Build, Heat, and Power Consumption

A good boutique build really does start at the enclosure. While the NZXT cases most commonly used by boutiques aren't necessarily terrible, there's still something left to be desired when better options are available. Corsair as a brand seems to be picking up popularity with boutiques, though, and while it's probably a bit more expensive for all involved, their cases are generally a step up.

Boutique builds are usually very clean, but a case like the Carbide 500R can make it that much easier to both build and service the system. Unfortunately the beefy Asetek radiator winds up mucking things up a bit; while it gets the job done (which you'll see in a bit), it also effectively blocks the end user from two empty RAM slots, making building up the system more difficult.

V3 does a decent job of keeping cable clutter to a minimum too, but by employing a non-modular power supply they're forced to stash the excess cables under the drive trays. The TX750 V2 is an excellent power supply, but a modular 80 Plus Gold unit might have been a nice touch (though it would've driven the cost up).

Finally, I do like the nice bit of branding that V3 does with the enclosure. The V3 logos on the front and the sides help to give the system more identity and make it feel a bit like less of an off-the-shelf assembly of hardware.

As it turns out, though, cooling isn't much of an issue for the Avenger, despite the high core voltage. We already knew the GTX 680 was an efficient piece of kit, but the i7-3820 is actually fairly frugal as well in terms of both heat and power. The Avenger remains relatively quiet even under load, making it an excellent choice for a workstation.

Idle Power Consumption

Load Power Consumption

I'll admit I was concerned about power consumption with the Avenger. The MSI motherboard employed doesn't allow for setting an offset voltage, but the i7-3820 seems to be idling just fine. Load consumption is excellent as well given the high overclock on the processor. It's not the most frugal system in the world, but V3's build isn't aggressively sucking power out of the wall under stress either.

Gaming Performance Conclusion: Odd Expectations
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  • gitano - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    the case looks awful, and the price a rip-off
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    Boutique machines are always going to be a little pricey, you're paying for the care of assembly and the customer service.

    As for the case, that's a matter of opinion. I've reviewed it personally:

    I'm rather fond of it, myself.
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    I think many of us might've built up false expectations after reading your intro.

    As you mentioned, using X79 (especially for a quad), 16GB of RAM, and RAID SSDs is anything but a "balance".
  • Samus - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    I don't think there is anything wrong with the case. The carbide 500 is the only non-silverstone case I'd ever consider. As for it being white, mine has been crammed under my desk for 3 years so I could care less what color it is, as long as its functional.
  • Bonesdad - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    I agree, though the case is not exactly my cup of tea, I have seen MUCH worse come across these reviews. I don't have a problem with the case really at the price...?
  • Samus - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    I generally don't comment on the prices, because when I read these botique reviews, I know I'd never buy one becuase I can't justify the price premium for someone taking an hour to screw it all together. As far as them 'testing choice components' I can already tell you without doing a second of research the best parts to put in any mid-to-high end gaming system is

    mainstream ASUS motherboard with USB 3.0
    3GHz+ quad core i5
    16GB GSKILL high speed memory
    Corsair H80 water cooling kit
    Intel 180GB SSD330 or SSD520
    'pick your brand' 3TB SATA drive
    Silverstone or Corsair case of your choice
    PCP&C or similar 600 watt PSU
    nVidia Geforce 670
    Bluray drive
    23+" IPS monitor (TN if 3ms difference really matters to you)
    comfy keyboard and mouse
    decent 2-channel speakers or headphones
    APC or Tripp-lite 800va battery backup
    Windows 7 Home Premium OEM
    Comcast or other high speed internet and a Motorola DOCSYS 3.0 modem with a Linksys E3000+ router with gigabit

    All under $2,000 and assembled using knowledge from a youtube video in under 2 hours.
  • watchdogusa - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    This is good suggestion, but it doesn't address this review. To me, a review on a system is how the system stacks up with other systems with price in consideration, i.e, performance vs price. If you put the above system together, it would not compete eye-to-eye with the review system, even with price in consideration. In addition, built quality, warranty and time spent on building/testing the system should be considered too. For many DIY say you can build a system much cheaper, only if your time is not valuable. For example, a lawyer who bills at $600 to $800 per hour spends 2 hours to build the system, you should tag another $1500 to the price tag of the system, because he just lost 2 hours of billable hours. Of course it is not that simple, but when compare DIY and building a system, you can't just compare the part cost alone. If that is the case, why not build everything you want? I am sure with youtube, you can even build an atomic bomb. I think if we are here talk about prices, we should compare it to other boutiques/retailers with similar components and services. This way, it would be an apple to apple comparison. That is just my $0.02.
  • Jakeisbest - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link


    You just described my exact setup, even my modem and router.
  • aguilpa1 - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    I'm in agreement. It used to be boutique vendors charged more but went further to present something unique in their cases, whether custom paint or design. This thing is just ugly. I notice the current trend is towards white cases but there is a reason they went away a long time ago. It becomes to obvious and cheap looking when you start to stick black plasticky components in the front and for the most part stick out like a sore thumb no matter where they go.
  • EnzoFX - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    It annoys me when people say this about white cases. Those old cases, they weren't white, they were beige. Can you really not tell the difference?

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