Build Quality

Once again, it's pretty hard to fault AVADirect's building job. This Quiet Gaming PC seems to have even gotten a little bit of extra thought and care put into it compared to its predecessor, and more TLC is never a bad thing. Of course, AVADirect also benefits from the reduced power consumption of Ivy Bridge and Kepler, though the benefits of Ivy Bridge are mitigated by the heat produced at high overclocks (much like the 4.5GHz overclock in our review system).

Unlike in the last version, AVADirect has actually opted to move the video card down a slot and instead placed an independent fan unit between the card and the CPU heatsink in order to improve circulation. This is an interesting choice, but it benefits from the speed boost provided by PCI Express 3.0; even though the GTX 680 is forced to run on eight lanes instead of sixteen, the increased bandwidth works out to the same amount of bandwidth the card would've had to work with in a PCIe 2.1 x16 slot. That means the CPU gets a little more breathing room while the GTX 680 takes a virtually nonexistent performance hit. Smart move.

Heat and Noise

True to form, the AVADirect Quiet Gaming System is, indeed, quiet. I can't verify the certification by SPCR; most sound meters don't read below 30dB, so testing to see if those figures are accurate just isn't possible. I can say it's definitely below 30dB at idle and under load, though. Ambient noise in the room is liable to mask the system almost entirely.

That said, it's quiet, not silent. It's definitely audible and still audible over my desktop, but a large part of that is due to the pitch. The noise produced by my desktop's SilverStone FT02 enclosure is lower and hollower due to the large fans and the fact that the case is basically designed to be a vertical wind tunnel. By comparison, the NZXT H2 is a smaller enclosure making do with smaller fans, so while it's by no means high pitched, it's still audible from a foot away, and that noise does increase slightly but noticeably under load.

AVADirect did make some smart trade-offs between noise and heat, though. Recognizing that Ivy Bridge just plain runs warm, they allowed the i7-3770K a little bit of slack and it runs up to a toasty but not alarming 80C under full load. The GTX 680's massive cooler keeps it under 70C, though, which is impressive.

Note also that they switched over to a voltage offset on the overclock. While the voltage on the i7-3770K is still higher than I'd like (as I've mentioned, our own Ian Cutress suggested about 1.25V should be the cutoff for this architecture), it's not alarmingly high.

Power Consumption

Keeping with the benefits of this generation of hardware, it should come as no surprise that AVADirect's build is fairly frugal with power drawn from the wall.

Idle Power Consumption

Load Power Consumption

Frankly it's hard to argue with this kind of efficiency. AVADirect's system draws much less power than last generation's competitors while providing tangibly superior performance. Idle power draw is excellent, too.

Gaming Performance Conclusion: Worth Considering In This Configuration
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  • StevoLincolnite - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    I would even argue that the CPU was a bit of a downgrade. especially going from a 6-core processor to a 4 core processor.
    Heck, for $2,700 I would hope for a Core i7 3930K or at-least an x79 motherboard paired up with the Core i7 3820, so you could at-least drop in an Ivy-Bridge E when they become available.
  • Paul Tarnowski - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    The last AVADirect PC had a 2700K. The reviewer was comparing the acoustics of that system to his then-current i7-990X. Although yes, that sentence is confusing if you don't follow the link to the review of the previous system.
  • Flunk - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    This is a gaming system, single thread performance is key so having 6 slower cores is a detriment.
  • cknobman - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    While I am not arguing 4 vs 6 core when it comes to gaming I agree with OP on the point he was trying to make.

    For the absurd price I would expect a 6 core processor in this thing and for everything else outside of games this processor is in fact a downgrade.

    I just built a very very similar rig to this one listed with an i7 3770k for far under $2000.
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - link

    "and for everything else outside of games this processor is in fact a downgrade."
    Did you even read the review of the comments just above you? The predecessor had a i7 2700k @ 4.6GHz at its heart. No 6 core CPU!
  • infoilrator - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    You can argue the two points, you have to be doing very specialized computing to benefit from more CPU. Second, if you can afford this level of purchase, I suppose an entire new build is practical as a new tech toy.

    It is too bad you cannot transfer the bits into a case you like more.
  • Jambe - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    Speaking of pre-built computers you're likely to pay too much for; what are the chances you could get a Falcon Northwest Tiki for review? I remember seeing that some time ago and haven't looked to see if there are reviews of it from credible sources.

    I guess I might do a quick search for that.
  • Wolfpup - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I'm actually wondering how the Tiki or Dell's x51 would hold up to being used as a "notebook", thrown in a bag every day and hauled back and forth. They don't seem that much bigger than a large notebook...

    Don't know if they'd physically hold up though.
  • iSayuSay - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    As usual, spec is okay. But come on, for the price, one would demand more, especially on the look. I never find any sexier case than MacPro, why? These PCs can be more costly than basic quad MacPro. And again, I'm not talking about spec, purely just about look and neat interior placement.
    Can't somebody out there design a great looking case for these boutique design tower?

    My office still have a few 2010 MP laying around and yeah, these babies are just IT tech-wonder, looks clean, easy to upgrade. Everything is in order and super organized. Specs are obviously suck for the money, as usual. But you gotta admit it's the sexiest tower around. Externally and internally.

    Now imagine something like MacMini, only bigger like MacPro. Smooth silver aluminum, less holes and screws and no unnecessary LED would be great. And I'm willing to pay $200 more for the case alone. Thank you.
  • Grzesiu - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    The only one I can think of would be the HP/Voodoo Blacbird 002 which was ridiculously expensive. I owned one up until a week ago. Fully equipped with C2Q qx9770, 8GB DDR3 1600MHz, SLI GTX280s and a 1300watt modular psu. I still own the hardware which will soon be up for sale on eBay, but I sold the case alone for $850!

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