AVADirect X79 Gaming PC, Tri-SLI GeForce GTX 680

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Introduction & Specifications

One of the things we like about AVADirect is the extensive catalog of off-the-shelf parts to choose from. In fact, a major advantage of shopping from a boutique system builder as opposed to a bulk OEM is the availability of name brand hardware you'd otherwise buy from Newegg, or wherever it is you purchase your components, when rolling your own rig. But what's somewhat unique to AVADirect is the smorgasbord of brands and models to choose from. It's like being a kid-geek in a candy store. Just browsing AVADirect's selection of tower cases, for example, you'll find that nearly two dozen manufacturers are represented, each one offering several models. Antec alone accounts for 27 tower cases on AVADirect's website. The bottom line is that if you can conceive it, AVADirect probably carries the parts to build it.

The robust selection of hardware makes evaluating an AVADirect system somewhat of a challenge in terms of focus, but it's a good problem to have. AVADirect also separates its systems into various categories, giving shoppers a logical starting point, and our team something to focus on. In this case, AVADirect pieced together a high-end system from its 'Gaming PC' category, one that's built around Intel's X79 (Sandy Bridge-E) platform. AVADirect spared little expense, configuring a $5,100 machine that's decked out with three EVGA GeForce GTX 680 (Kepler) graphics cards, Intel's flagship Core i7 3960X processor, multiple solid state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs) in both RAID 0 (operating system) and RAID 1 (storage) configurations, along with a heavy dose of overclocking for good measure.



Clearly AVADirect is trying to spread its feathers like a peacock with a system that's dressed to impress, price be damned. At the same time, it's not so far over the top that only the 1 percenters need apply; if we had to assign a number, we'd say a configuration like this one is aimed at the 3-5 percent of gamers who have deep pockets and are willing to spend some serious coin on a machine with no visible bottlenecks. Still, the vast majority of PC gamers will never spend this much on a single configuration, particularly the ones that find time to maintain a relationship with a significant other and have to justify such a heavy investment. So be it. Regardless of the size of the market for something like this, there's plenty for us to evaluate, from build quality to stability, fit and finish. And for those of you who would consider spending six large on a gaming PC, we'll be providing plenty of benchmarks on the pages to follow. Fasten your seatbelts folks, and careful of the whiplash as we take this hotrod for a spin.

AVADirect X79 Custom Gaming PC
Specifications & Features
Model

DGS-I7-X793SLICFX

CPU

Intel Core i7 3960X (Overclocked)

Memory

16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600

Graphics

3 x EVGA GeForce GTX 680 in SLI

Storage

2 x 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD in RAID 0 (OS)
2 x 2TB Seagate Barracuda XT RAID 1 (Storage)

Optical

LG Blu-ray Reader/DVD Writer Combo

Operating System

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Wired Internet

10/100/1000 Ethernet

Front Panel Ports

2 x USB 3.0; Headphone and Mic

Rear Panel Ports 4 x USB 3.0; 8 x USB 3.0; 2 x eSATA 6Gbps; GbE LAN; Audio Inputs; Optical SPDIF; PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard; Bluetooth module; Clear CMOS Switch; ROG Connect Switch
Weight

Really flippin' heavy

Dimensions

212mm (W) x 497mm (H) x 616mm (D)

Warranty

3 Year Limited Parts & Labor

Price

$5,096.50.50 (as configured)


We already covered some of the highlights above, but it's also worth pointing out supplementary components like the 16GB of DDR3-1600 RAM in a quad-channel configuration, Blu-ray reader/DVD writer combo drive, and the abundance of USB ports, both USB 3.0 and 2.0.

An Asus Rampage IV Extreme provides the foundation for which all these goodies stand upon, giving users a heavy selection of overclocking dials and knobs in the UEFI, as well as easy-access buttons on the rear panel (Clear CMOS) and the board itself (Power, Reset, and others). One of the buttons will even switch between two different UEFIs, providing a safety net of sorts should you manage to bork the system with improper settings.

Finally, all this comes wrapped in a large (and heavy!) Silverstone Fortress FT02 silver tower case that we'll examine in more detail in just a moment. Keep in mind that if this particular configuration doesn't float your boat, as we mentioned, AVADirect offers an extensive selection of parts in each category.

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