PC gaming not dead: CyberPowerPC, Digital Storm release new desktops for gamers

PC gaming not dead: CyberPowerPC, Digital Storm release new desktops for gamers

Summary: CyberPowerPC thinks small with its LAN III mini-systems, while the Digital Storm Hailstorm II is an old-fashioned monster tower.

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TOPICS: PCs
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Everyone likes to announce the death of PC gaming, whether due to consoles like the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 or to mobile gaming or to whatever will come next. While the market for high-end systems designed to play the latest games has definitely been declining for some time, it remains a niche that supports a range of companies and products.

Just this week, two of those companies have announced new desktops for those who still prefer to game on a PC than on a console (or smartphone or tablet). CyberPowerPC hopes to capitalize on the improved components that can be squeezed into small-form-factor PCs with the launch of its new LAN III series, which comprises four tiny desktops.

Least impressive is the Mini-A, which is built around an AMD A4-5300 processor with HD7480D graphics, but starts at just $439. It also fits 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive into a sleek Fractal Design design. The $695 Mini-I sticks with integrated graphics, but this time as part of its Intel i7-3770K CPU; it also uses a BitFenix Prodigy chassis with a carrying handle.

For $100 more, the Mini LAN III Xtreme (pictured above) comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 discrete graphics card, though the Intel processor is a Core i5-3570K, rather than a Core i7. You also get 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive in the same case as the Mini-I. Finally, the LAN III Commander edition bumps the processor up to a Core i7-3820 and the graphics card to a GeForce GTX 670 and replaces the hard drive with a 128GB solid state drive. It comes in a less-portable Cooler Master HAF-XB chassis, and is priced from a not-so-small $1,395.

About twice that amount will get you the lowest-priced configuration of Digital Storm's new Hailstorm II desktop, which looks the part of a traditional gaming PC with its liquid cooling and massive Corsair Obsidian Series 900D case. The Hailstorm's cooling options border on the insane, with space for up to 15 fans or four radiators, and the Corsair chassis offers room for up to 10 expansion slots, nine SSD or hard drives, and four optical drives.

Starting at $2,762 (yes, you read that right), the Hailstorm II at that price includes a Core i7-3770K, 16GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 680 graphics, 120GB SSD, 1TB hard drive, and Blu-ray drive. For about $80 more, you can jump to a Core i7-3930K CPU, 240GB SSD, and the new Nvidia GeForce Titan graphics card. The $5,967 configuration bumps you to a Core i7-3970X Extreme Edition, faster RAM, a pair of Titans in SLI mode, and "custom exotic" liquid cooling. Even deeper pockets can add a third Titan in 3-Way SLI (with a larger 1,200-watt power supply) for a hefty $8,085.  

Do any of these gaming PCs look enticing to you? Or are you among those who think gaming systems like these are dead? Let us know in the Talkback section below.

[Via HotHardware, Digital Storm]

Topic: PCs

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Talkback

19 comments
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  • They are dead.

    Gamers just build there own system for half the price.
    everss02
    • I used to....

      but now I can't be bothered and buy pre-made machines.
      Thomas Kolakowski
      • I wouldn't be surprised if they are sued.

        This machine looks a whole lot like a Apple G5 tower/ Apple Mac Pro machine!!

        Once again, just like Hollywood, folks just have no originality anymore.
        The Danger is Microsoft
  • Dying a slow death

    I'll admit, I was once a PC enthusiast. Building my own rig and upgrading parts like a boss. However, life happens and when your responsibilities change (wife, kids, house, etc.) then you're forced to re-focus your funds elsewhere.

    I think the uber high end PC builds (like the $5k+ listed above) are becoming scarce.

    Console gaming has a lower price point and when you're getting 1080p graphics that look great, who needs a rig that runs at some insane resolution at 60fps? 60fps at 1080p looks gorgeous.

