end parts like these, it’s hard to not select the Scarab. Should you’re on the lookout for higher value nevertheless, there’s the Origin Neuron, which is only a bit slower for half the worth while having comparable construct quality.

How long will it last?

This particular configuration of the Scarab should last quite some time. The 12900K and 3090 are each very powerful parts that won’t be considered slow any time soon, and there’s loads of room for adding more storage and RAM. Intel’s 600 series motherboards may even support upcoming Thirteenth-gen Intel Raptor Lake CPUs, which supplies you a little bit of an upgrade path even when you have got a 12900K. These boards may even support PCIe 5.0 GPUs, though for many users that probably won’t be an enormous deal.

Must you buy it?

Yes, but only for those who’re selecting top-end parts just like the Core i9-12900K or the RTX 3090. The Scarab is just too expensive for those who configure it as a midrange PC and may cost over a thousand dollars greater than value-oriented gaming desktops with the identical components.

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