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  • gandergray - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    Dustin, thank you for the review. Regarding rubber fan mounts, why are screws preferred? Reply
  • Samus - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    So your fans don't fall out. Reply
  • tim851 - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    That only happens with shitty mounts. Reply
  • homer_pickett - Thursday, October 09, 2014 - link

    +1 to keep the fans in place. /Homer from Reply
  • SunLord - Monday, February 24, 2014 - link

    The fans installed in this system have a built in rubber bushing so you don't need to use rubber mounts to silence them. Reply
  • zodiacsoulmate - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    Rubber fan mount always leave a little crack between fan and case, which is a very severe air leak that will cause inefficient air cooling... Reply
  • Gyro231995 - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    Neat I guess. I have a chub but not a full on erection. Reply
  • xaml - Saturday, March 01, 2014 - link

    @Gyro231995 What you're really saying is that certain people and their bushes should be thrown into oversized fans. I couldn't agree more. Reply
  • brucek2 - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    My first reading of the table was that this was a system that included 3x Nvidia 780s, yet was still quiet, and that cost only $2,500. I was ready to order on the spot.

    The downside of that much excitement is that now that I've realized its just one, it seems so so much less interesting.
  • will54 - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    I thought the same thing at first. I know avadirect has a good price point but damn that would have been a sweet deal. Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    Sorry, I can't agree that an additional 240GB in SSD (to 480GB) is an adequate replacement for a 2TB drive. Windows is going to take up ~20GB. There are people with Skyrim installs of over 100GB. BF4 calls for 30GB. WoW is over 20GB.
    A $2500 gaming system should have room for more than a handful of games.
  • teiglin - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    If I were building a >$2000 gaming PC today, I would definitely go with a 1TB SSD rather than any mechanical storage. I think you're right that trying to live in a single <500GB SSD could be pretty constricting, especially if you are trying to keep a 15-20% buffer of free space--on a 480GB SSD, that's around 300GiB of useable space for games, which might be fine if you're willing to uninstall old games, but if you are more of a packrat like me the it will probably be tough.

    I still have about 6TB of hard drives in my primary PC because it also serves as media storage for my entire house, freeing up my HTPCs to have a single small SSD, but anything that's not video deserves to go on flash.
  • will54 - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    I agree with you there. We aren't at the point where it makes sense to get rid of hdd for mass storage. Get rid of the two smaller drives and start out with a 500gb or 1tb Samsung 840 and than add some hdd storage at a later date. Theres no reason to have everything on an ssd when a hdd is so much cheaper per GB. Reply
  • tim851 - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    Once you drop mechanical storage, a gargantuan case like the NZXT becomes ridiculous. Look a the inside pics. Empty hdd bays, a full ATX board with a single card. And at least two fans have been weirdly positioned just to deflect outside airflow to the components who need it.
    Build this thing inside a Node 304 and it will not be any louder, but about a tenth of the volume and much more awesome. Get a Silverstone ST55F-G with the complementary short cable kit and it becomes actually easier to build than this monstrosity here.
  • schizoide - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    I completely agree and was just coming here to post that. That case is ridiculously large for 2014. Who needs that much space?

    Agree about those two angled fans too. Overengineered is spot-on.
  • Grok42 - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    I couldn't agree more. It's all about small size and silence these days. Reply
  • Sunday Afternoon - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    Hmmm: the picture on the front page is distorted to make the proportions of the case appear very different. Reply
  • LtGoonRush - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    I'm really disappointed with the poor component choices in this build, especially the motherboard, memory, and storage. They built a $2500 system around the *cheapest Z87 motherboard Asus makes*, which results in a very poorly balanced system due to the low quality integrated peripherals like audio and Ethernet. Using four DIMMs is the kind of amateurish mistake you see in people's first builds, it's not a big deal (unless you want to upgrade or run at high RAM clocks) but it's obviously wrong so should never happen in a machine designed by a professional. Finally, not only did they combine two small, slow system drives in a RAID0 array, but they used some of the least reliable drives on the market. This isn't opinion or anecdote, the Kingston HyperX 3K drives use low quality NAND (see TechReport SSD endurance tests to support this) and their observed failure rate (for 120GB models specifically) in the market is >5X comparable drives from Intel and Samsung (see Hardware.FR statistics for October 2013).

    It's 2014, we shouldn't have to shame boutique system builders into making decent component choices. I'm not asking anything unreasonable here or expensive here, a pair of 8GB DIMMs, a single 250GB Samsung 840 Evo, and bump the motherboard up to something appropriate. At the end of the day this system would not deliver the experience a customer should expect from a $2500 gaming machine, at a minimum because the integrated audio is so bad. If this is what they send out for review to show off their prowess, what ends up in the hands of their customers?
  • chrnochime - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    Ready to kill mechanical storage? You've got to be kidding me. Even the cheapest HDD these days still has longer MTBF than the best consumer SSD. Reply
  • Grok42 - Sunday, February 23, 2014 - link