    There are millions of Steam users as well as PSN and XBOX Live subscribers. I don't think you're going to see any significant decreases in Steam numbers any time soon. I do think the days of the high-end PCs (~$3,000+) are numbered.
    digitalsyrup
    • Good Gaming PC's are more affordable now

      I used to build my own PC's for the past decade or so, but recently I broke down and bought an HP configured to my gaming needs. Their price and terms made it a lot more attractive to buy from them than build my own. I haven't owned a console since the Atari Jaguar and don't intend to ever go in that direction. I am a PC Gamer and will always be!
      Thomas Kolakowski
    • They are becoming cheaper.

      "I think the uber high end PC builds (like the $5k+ listed above) are becoming scarce."

      And chances are, even then you could probably build a similar system for less. Pre-made gaming boxes are insanely high profit margin.

      Yes - I agree, the $5k+ systems are becoming scarce. You can get a lot of power into a lower budget if you want a decent gaming system.

      "Console gaming has a lower price point and when you're getting 1080p graphics that look great"

      Except you're getting very few games that run the full 1080p with consoles. Many games these days are lowering the resolution to make them look prettier. The consoles are woefully inadequate to make the graphics that most players want at 1080p. Hopefully the PS4 and "Xbox 720" (the name is unofficial?) will fix that.

      "who needs a rig that runs at some insane resolution at 60fps?"

      A decent PC gaming rig will run many games at 120 fps (and yes, there are monitors that support that as well). I know a few people who think 60 fps should be minimum, not maximum.

      But you don't need a $5k+ system for that. Prices are going down.

      "I don't think you're going to see any significant decreases in Steam numbers any time soon."

      I agree.
      CobraA1
  • I have wife and kids

    I dont play as oft as use to but i still build all my PC and servers I plan it all out and i look for parts over time to keep cost down then i buy it and then put it together when i have them all. it only takes 1 hour to build a machine (stop watching tv for a few and do some real worthwhile work) the hard part is the know what you want and what your going to need but that is why you surf while at work :)
    medric
    • Used to have buyer's remorse....

      It always seemed that as soon as I built my machine something better came out. Any when I would bench-mark my machine against similarly configured machines with the same hardware my numbers were always lower... leading to more remorse.
      Thomas Kolakowski
    • I'm with you!

      Wife, kids and mortgage and although I don't have the latest and greatest I still manage to build my own and update my own systems to the standard that play's the latest PC games.
      Not at the highest settings but good enough to enjoy games like Crysis and such.

      Much cheaper to build a good balanced Gaming rig, even in Australia you could build one to run all the latest games and the highest settings for under 2 grand.
      martin_js
    • Exactly

      Same boat i have never have had a cutting edge gaming rig i always stay belleding edge and have never had a problem playing any of the latest games. With a family i do piecemeal upgrades rotating between video cards and cpu and mobo combos. The parts i remove from my machine and the wifes become machined for the kiddos!
      ammohunt
  • Never really has been.

    "PC gaming not dead"

    Despite all the bold claims otherwise - it never really has been.

    Retail has been dying.

    But Steam and online services have been exploding.

    PC Gaming isn't really dying so much as it's been moving away from an old, archaic way of buying games to a new one.


    "whether due to consoles like the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 or to mobile gaming or to whatever will come next."

    Problem is, the 360 and PS3 are now long outdated, and only recently has a replacement for the PS3 been announced. PC gamers have actually been enjoying having top tier gaming systems for quite some time.

    "which is built around an AMD A4-5300 processor with HD7480D graphics"

    Appears to be an APU. It's okay, but dedicated graphics are still better.

    "It also fits 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive into a sleek Fractal Design design."

    Only 4 GB? Meh. I've been running on 8 GB for years, and I know people who have 16+ GB.

    4 GB is fine for web browsing, but you could do better for gaming.

    "For $100 more, the Mini LAN III Xtreme (pictured above) comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 discrete graphics card, though the Intel processor is a Core i5-3570K, rather than a Core i7."

