If you’re an avid gamer, then the most important component is, of course, your gaming computer. The difference between 30 fps and 120 fps can make the difference between a good gaming experience and a frustrating one. Although I usually upgrade my computer part after part, I decided to go a different route this time and order an entirely new computer from a Canadian store called GamingPC.ca. The website looked good, the representative on the live-chat was helpful and… I wanted the fastest machine you could buy in Canada (but more on that later…).
The Purchasing Experience
If you’ve ever been browsing for a computer online you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say that it can be downright confusing. Even though I pride myself in being computer knowledgeable, some stores insist on putting hundreds of options… thinking that more is better. This is why I felt re-assured when I landed GamingPC’s homepage. Straight forward, simple, just enough options (and more importantly, the ones I was looking for) ranging from budget gaming to very high end gaming machines.
Make no mistake, this store caters to the higher end of gamers that want the absolute best. Their flagship machine, The Beast, was what really caught my eye at first but I ended up settling for a more reasonable (yet still ridiculously fast) Destroyer machine. The way it works on the site is that you have 2 major options: The “watercooled section” which is deemed hardcore and the “air cooling” section which still comes with aftermarket cooling but is more reasonable in price.
After talking with the representative for a while, he recommended that I get a Destroyer with an I7 2700k running at 4.8overclock which is more than what I expected out of any regular machine. (Especially when you consider, at the time I write this, that none of the Intel processors currently run at a stock speed of over 3.8Ghz). The reason Gaming PC can deliver such blazing speeds and offer a warranty on is because of the special cooling system that they include with each system.
As soon as you purchase, you can tell that GamingPC is a somewhat smaller operation because you get a manual confirmation from the staff that you have purchased a PC and an ETA on when it will be shipped. One thing that I didn’t like was that even though it was written “In stock”, it didn’t immediately ship. When I asked them about it, they told me that “In Stock” means they have the components to build the system but due to the high amount of personalization & options that go into every system, it takes an average of 7 days to receive your system. That makes sense (and come to think of it, that’s how other manufacturers operate as well) but I still wanted to get my machine as fast as possible!
When I asked where the time was being spent, the staff politely explained that each system is hand built, customized and then it takes 5-10 hours to overclock the system. Then 24-48 hours is spent stress testing the machine before it is ready to ship.
(Not official, but this is how I imagine it)
– 1 Day to process the order
– 1-2 Days backlog / waiting line
– 1 Day to build the system
– 1 Day to do the overclocking
– 2 Days of testing
– 2-4 Days Shipping
So it makes sense in the end!
The Gaming PC Destroyer
The machine was well packaged in a giant box (the delivery man actually had a difficult time lifting it!) that was very tightly packed so none of the components would move around. I was a little concerned about ordering a high end computer via the mail but everything arrived properly and in one piece!
Here’s what I received (The options change from week to week, this is how I configured mine):
Intel I7 2700k running at 4.8Ghz
Asus Maximum V Extreme
32 gigs of DDR3 ram
256 gig OCZ SSD Vertex 4 hard drive
2 Terabyte Western Digital Black
Nvidia Geforce 680GTX 4 GB
Antec Truepower 1200 Watt Power Supply
Custom Water Cooling Solution
Windows Pro 7 64 Bit
First impressions: Wow this thing is massive! The watercooling, along with the videocard, the extra powerful power supply and full tower case make for a surprisingly big computer to set up. It made my old dusty PC (that I was moving off my desk) seem cheap and completely inadequate.
Booting up, I was greeted with a personalized installation with my name and a completely clean task tray. No bloatware, no additional trial software, just a clean, lean optimized system. They also had a CPU-Z on the desktop so I could check and confirm that the operation frequency was, in fact, 4.8 Ghz.
The windows boot up time was a ridiculously quick (time will be chrono’ed) which actually surprised me a little. My old computer had a normal 7200 RPM hard drive which took at least a minute to boot up so moving to a Gaming PC with a 256 gig Vertex 4 SSD makes quite a big difference.
I installed games and promptly started testing!
3d Marks 2011 = P9905
Diablo 3 = 176 fps avg
Starcraft II = 180 fps avg
Counter-Strike Global Offensive = 223 fps avg
The overclocked I7 processor at 4.8 Ghz really makes a huge difference in gaming performance. Everything from loading times to frames per second is considerably faster than my previous machine (Which was an Intel E8400 with a 8800 GT). Aiming is easier, movements are smoother and I can run everything maximum quality!
Do it. If you’re on the fence, then paying a little more for a piece of luxury is totally worth it (in my opinion). I justify it because I spend more hours in front of the computer than in front of the TV. Because I use it every day, paying a little premium to have the fastest machine in Canada makes sense. It feels like a solid investment and I would gladly do it again.
I wanted the fastest and I feel like I got it. I opened up the case to look at the watercooling system (It’s pretty impressive) and that’s something I definitely couldn’t put together myself. So at least I know that my money went towards something that I couldn’t done myself.
– Extremely fast machine
– Well built, solid
– Good shipping
– Quality Support
– Supporting Canadian business