Boutique System Builders Embrace Ivy Bridge En Masse

Brad Chacos

Low-cost PC manufacturers may be nervous about the touchscreen-friendly nature of Windows 8 , but top-notch boutique PC builders ain't sweating Intel's Ivy Bridge launch . Over the weekend, a bevy of the biggest boutique names out there announced that the third-gen Core procs are now gracing the internals of several desktop offerings. Maingear even went so far as to roll out a whole new PC and announced a redesign of the cases for one of its best known builds.

Maingear's flagship Shift PC was the first to sport the company's VRTX Cooling Technology -- basically, a case design that allows heat to flow up and out of the chassis, complete with vents at the top. VRTX Cooling is now coming to the micro-ATX Maingear F131 as well as the newly announced Maingear Potenza, a customizable mini-ITX-based build that starts at $899. Despite being 76 percent smaller than the Shift, the Potenza can still accommodate the GTX 680 and any other graphics cards less than 10-inches long. Going forward, all of Maingear's desktop PCs and its Alt and eX-L series notebooks will include Ivy Bridge procs.

Digital Storm's also rolling out Ivy Bridge to each and every one of its desktops. Plus, they're bringing good news for overclocking fanatics: "We've tested Ivy Bridge in every one of our systems and we've measured extraordinary overclocks at 4.8GHz at unbelievably low temperatures across the board," Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storm's Director of Product Development, said in the company's press release.

Puget Systems' announcement was a bit more reserved, but it, too, is bringing Ivy Bridge to all of its PCs, from the small form factor Echo all the way up to its top-of-the-line liquid-cooled Deluge. "This is a major refresh to our product line" president Jon Bach said in the company's press release.

Velocity Micro also announced Ivy Bridge availability, but only on select models; namely, the Razor Z90, the Vector Z20, and the Edge Z40.

Likewise, Alienware announced that Ivy Bridge mobile processors will start working their way into the M14x, M17x and M18x gaming laptops. Alienware's new guts include recently released Nvidia and AMD Radeon mobile GPUs, too.

AVADirect's in the on the game , too, and makes a point of saying that the company's pumped to add Intel HD 4000 graphics to its line of custom HTPCs. Of course, beefier CPUs (and their overclocking capabilities) are also available for systems with a bit more oomph .

Note: edited to add AVADirect's Ivy Bridge support.

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