Kingston emerges as one of Puget Systems' most reliable brands of 2013
Boutique system builder Puget Systems recently wrote an interesting piece that both gives readers a glimpse of what the company found to be the most reliable hardware of the past year, and makes a case for buying a prebuilt system over going the do-it-yourself (DIY) route. Based on Puget's own data, a prebuilt system is roughly five times less likely to have a hardware failure than one you built yourself.
In less than a month, Microsoft will release its next generation operating system, Windows 8, to the general public, and we suspect OEMs will take advantage of the touch-friendly interface by introducing new all-in-one (AIO) desktop models. Getting a head start is boutique system builder Maingear, which today announced a redesigned version of its Solo 21 AIO with a fresh new look and upgraded internals.
Dell's discontinued Alienware M11x notwithstanding, boutique builders have been paying a lot of attention to the 11.6-inch gaming laptop category, and it's all because Clevo concocted the W110ER, which is essentially a netbook on steroids (figuratively speaking -- steroids are bad, kids). Where can you get it? One place is AVADirect, the boutique builder based in Ohio that's now offering the Clevo W110ER starting at $937 and a penny.
The new Erebus GT from boutique system builder iBuyPower is a smaller, less expensive version of the original, which has now been renamed Erebus XL, and it features a proprietary liquid cooling solution powered by Koolance "that provides epic overclocking potential." It's a custom cooling solution that consists of three radiators and 13mm high-flow tubing to circulate 4.5 gallons of coolant every 60 seconds.
Following AMD's official unveiling of its Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition and 7750 graphics cards, boutique system builder Maingear announced it already has stock on hand is offering the chip maker's new Cape Verde graphics cards as options in its Shift and F131 gaming desktops. Maingear also plans to shove the mainstream parts into its Vybe desktop "in the near future."
You don't have to be a spendthrift to shop a system from a boutique builder. That's not to say you can't still configure a professionally built system that costs as much as a Kia, it's just no longer required. Even liquid cooling setups are fair game for frugal enthusiasts. Enter Origin PC's new Frostbyte 360 liquid cooling system (LCS). Origin PC claims it's reaching speeds up to 5.2GHz using the Frostbyte 360, and starting at $1,599 you can grab a Genesis system configured with the new cooler.
Not all boutique system builders have the stomach to overclock, let alone selling a system that's been pushed to 5.7GHz. Not only is Origin PC boosting its top-tier factory overclock option on its Genesis desktop line, but it will be backed by lifetime 24/7 technical support for no additional cost, a change in support policy that applies to all Origin PC desktops and laptops.
In Greek mythology, Erebus is a primordial deity representing the personification of darkness. Given that overclocking was once considered a dark art, we suppose it's only fitting that iBuyPower would name a liquid cooled gaming system begging to be overclocked after the god of darkness. New and improved for the modern worshipper, the Erebus GT is similar to iBuyPower's first generation system, but has been redesigned with a smaller footprint.
Boutique gaming PC outfit CyberPowerPC said it hit the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) floor "at full throttle" accompanied by a top-of-the-line and decked out Fang III Black Mamba computer system. First introduced in December 2011, the Fang III can now take a bite out of gaming chores with AMD's new Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, which along with everything else will leave a couple of holes in your wallet.
For those of you who prefer not to roll your own gaming machines and would rather have a boutique system builder do it for your, Maingear, based out of New Jersey, announced it has begun equipping its Shift and F131 rigs with AMD's new Radeon HD 7950 and 7970 graphics cards (check out our performance preview of the 7970 here), and will soon be offering them in its Vybe series.