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  • gitano - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    the case looks awful, and the price a rip-off Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    Boutique machines are always going to be a little pricey, you're paying for the care of assembly and the customer service.

    As for the case, that's a matter of opinion. I've reviewed it personally:

    I'm rather fond of it, myself.
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    I think many of us might've built up false expectations after reading your intro.

    As you mentioned, using X79 (especially for a quad), 16GB of RAM, and RAID SSDs is anything but a "balance".
  • Samus - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    I don't think there is anything wrong with the case. The carbide 500 is the only non-silverstone case I'd ever consider. As for it being white, mine has been crammed under my desk for 3 years so I could care less what color it is, as long as its functional. Reply
  • Bonesdad - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    I agree, though the case is not exactly my cup of tea, I have seen MUCH worse come across these reviews. I don't have a problem with the case really at the price...? Reply
  • Samus - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    I generally don't comment on the prices, because when I read these botique reviews, I know I'd never buy one becuase I can't justify the price premium for someone taking an hour to screw it all together. As far as them 'testing choice components' I can already tell you without doing a second of research the best parts to put in any mid-to-high end gaming system is

    mainstream ASUS motherboard with USB 3.0
    3GHz+ quad core i5
    16GB GSKILL high speed memory
    Corsair H80 water cooling kit
    Intel 180GB SSD330 or SSD520
    'pick your brand' 3TB SATA drive
    Silverstone or Corsair case of your choice
    PCP&C or similar 600 watt PSU
    nVidia Geforce 670
    Bluray drive
    23+" IPS monitor (TN if 3ms difference really matters to you)
    comfy keyboard and mouse
    decent 2-channel speakers or headphones
    APC or Tripp-lite 800va battery backup
    Windows 7 Home Premium OEM
    Comcast or other high speed internet and a Motorola DOCSYS 3.0 modem with a Linksys E3000+ router with gigabit

    All under $2,000 and assembled using knowledge from a youtube video in under 2 hours.
  • watchdogusa - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    This is good suggestion, but it doesn't address this review. To me, a review on a system is how the system stacks up with other systems with price in consideration, i.e, performance vs price. If you put the above system together, it would not compete eye-to-eye with the review system, even with price in consideration. In addition, built quality, warranty and time spent on building/testing the system should be considered too. For many DIY say you can build a system much cheaper, only if your time is not valuable. For example, a lawyer who bills at $600 to $800 per hour spends 2 hours to build the system, you should tag another $1500 to the price tag of the system, because he just lost 2 hours of billable hours. Of course it is not that simple, but when compare DIY and building a system, you can't just compare the part cost alone. If that is the case, why not build everything you want? I am sure with youtube, you can even build an atomic bomb. I think if we are here talk about prices, we should compare it to other boutiques/retailers with similar components and services. This way, it would be an apple to apple comparison. That is just my $0.02. Reply
  • Jakeisbest - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link


    You just described my exact setup, even my modem and router.
  • aguilpa1 - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    I'm in agreement. It used to be boutique vendors charged more but went further to present something unique in their cases, whether custom paint or design. This thing is just ugly. I notice the current trend is towards white cases but there is a reason they went away a long time ago. It becomes to obvious and cheap looking when you start to stick black plasticky components in the front and for the most part stick out like a sore thumb no matter where they go. Reply
  • EnzoFX - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    It annoys me when people say this about white cases. Those old cases, they weren't white, they were beige. Can you really not tell the difference? Reply
  • StruckXx - Wednesday, June 06, 2012 - link

    Yeah, for a vendor they are way overcharging. I buy my computers from, and their prices are much more reasonable. I compared them with V3, and the price is nearly $300 cheaper and they are offering free liquid cooling and a better motherboard. Reply
  • Sunrise089 - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    According to the introduction this PC is supposed to avoid "paying out the nose for a system that left the price-performance curve eating the dust in its speedy wake" and that has been "designed to be as balanced a build as possible."

    You conclude though that "the Avenger is the top-of-the-line, 'I have too much money' model, while the Convoy is the more aggressive workhorse. Ivy Bridge and Z77 (when the line is updated with them) are going to give you more bang for your buck anyhow."

    So which is it? We all know this isn't "as balanced of a build as possible," so please don't include such language if you don't think it's true. Just because a manufacturer offers some talking points to make your job easier doesn't mean you have to fall for them.

    There's no shame in just opening the article by telling us that "the Avenger is another high-end boutique PC that tries to offer enough to justify it's considerable price" or something similar. It would be a lot more honest...
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    "What we have in house today is a system they believe has been designed to be as balanced a build as possible."

    Saying that V3 is claiming this is a "balanced" system is all that the intro states; that's their supposed goal and listing that goal and then evaluating how well they succeed at achieving it is perfectly reasonable. And in the conclusion as well as elsewhere, Dustin points out several ways in which the system isn't particularly balanced. I don't see any "parroting of talking points" here. If that's all Dustin were doing, the review would be a lot more favorable.
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I agree. I had different expectations after reading that intro. If I hadn't read that intro, I think I might've been able to judge it differently.

    When I think "bang-for-buck" in the boutique realm, I imagine a machine with a cheap stock quad core CPU, a bitchin single GPU, a moderate amount of RAM and an adequate storage solution.

    This machine only checks one of those boxes.
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    Same here. The description V3 gave is something I'd put on a $1000-1500 DIY/$1200-1800 boutique system. Reply
  • Tunnah - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    The CPU isn't any more expensive than the none-E part so it was a good choice, you have a stronger CPU and also the better chipset, you've not ended up paying much extra for it. Reply
  • cknobman - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    I would never pick a build with a SSD setup like that.

