10 Boutique System Builders And Their Hot-Rod PCs

Power Surge

Power desktop systems are booming with a forecast of 20 percent growth spurt in sales expected this year. According to chip maker Intel, 95 percent of these content-creation, media, enthusiast and gaming PCs were expected to be sold through the channel by boutique and a growing list of specialty system builders.

These incredibly expensive performance desktops that pack premium water-cooled components are designed to deliver benchmark-bending performance. System builders such as IBuyPower, a $165 million City of Industry, Calif.-based solution provider, says its business is growing at double-digit rates.

Tuan Nguyen, director of product and marketing at IBuyPower, says the bulk of systems built by his company are for gamers with a smattering of high-end systems sold to military, education and Bitcoin miners.

Here are the top high-end performance system builders (listed in alphabetic order) and a sampling of their wares.


Location: Cleveland
System/Price: AVADirect C602 SLI / $2,667 (starting price)
Specs: This blistering-fast, liquid-cooled PC supports up to two Intel Xeon E5-2600 or E5-2600 V2 series socket 2011 processors. Also supported is dual PCI Express x16 graphics cards and up to 256 GB DDR3-2133 ECC memory and up to 6 SATA or SAS hard drives or SSD drives. Even configured as is, this system will breeze through data-intensive tasks such as data modeling and 3-D animation production.
Website: http://www.avadirect.com/


Location: Shakopee, Minn.
System/Price: Gamer INFINITY XLC / $1,855
Specs: The base configuration on this system includes Intel core i7-4770K 3.50GHz 8-MB Intel Smart Cache processor, a 2-TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64-MB Cache 7,200-RPM hard drive and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3-GB GDDR5 PCIe 3.0 x16 video card.
Website: http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/

Digital Storm

Location: Freemont, Calif.
System/Price: Aventum II/ $4,349 (starting price)
Specs: You'll have to dig deep for this gorgeous system that comes with Intel's 3.6GHz Core i7-4960X processor overclocked to 4.7GHz. It also ships with 32 GB of DDR3/1866 and a four-way GeForce GTX 780 Ti configuration.
Website: http://www.digitalstormonline.com/

Falcon Northwest

Location: Medford, Ore.
System/Price: FragBox Exotix / $3,089
Specs: This high-end gaming rig comes with Intel's Core i7 processor and Nvidia's latest GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2-GB graphics card, four 4 GB of DDR3 1,866MHz memory pins and an Asus Rampage IV GENE motherboard. Also included at this price point is the $928 Hematite custom chassis painting.
Website: http://www.falcon-nw.com/


Location: City of Industry, Calif.
System/Price: Paladin D879 / $1,749
Specs: The Paladin D879 is undoubtedly a specialized gaming rig featuring the Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3-GB video card, 120-GB SSD + 2 TB HDD powered by Intel's Core i7-4820K processor.
Website: http://www.ibuypower.com/


Location: Kenilworth, N.J.
System/Price: FORCE X79 / $4,471 (Starting Price)
Specs: This all-out gaming rig features Intel Core i7-4820K Quad-core 3.7GHz / 3.9GHz Turbo 10-MB L3 cache with HyperThreading (add $1,826 for Intel's Xeon E5-2687W 3.1GHz chip). Other specs include Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3 GB GDDR5 graphics card and EKoolant extra-pure, distilled and deionized water.
Website: http://www.maingear.com/


Location: Miami
System/Price: Genesis Pro / $1,899 (Starting Price)
Specs: This speced-out system is all-business. The Genesis Pro workstation series features Intel Xeon processors for video rendering while editing. The Intel 5520/ICH10R platform supports over 96 GB of triple-channel DDR3 memory, reducing load times and increasing productivity. Origin said its systems are optimized for digital content creation, visual effects, animation and game development.
Website: http://www.originpc.com/

Primordial Computers

Location: Bellevue, Wash.
System/Price: Pegasus / $4,000 (Starting Price)
Specs: The Pegasus, like its eye-popping price tag, has the specs to match. For starters, this PC is aimed squarely at the high-end workstation crowd, ships with a base configuration of a liquid-cooled Dual Intel Xeon E5-2630 2.4GHz 6-core processor, 32 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 16,000Mhz, single AMD Radeon HD 7750 1-GB graphics card, and 500 GB SATA III 7,000-RPM HD. For the money, according to the system configuration tool, you get a free extra-large T-shirt.
Website: http://www.primordialcomputers.com/

Velocity Micro

Location: Midlothian, Va.
System/Price: ProMagix VSC265 Workstation / $3,200
Specs: The VSC265 Workstation with the dual Intel Sandy Bridge Xeon E5-2603 processor and 1 GB PNY Nvidia Quadro K6000 GPUs will produce over 3 Tflops of compute horsepower, according to Velocity Micro. Add $5,000 to the base price (upping the price to $8,200) to upgrade to a Dual Xeon E5-2690 chip running at 2.9GHz, and this workstation just might have the horsepower to help researchers compute the origins of the universe.
Website: http://www.velocitymicro.com/

Xotic PC

Location: Lincoln, Neb.
System/Price: Scourge v2 (stage 4) / $5,043
Specs: Weighing in as the most expensive gaming desktop systems we could find among the 10 vendors, the Scourge does not disappoint. This PC sports a screaming-fast Intel Core i7 4960X Extreme Edition 3.6GHz (overclocked to 4.00) 6-core processor coupled with two 3-GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 graphics cards. Add the 250 GB Samsung 840 Evo SSD storage and 1-TB 7,200-RPM SATA III hard drive and you should have a PC ready to push the limits and bust your budget.
Website: http://www.xoticpc.com