Conclusion: Worth Considering In This Configuration

With the amount of performance in AVADirect's Quiet Gaming PC (SPCR Certified!) you're just not going to get a purely silent system. To get one, you'd have to sacrifice the overclock and the video card; in other words, you'd have to go for the Puget Systems Serenity SPCR Edition which I can attest is basically inaudible unless you put your ear right up against the side of the case. And if you want that system, you will pay dearly for the privilege.

There's a lot to like about what AVADirect has done here. Across the board, our review unit features only high quality component selection, right up to the very respectable Prolimatech Megahalems heatsink used on the CPU. AVADirect's engineers understand something I've been pushing in my case reviews: a series of small fans run at low speed can do a lot of work and be remarkably quiet in the process. It's all about having smart airflow. That's basically the case here. $2,700 is an awful lot to ask for a desktop, but at least you know they're not cheaping out anywhere.

Well, except for one place, and that one thing is the crack in the Quiet Gaming PC's armor. The NZXT H2 is a sub-optimal case. It puts in a solid performance here, certainly, but again, the H2 is a baseline for so many vendors because NZXT cuts massive deals to boutiques (which is why their cases can be so prevalent). If I wasn't a hardware reviewer with some behind the scenes experience I might not notice the difference, but I am, and I do. AVADirect does offer alternative enclosures, but that leads me to another question.

Okay, so the Quiet Gaming PC is certified by SPCR. In what configuration? The options AVADirect offers for component selection are thankfully more limited than they usually are in the places that matter (CPU heatsink and GPU options). Would that certification still hold if we changed the case to a theoretically quieter one like the Antec P183 or the Fractal Design Define XL, though? Or if we used a less powerful CPU cooler like the Scythe Mugen 3? It's tricky, and it's the reason why I still tend towards the Puget Systems Serenity for users who want a quiet system. You sacrifice the overclock and some GPU power by going with them, but the component selection is substantially whittled down to only the cream of the crop.

It undoubtedly seems like I'm being tough on AVADirect when the review system I was sent is actually a pretty excellent piece of engineering with a lot of love and care put into it. The value proposition on systems like these is never good; honestly what I really wish is that they'd sent a system in an Antec P183 or the Fractal Design Define XL so I could at least say with some measure of certainty whether or not those cases would be an improvement instead of operating on my knowledge of the NZXT H2, a case which just looks and feels too cheap for a $2,700 computer.

That's my only major complaint, though. If you want a lot of performance in a quiet build and you're not up to putting it together yourself, it's really hard to fault what AVADirect has done here. You'll pay substantially for it, but I can definitely see the market for this system. If you have the money for it and acoustics matter to you, you could do heck of a lot worse.

Build, Noise, Heat, and Power Consumption
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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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