    Can you provide any proof of this? Everything I've read says that SSD wins hands down on MTBF. They also win for power, noise, heat and shock resistance. The only downside I'm aware of is price per MB. I don't think I'll ever buy an HDD again. Reply
  • Aslan7 - Monday, February 24, 2014 - link

    Were I interested in buying such a system the rubber fan mounts would appeal as would the fan controller. I'm willing replace fans or to pull fans out of a case to get a quieter build. The one thing I see wrong with the build is 8GB of memory. Current generation consoles have as much and Windows is heavier than a console. As for all SSD storage, that's laughable this year and the next. You could go all SSD if you didn't mind having a computer instead of a car. My Steam Library alone is 1.39TB I don't even have a lot of AAA games which run bigger and then there's Desura, GOG, and games not from a digital service, plus music, ebooks, photos and videos.
    I've got a 512GB SSD acting as a cache for a 4TB drive and I still find myself shuffling files to other drives.
  • Pbryanw - Monday, February 24, 2014 - link

    I think the specs sheet said it had 16GB of memory (4x4GB).

    As far as SSDs go, I'm sure a 512GB one would suffice for most people. I think those with big Steam & game libraries are in the minority. Also, with a quiet going on silent build (speaking from my own experience) a mechanical hard-drive can be the loudest component. It's why I now run two SSDs (for Windows + Steam Library) instead of an SSD + large hard-drive.

    If you must have a 4TB storage drive (and this is a gaming PC), I think it's a bit pointless (as Dustin points out) to have two SSDs in RAID when SSDs are so much faster than mechanical hard-drives anyway. Better to have a 512GB SSD and 4TB hard-drive as per your setup then two smaller units in RAID.
  • Black Obsidian - Monday, February 24, 2014 - link

    Just because you *have* a 1.39TB Steam library doesn't mean you need every single game installed simultaneously, unless you're running on 56K or something. My library of Steam games is over 2TB and 100 titles, and yet my gaming PC's Steam folder is under 400GB.

    How? Because I only have games I am currently playing or am likely to play in the near future installed. One of the greatest advantages of Steam is the ability to download any game in your library, at any time, on any PC. Why negate that by trying to have ALL THE THINGS installed all the time?
  • Pbryanw - Monday, February 24, 2014 - link

    Totally agree with this. If you're like me, you only play one game at a time. I have more than 100 Steam games in my library and just have a fraction of these installed on a 256GB SSD (like you, the ones I'm most likely to play). The rest I can download anytime from the Steam servers. Reply
  • Papa - Monday, February 24, 2014 - link

    It's pretty easy to go into SteamApps folder, move the game onto a mechanical drive. That's all that Steam looks for. No need to delete if you don't have to. Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - link

    I lived with an 80GB hard drive from'06 to '13, loading games from CD when I wanted them and downloading only high compression 720p rips. But that was a $350 Dell.
    This is a $2500 boutique gaming system. At $2500 you should not be so constrained for space. Since a SSD doesn't do much for games and is completely unnecessary for media files, it's stupid to trade space for needless expense.
  • Pbryanw - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - link

    Yes, it's $2500 but it's also been built for silence. If you've gone, like AVADirect, to the trouble of including a fanless CPU cooler, a PSU that is fanless up to 30% load and a fan controller, it seems a shame to include a mechanical hard-drive which could be the noisiest component in the build.

    Of course, this review includes no noise benchmarks, and the drive is in a silent enclosure, but going from my own experience, my WD Green was the noisiest component in my quiet build until I swapped it for an SSD. Including a 1TB SSD, as Dustin suggested, wouldn't be such a bad compromise between noise and space for a decent games library in my opinion. At the very least it should be offered as an option on their web-site.

    I think it just comes down to that tricky balancing act between noise and performance. I can see why having a 4TB drive for games would be an advantage, but if you have a fast internet connection, it's easier (at least for me) to keep a decent list of favourite games and then download when I need to.
  • ironwing - Monday, February 24, 2014 - link

    A review of a quiet PC should include objective measurements of sound volume at idle and under load. One person's "very quiet" is another person's "too loud". Reply
  • shooty - Monday, February 24, 2014 - link

    Exactly, I don't need to see the benchmark results - I would like noise levels readings at various loads. I can look up a review of dozens of other similarly configured systems to get an idea of performance. Reply
  • twtech - Monday, February 24, 2014 - link

    With my money, I'd probably get both the terabyte SSD, and keep the mechanical storage drive for mass storage.

    My SteamApps folder alone is approaching 1TB, and I have quite a few GBs of photos from my hiking trips. So I appreciate the inclusion of a mechanical storage drive - but I would suggest that if you are going to have one, why not go with 4TB?
  • pat64 - Monday, February 24, 2014 - link

    You guys really should fix the distorted main page images. Reply
  • beck2050 - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - link

    Personally I love the fact that AVA gives so many options including virtually all the latest and greatest. Most boutique builders fall short here. What the author prefers may be the opposite of another customer and by providing the resources to make both happy, AVA is doing a super job! Reply
  • AVADirect - Thursday, February 27, 2014 - link

    Thank you! Reply

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