    In the world of gaming, GPU is more important than CPU anyways. Ever since the invention of unified shaders and things like CUDA, OpenCL, and DirectCompute - there's been very little need for games to use the CPU.

    "Starting at $2,762 (yes, you read that right), the Hailstorm II at that price includes a Core i7-3770K, 16GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 680 graphics, 120GB SSD, 1TB hard drive, and Blu-ray drive."

    If you want to save some money, you're better off having somebody build it for you. Seems to be a steep price, even for a gaming PC.

    And that's what I'm likely to do for my next gaming system - built it myself.
    CobraA1
    • Same here

      Although I gotta ask, what is with the manufacturers & the neon? I'm sorry, but neon fans & unnecessary case lights just look like crap. To paraphrase from science-fiction novels, the PC case festooned with decals & neon light strips can be the expensive playtoy of a rich poser, but a plain black tower can be the tool of choice for a world-class champion gamer. Neon case fans & alien-head stickers don't make a person a "l33t" gamer; actual gameplaying skills make them a champion.
      spdragoo@...
  • This is Why....

    The cost effectiveness of these major gaming consoles is the reason that the Online Gaming Community is failing. While I do still enjoy my solid online game play, I find it easier to keep up with the cost of the major console brands rather than purchasing the higher updated PC version. But I still run of my Computer I built up a couple years ago for 600 bucks and it runs amazing.
    That 1Guy Again
  • Not dead but...

    It's obviously enough of a niche that the major OEMs are no longer concerned with catering to it.
    Michael Kelly
    • Dell still does.

      Dell still does. It owns the Alienware brand.

      Problem is, OEMs had really large profit margins on gaming systems (and most still do), and to be honest gamers picked up on that and decided to go with system building instead.

      I don't think it's as much about being a "niche" as OEMs being lazy with high end systems. They don't want to have the negative publicity of being called "old, archaic, outdated" by bloggers who only know about games via Angry Birds.
      CobraA1
  • It will never die.

    The reality is that most of the high-end gaming rigs are built using the latest technologies. You won't find a $350 Dell using the same specs in the same year. Chances are you will never see the same specs even down the road, outside of RAM and storage space. Having said that, video cards and CPUs that are coming out are based on previous iterations. The "older" edition gets cheaper while the lower/midrange see improvements as a result of the improvements in the engineering that was made possible by developing the high end.

    AMD, Intel, and nVidia will never stop putting these high-end components out on the consumer market, niche or not. Why would you cut out potential easy profits simply because you are too lazy to make it available for more people? So long as there are high-end components available, there will be a market for those interested in them. It just so happens that a vocal crowd in this market segment are gamers.
    ikissfutebol
  • CyberPower PC

    All I ask is for you to please do some research on CyberPower PC and their customer service practices before buying from them. An informed decision can save you so many future headaches.
    Verdesol
    • Re: Cyberpower PC

      Yeah...I have to agree with Verdesol...when I purchased my most recent PC, I checked the reviews of CyberpowerPC (not very many nice ones), but I thought it was worth the risk. I thought to myself, "What are the odds something will happen to me?" I went to the website, got a good deal, but when I got the computer, set her up and pushed the power button, I had an immediate 'overheat' warning. I cracked the case open for a look at the CPU and heatsink...the fan on the heatsink was loose...great. I had a bad feeling that that wasn't the only problem, so I dropped it off at a repair shop, I told the owner that I noticed that the fan was loose and made mention of my other suspicion. The next day, the owner called me and confirmed both the loose fan, and the fact that there was NO THERMAL COMPOUND on the die (CPU chip). Buyer beware! If you decide to buy from them and you get an error right off the bat, take it to a reputable repair shop; don't trust that if you refutrn it via an RMA, that you will get it back any better, if not worse, than it was before. The warranty from them can be damned; I have a solid, gaming PC, thanks to my suspicion.
      JDRyner
  • Here's why I choose PC Gaming

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocVyrtcTpHw

    For about $800 you could build a system with the same frame rate as listed in the video.
    relwolf