AVADirect X79 Gaming PC, Tri-SLI GeForce GTX 680 - HotHardware

AVADirect X79 Gaming PC, Tri-SLI GeForce GTX 680

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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



Intel Core i7 3960X (Overclocked)


16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600


3 x EVGA GeForce GTX 680 in SLI


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


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

Really flippin' heavy


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


3 Year Limited Parts & Labor


$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.

Article Index:

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WOW $6000, but daaaaaaammmmnnn!!

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I owned an AVA system before I got the itch to build my own systems. Good experience but I second the psycho cable management comment in the review. It's not necessarily a bad thing but they use an entire dollar store bucket's worth of zipties....

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That is one kick ass system, geek porn extraordinaire.

In comparison, I offer the following:

This is a game my sister has from when we were kids, and yes it still works. LOL I guess you could say we've seen some improvement over the years.

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CDeeter, that right there is HOT bro.

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I'm amazed it still works. We loved that game!

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Yup; AVA-D rocks, I have steered customers there way and have known people (Friends not customers) who I have directed there as well and have never seen nor heard of any issues. This has generally been on laptops there support as well has always been flawless to my experience. The available choices they have are great usually as well as very widely varied you can really build a truly custom laptop. It would seem to me if there as tight as they are on laptops they would be a no fail on a desktop as it's construction and issues would be far less likely than on a laptop just in general. Either way I would use them for anything without reserve personally.

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I think the following would work for me!


GAMING PC Core™ i5 / i7 Z77 3-way SLI® / CrossFireX™ Custom Gaming System $7843.44 $7843.44

INTEL Core™ i7-3770K Quad-Core 3.5 - 3.9GHz TB, HD Graphics 4000, LGA1155, 8MB L3 Cache, 22nm, 77W, EM64T EIST HT VT-x XD, Retail

ANTEC Formula 7 Nano Diamond Thermal Compound

CUSTOM Premium 1xCPU + 2xGPU Liquid Cooling Kit, Installed (Dual Loop)

CUSTOM Coolant, NightClub Blue

ASUS P8Z77 WS, LGA1155, Intel® Z77, DDR3-2800 (O.C.) 32GB /4, PCIe x16 SLI CF /2+2*, SATA 6Gb/s RAID 5 /4, 3Gb/s /4, DVI, USB 3.0 /6, HDA, GbLAN /2, ATX, Retail

CRUCIAL 16GB (4 x 4GB) Ballistix Elite PC3-16000 DDR3 2000MHz CL9 (9-11-9-27) 1.65V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC

SAPPHIRE Radeon™ HD 7950 810MHz, 3GB GDDR5 5000MHz, PCIe x16 CrossFire, DVI + HDMI + 2x mini-DP, Retail

SAPPHIRE Radeon™ HD 7950 810MHz, 3GB GDDR5 5000MHz, PCIe x16 CrossFire, DVI + HDMI + 2x mini-DP, Retail

HAUPPAUGE WinTV-HVR-1850 / WinTV-HVR-1800 MC-Kit TV/FM Tuner, NSTC/ATSC/QAM, MCE Remote, PCIe x1, Retail

HT OMEGA Claro Halo Sound Card w/ HI-FI Headphone Amplifier, 5.1 channels, 24-bit 192KHz, PCI, Retail

OCZ 128GB Synapse Cache SSD w/Dataplex™, MLC SandForce SF-2281, 550/510 MB/s, 2.5-Inch, SATA 6 Gb/s, Retail

WESTERN DIGITAL 1TB WD VelociRaptor®, SATA 6 Gb/s, 10000 RPM, 64MB cache

WESTERN DIGITAL 1TB WD VelociRaptor®, SATA 6 Gb/s, 10000 RPM, 64MB cache

WESTERN DIGITAL 1TB WD VelociRaptor®, SATA 6 Gb/s, 10000 RPM, 64MB cache

RAID No RAID, Independent HDD Drives

HIGHPOINT RocketRAID 2310 SATA II RAID Controller, 4 ports, Levels 0/1/10/5, PCIe x4, Full-height/Low-profile, Retail

SABRENT CRW-UINB Black 65-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive, 3.5" Bay, Internal USB

PLEXTOR PX-L890SA Black 24x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner w/ Lightscribe, SATA, Retail

PLEXTOR PX-LB950SA 12x/16x/48x BD/DVD/CD Blu-ray Disc™ Burner w/ Lightscribe, SATA, Retail

INTEL E1G44ET2 Gigabit ET2 Quad Port Server Adapter, 10/100/1000 Mbps, PCIe x4, Full Height/Low-profile, Retail

CORSAIR Obsidian 800D Black Full Tower Computer Case w/ Window, EATX, 7 slots, No PSU, Aluminum/Steel

SERVICE Custom Automotive Paint, Viper Blue

AVA Custom Transparent Side Panel

CASE FAN LED Fans Maximum Package, Green

SUNBEAMTECH Rheobus Extreme 6-Channel Fan Controller Panel, 5.25" Bay, Black

CUSTOM WIRING Spiral Wrap Wire Management with Round Cables, Green

LOGISYS 12" Single Cold Cathode Case Light Kit, Blue

KINGWIN Lazer LZP-1000 Power Supply w/ Modular Cables, 1000W, 80 PLUS® Platinum, 24-pin ATX12V V2.2 EPS12V V2.91, 5x 8/6-pin PCIe, Retail

KUBUNTU Pre-Installed Kubuntu Linux 64-bit Latest Available Desktop Edition, No Media, No Support

MICROSOFT Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Edition w/ SP1, OEM

SERVICE Use Other Name (Contact Us to Specify)

ACCESSORY AVADirect System Documentation and Media Binder

ASUS VE276Q Black WideScreen LCD Monitor, 27" Full HD, 1920x1080, 0.311mm, 300cd/m², 2ms, VGA/DVI/HDMI/DP, VESA, w/ Speakers

TRIPP-LITE PS4816 Corded Power Strip, 16 NEMA 5-15R, 120V AC, 50/60Hz, 15A, 1800W, 15-ft cord

APC SUA750 Smart-UPS 750VA, 750VA/500W, 120V, USB, RS-232, Black

GAMING PC Platinum Warranty Package (5 Year Limited Parts & Lifetime Labor Warranty, Express/Priority Service)

SERVICE Standard Shipping (UPS, DHL, or Fedex)

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CDeeter, that right there is HOT bro.

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It's not back till next year. That's just cruel

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