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.