AVADirect Mini Gaming PC: Titan in a Small Package
But it’s not a lost cause, especially with the Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan delivering so much power (and whisper-quiet cooling) in a single card. AVADirect thinks it has threaded the needle with its latest Mini Gaming PC, built around Nvidia's latest powerhouse.
||Intel Core i7-3770K Quad-Core (3.5GHz)|
|Memory:||8GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer wth LEDs (2x4GB; DDR3 1866MHz / PC3-14900) SDRAM|
||Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan (6GB)|
|Motherboard:|| Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe
|Storage:|| OCZ Vertex 3 SSD 240GB
Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM
|Optical:||LG Electronics 14x/16x/48x BD/DVD/CD WH14NS40|
| Power Supply:
||Cooler Master Silent Pro M850W, 80 Plus Bronze|
|Chassis:||BitFenix Prodigy Mini-ITX|
| Cooling Systems:
||Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. C CPU Cooling Heatsink
BlackNoise 120mm NB-BlackSilentPro PL-1 Ultra Quiet Fan
| Operating System:
||Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit|
|Connectivity:||Gigabit LAN, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth|
| Front Ports:
||USB 3.0 (2), Mic, Headphones|
| Rear Ports:
||Display Port, HDMI, SPDIF Out, DVI (2), Mic/Headphones, USB 2.0 (4), USB 3.0 (4), eSATA 3Gbps (2)|
|Dimensions:||10 x 13.5 x 13.5 inches (W x H x D) with rails/feet
7.6 x 8.2 x 11 inches (W x H x D) without rails/feet
|Warranty:||Silver Warranty Package (3 Year Limited Parts, 3 Year Labor Warranty)|
Although chassis design is important to any computer, it’s especially so in an SFF system. AVADirect opted for the BitFenix Prodigy, which is a relatively small mini-ITX chassis. We’ll cover the case’s internal design in detail on the next page, but because this is an SFF system, we wanted to give an idea of the system’s size right off the bat. Taking into account the rails that double as the case’s feet, the Prodigy is about 10 x 13.5 x 13.5 inches (W x H x D). But drop the rails from those measurements, and AVADirect is working with 7.6 x 8.2 x 11 inches. Or, as AVADirect points out, it’s in the same general size range as a game console. That’s a lot to ask of more powerful gaming PC with such little space.
AVADirect’s website gives you a lot of flexibility for configuring a system, so you can go sub-$1000 or through the roof if you'd like. For the CPU, for example, there are multiple Ivy Bridge options, and our review unit arrived with an Intel Core i7-3770K quad-core CPU, which runs at 3.5Ghz. AVADirect paired the CPU with the socket LGA1155 Asus P8Z77-I, a mini-ITX board that sports the Intel Z77 Express Chipset.
Of course, the star of the show is the Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan, the Kepler-based powerhouse that we’ve been covering extensively. AVADirect has several cooling packages for this system available and it opted for Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. C CPU heatsink and a massive 120mm BlackNoise chassis fan. A dab of Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound gives the heatsink a little extra oomph. To give you an idea of the level of customization, you can actually pick which thermal compound AVADirect uses.
Other noteworthy components include 8GB of Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer memory with LEDs, a 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD for the operating system, and a 2TB Seagate Barracuda for a boatload of game storage. Also included are a BD/DVD/CD combo, and an 80 Plus Bronze qualified Cooler Master Silent Pro M 850-watt modular power supply. The system also has Gigabit LAN, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity. Windows 7 64-bit is still the preferred OS for many gamers, so we weren’t surprised to see our review unit arrive with it. You can choose Windows 8 (or several flavors of Linux) when configuring your system too. Let’s crack open the case and have a look.