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AVADirect Mini Gaming PC Review: Ivy Bridge, GTX 680 in a Mini-ITX Package

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Systems
Manufacturer: AVADirect

Software, Performance, Pricing and Conclusions

One of the first things we do with a full system review is see what kind of software the vendor loads and if we think it is slowing us down any.  Admittedly slowing down a rig like this is going to be hard to do with ANY software, but we like our desktops clean and our software inclusions minimal. 

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While the desktop of the AVADirect Mini Gaming PC is pretty clean there are some links to things like CyberLink and LG applications that add "clutter".  No big deal, just something to note. 

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Looking at the specifications in Windows you see the two drive configuration that AVADirect is using as well as the 7.8 Windows Experience Index that I am sure you all care deeply about (</sarcasm>). 

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I will admit again here that I don't like the amount of LG installed applications but I know that AVADirect added it in the hopes they would make it easier to use optical media.  Many users are so removed from optical media today that it can seem like an anomaly. 

Performance Testing - An Overclocked Core i7-3770K

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I mentioned that the system is overclocked to 4.4 GHz on the Core i7-3770K and it runs at that speed even when all cores are fully loaded, as you can see here in our CineBench 11.5 testing. 

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Compared to a Core i7-3770K at default clock speeds we a 19% performance boost with the AVADirect Mini Gaming PC; not a bad jump for an included CPU overclock.

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EVGA's GeForce GTX 680 2GB card is able to hold up its end of the bargain as well and with the combined overclocked processor is more than capable of gaming at 1920x1080, 2560x1600 or even into multi-display configurations. 

You can see our full reviews of the Intel Core i7-3770K and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2GB for more performance details!

Pricing and Final Thoughts

We'd be a fool to not recognize that most of our readers like to build their own systems and as such there are times when the pre-built system can be criticized for lacking in some areas, pricing being a frequent one.  With a price tag of our build at $2,146.46 I have to say I was pretty impressed. 

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Buying a system with the same components from Newegg.com resulted in an in-cart amount of $1890 plus shipping.  The price difference of $256 will net you the overclock of the CPU to 4.4 GHz as well as the 3 year warranty offered by AVADirect.  To me, that is totally worth it: you get the system already assembled and built in a clean fashion, its been tested and burned in so your chances of DOA components are pretty minimal and if something goes wrong you have a small business to get in touch with rather than a huge conglomerate.  

We also checked out PC Part Picker for the components and got a very similar pricing result.  You can see the build out by clicking on this link and view the "price over time" for the entire system!

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I realize that won't convince everyone, but I am sure it will appeal to many of our readers!

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Obviously then I came away from my time with the AVADirect Mini Gaming PC pretty impressed.  The BitFenix chassis is small ENOUGH to be an SFF case while still being big enough to support a full size power supply and GTX 680 graphics card.  While you can definitely find small systems, I don't know if you can find them smaller and as powerful. 

The sound levels on the system were very reasonable with the FiberFlex legs and the larger fans used in the design.  Pricing is also a plus with a surprisingly reasonable markup over current component costs making this kind of build attractive for gamers that have a little bit extra means and a little bit less interest in the building process. 

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October 17, 2012 | 06:47 PM - Posted by PapaDragon

The price comparison between AV Direct and Newegg as a great addition to the review.

Im like going the DYI route, but, we all know that we can have problems with our builds, like a faulty component such as a Power Supply, and failed overclocks that can damage our system.

Considering that this is a Professional Pre Built system , thats has been meticulously built and tested, plus a 3 year warranty, I think its worth the extra cost, compared to building it yourself if you can afford and/or lack the PC skills to build one.

October 17, 2012 | 10:49 PM - Posted by LegoGuy (not verified)

I completely agree. The price comparison and editorial is as worthwhile as any other part of the reviewing process (in my opinion), for our DIY personalities especially. I encourage you to continue this trend when reviewing OEM desktops. Great review and keep it up. :)

October 17, 2012 | 10:50 PM - Posted by LegoGuy (not verified)

P.S.: I know that you yourself did not write this article. I just responded to you as it was a relevant comment.

October 18, 2012 | 05:41 AM - Posted by EzioAs

It's not bad but since this is an mITX build, there's definitely no need for an 850W psu since the hardware you can cramp in such a small case is very limited. If it were me, I'd go as high as 600W unit, or possibly lower

October 18, 2012 | 06:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Forgot to include the CPU cooler in the newegg price, so the price of parts would be a tad higher than quoted. Nice review though, picking up parts for a build like this and settled on the same power supply, single rail, 80+ and fit the suggested dimensions from Bitfenix themselves,

October 18, 2012 | 07:20 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

A stock heatsink comes with the CPU.

October 18, 2012 | 10:09 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

It was out of stock at the time, but I added it in to the price in my text there when discussing it.

October 18, 2012 | 03:32 PM - Posted by vi0cs (not verified)

This is amazing to see. If it was time for a complete system build, ITX is the way I would go. I don't want the massive computer anymore, I want a box that can game and do my daily life along with upgrades down the road.

October 18, 2012 | 03:51 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

I have a similar DIY computer, planning on adding a GTX 670 next month. But...mine is smaller! :)

October 18, 2012 | 04:00 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

Also, for anyone thinking of going ITX route - i have an i5-3570k OC'd @ 4.2ghz (without extra voltage) on the stock low-profile intel heatsink, idles around 35-40degrees C and about 60-70 full load.

November 3, 2012 | 03:36 PM - Posted by Rock n Rolla (not verified)

Hey Guys im very serious about buying this case for my next gaming rig but since im want to use Antec's 920 cpu cooler and EVGA's stock 690 GTX video card, does this hi end water cooling kit and Dual gpu Kepler video card compatible on this case? OR, i would have lots of problem installing these hardware? Any help or suggestions will be highly appreciated. Thanks and more power to you PCPer! :-)

May 10, 2014 | 01:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

this one is even smaller
http://techinabottle.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/asus-vm-60-vivo-pc-review
in 2-3 years maybe we will have sizes like our smartphones

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