    Then to make it worse their overclock is terrible (not speed but the voltage increase they used to get it).
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    "What we have in house today is a system they believe has been designed to be as balanced a build as possible. "

    Balanced? A sensible *gaming* build would have been a Core i5 (or even an i3!) and a GeForce 670 tops. And replace those RAIDed 60 GB Sandforce drives with a single 128 GB Samsung 830, Plextor M3 or Corsair Performance Pro.
  • kyuu - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I have to agree with other posters: this is not a "balanced" build. The Sandy Bridge-E by itself pretty much precludes that designation. And you certainly are paying out the nose for a system that "left the price-performance curve eating the dust in its speedy wake."

    Although I disagree with other posters in that I think the case looks good.
  • sjankis630 - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    Can someone tell me why they put together a top level system and used Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit? Isn't there a limit on the ram that Windows 7 Home Premium can accept?
    I thought it was 16GB. Knowing an enthusiast will likely want to upgrade, why not use Windows Professional with a 192GB limit?
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    As an evaluation unit, the manufacturer ships us whatever they feel best represents their product. Obviously, we're not going to be upgrading it to 32GB RAM or more during the review process, so it doesn't really affect the review. If you're custom ordering a system and select 32GB RAM, hopefully they're good enough to let customers know that you'll need Win7 Pro/Ultimate to utilize the additional memory. Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    More to the point, their cart will let you buy 32GB of ram and W7 Home without as much as a single warning.... Reply
  • ggathagan - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    This is a review of a system, as opposed to a review of a vendor's purchasing process, so I'm not sure why the latter is being discussed.

    Unless you actually purchased a system from them with 32GB and W7 home, you've no idea whether or not such a combination would trigger a warning message or a follow-up email from the company regarding the mismatch.
  • zlandar - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    I have this case for my own DIY build and love it. Very easy to install components and not too large. Little touches like case screws that remain attached to the side panel make a big difference. I normally buy black cases but the white is fine.

    Puzzled why V3 would not use a 240mm radiator to take advantage of the case. I have a H100 and it sits out of the way in the built-in slot in the 500R.

    Also a raid 0 ssd setup is a bad idea. I use a ssd plus hard drives with no raid.
  • jigglywiggly - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    i love the look of that case Reply
  • dtolios - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    ...makes sense only to have options for upgrading the base gives you more options than an i7 LGA1155, were you've hit the ceiling with the 3770K and more or less 2x GPUs...

    But with the base price of this configuration exceeding a similar or better spec "home assembled" system by more than $600 (even with a 1000W PSU should you want to go for 2 or more GPUs and O/C a 6 core with more head room etc), I cannot help myself but being afraid of what they would ask once you've started tweaking those customization options...

    I understand that they need to make a profit, but...still it's too much for something that is put together with mainstream components using marketing tricks in order to appeal to a half-educated crowd. (i.e. UN-needed RAID, poor O/C optimization etc)
  • hapsr - Thursday, May 17, 2012 - link

    Keep them to yourself, this is a big boy gamer systems, not a PS3 lol. It just that u don't have the money so please keep window shopping Cheap one lol.. Reply
  • oopyseohs - Thursday, May 17, 2012 - link

    The machine looks very balanced to me. I consider a balanced machine to be one that doesn't have a clear bottleneck or one component or components that are way too good for the rest of the system. If you look at it that way, it is very balanced (not a ridiculous hex-core processor, single 680 instead of 3, SSDs, etc). It's probably not ideal for a strictly "gaming" computer since you could get an amazing one of those for probably around 1500. Don't know if v3 said anything to dustin about it being specifically for gaming or not though

    I priced everything out on newegg and it comes out to around $1950 (not exact because some stuff is not in stock), so when you consider that they do all the work for you and offer technical support which seems good based on customer reviews online and warranties, it's not too bad of a deal compared with some other manufacturers.

    IVB might be a better choice for a configuration that is like this, but I think the review mentioned that this is a much more flexible platform, meaning greater headroom (X79 has a lot more upgrade options/ potential). That makes sense for the "top" model that the company offers. The i7-3820 and a decent X79 board really is not that much more expensive (if at all) than an i7-3770K + decent MB, and it probably runs cooler and overclocks a little better actually.

    The only things I would change in this build would probably be the SSDs to a single SSD, and 8GB of memory because I would never use 16. lastly, I have seen the white 500R in person and it looks a lot better than it does in the pictures, not sure why. IMO it is pretty good looking. totally defending v3 in this post lol.
  • Craig234 - Thursday, May 17, 2012 - link

    Did you mean "nebulous" or "dubious"? Nebulous doesn't make sense. Reply
  • shumicpi - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    The configuration is very good but the price not :(
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, December 30, 2012 - link

    Man I am sick of the crybabies. 10% price increase over lowest possible to be found newegg dirt bottom, and you're all going bonkers - all 3 pages of you.

    What a bunch of unrealistic FRUITCAKES.

    I also had to laugh at the SSD raid 0 crybabies. Instead of 2x60 raided, they wanted 120 singles. ROFL - another stupid is as stupid does....

    What you really want is 2x120 raid 0 or 2x180 raid 0.

    120G isn't enough for the bulk of your games, 240 is a lot more reasonable - you'll be able to get most of your games you need on the speed, and 360 is better.

    Further, the 1T secondary is weak for size.

    The GTX680 is good, but a few whined for the GTX670 - this isn't a penny pincher - if you're going to get something, for pete sakes, take the top on ONE item.

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