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AVADirect Avatar 2017 Desktop Review

Gaming Benchmarks

Alien: Isolation

The AVADirect Avatar starts our gaming benchmarks off strong with its hyperthreaded and overclocked Core i7-7700K giving it the slightest of edges over its direct competition, the Steiger Dynamics Era Reference. Although the Era has a slightly higher CPU overclock (100MHz higher) and an overclocked GPU, AVADirect’s focus on stability seems to pay off with better average framerates in Alien: Isolation at all tested resolutions.

Ashes of the Singularity

The Avatar trails the Era in the Ashes of the Singularity benchmarks by a small fraction (less than 1 FPS at each tested resolution), and the previously mentioned 100 MHz CPU clock and 80 MHz GPU memory clock advantages of the Era yield slightly higher average framerates than the Avatar. Hyperthreading seems to hold no bearing on the results, and the difference in performance between the two high-end custom shop gaming rigs can’t be distinguished with the human eye.

Bioshock Infinite

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Bioshock Infinite assuredly favors hyperthreaded processors in a small way, with the Avatar coming out on top against the Era’s higher CPU and GPU memory overclock. The average framerate is capped by the CPU at 1920 x 1080, and despite the Era’s 100 MHz advantage (on a Core i5-7600K), the Avatar shines through with its Core i7 processor. The same can be said at 2560 x 1440 and 3840 x 2160, where the Avatar narrowly edges out the Era as the GPU becomes the bottleneck. At 4K, the difference in performance is indiscernible.

DiRT Rally

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The Avatar is thrown a curve ball at 1920 x 1080 in the DiRT Rally benchmark, where it falls beneath the overclocked Era reference by a much higher margin than in previous games. We made sure that there weren’t any shifty things going on (background tasks, throttling) as we tested (and retested) this game at these settings, but it appears that overclocking barely helps the Avatar beat our Z270 reference rig at 1080p. However, moving up to 2560 x 1440 and 3840 x 2160 gives us results more in line with what we’ve seen from the previous games, with the Avatar coming out ahead of the Era Reference by a narrow margin.

Grand Theft Auto V

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Hyperthreading again propels the Avatar to a first-place finish in the GTAV tests. Although the Era’s primary components are clocked higher, it only manages to best our test rig at stock CPU and GPU clock speeds, and the Avatar brandishes a healthy lead against its Core i5-equipped competition.

GRID Autosport

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Similar to DiRT Rally (also developed by Codemasters), GRID Autosport isn’t favorable to the Avatar at 1920 x 1080. Although it easily bests our Z270 reference system, the Era’s higher-clocked CPU and GPU memory gives it a slightly higher average framerate over the Avatar. However, the Avatar has a better minimum framerate, signifying that hyperthreading may indeed help in some way after all. 

This proves true as you turn up the resolution, with the Avatar regaining its first-place lead and besting the Era’s average framerate by over 5 FPS at 2560 x 1440 and 3840 x 2160. The Avatar’s minimum framerate is also significantly better than the Era at these resolutions. You’ll notice we did not include the 2016 Avatar in the 1080p results. We do not have that unit to re-test, and the results were far out of alignment with our expectations, so we excluded them in light of our in ability to test various hypothesis.

Hitman

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The Avatar leads the pack again in the Hitman DX12 benchmark, with the Era’s Core i5 unable to compete with the Core i7-equipped competition. The 2016 Avatar (with a GTX 1080) trails the Era by a small margin at 1920 x 1080 thanks to the gains its Core i7 and hyperthreading provides. The performance advantage of a Core i7 fades as you turn up the resolution, with the 2016 Avatar falling far behind the Era (as it should be) and the 2017 Avatar leading by a little less than 3 FPS at 2560 x 1440 and 3840 x 2160.

Metro: Last Light Redux

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Metro: Last Light Redux is a great game to differentiate GPU performance, but we’re somewhat confused by the results. In the past, we’ve observed Founder’s Edition GPUs with the same clock rates performing nearly identically every time (usually within 1 FPS), with CPU frequencies holding little bearing on the end result. However, in the case of the Avatar, we see the stock-clocked Founder’s Edition GTX 1080 Ti not only best our Z270 test rig (with an identically clocked and cooled GPU), but it out-duels the overclocked Founder’s Edition GPU inside of Steiger Dynamic’s Era Reference. This is most apparent at 1920 x 1080, where the Avatar leads the pack in average framerate by 2.34 FPS. At 2560 x 1440, this lead is reduced to 0.33 FPS, and the Avatar and Era both averaged 30.67 FPS at 3840 x 2160. We saw no indication of throttling from either the Era or our test rig, but we theorize the Avatar was able to keep cooler (and therefore, more stable) and maintain its boost frequencies for longer periods of time, giving it a slight edge.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Hyperthreading proves advantageous again in Rise of the Tomb Raider, with the Avatar’s Core i7 processor propelling it ahead of its Core i5 and overclocked GTX 1080 Ti-equipped competition (the Era) at all tested resolutions. However, this lead would be difficult to see with your eyes, with an average framerate difference less than 1 FPS.

The Division

The Avatar falls down the ladder again in The Division, which favors GPU clock rate over CPU performance in its DX12 benchmark. As such, the stock-clocked GTX 1080 Ti in the Avatar falls significantly behind the Era’s moderately overclocked GPU at all tested resolutions. However, the Avatar still manages to best our reference Z270 rig, thanks to either the CPU overclock, GPU stability, or both.

Thief

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As an older game, Thief generally doesn’t care if your CPU has hyperthreaded cores. All it wants for framerate glory is speed, and as such, the Avatar takes a second-place win at all tested resolutions, falling behind the Era’s slightly higher overclocked CPU and significantly faster GPU. The Avatar’s overclocked Core i7-7700K is able to push better average framerates than our Z270 reference system (with the same CPU and GPU, at default settings), but Steiger Dynamic’s moderately overclocked GPU and 100 MHz CPU clock advantage ensures higher average framerates than the Avatar in this particular game. I guess you can’t win them all.


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  • Dogbites
    For the price tag of over $2,600, this is completely ridiculous. I don't know why anyone would pay that for this. I just recently built a system for half this price just about that is far superior in most area's.

    1) I used the 6700k - it only slightly slower but the problem with the 7700 is you can only use Windows 10 with it. I wanted option & the 7700 gives you known.

    2) NMVE 512 M.2 hard drive with a 480 gig ssd & 60 ssd

    3) Noctua d15 air cooler, I have used the h100 twice before and the D15 is just as good if not better

    4) Dual blu-ray dvd burners

    5) Asus 270e Strix - wifi and blue tooth

    6) dual video cards. I went with 2 970's ( I got them pretty cheap )

    7) 1000 watt power supply

    8) 16 gig of ddr 4

    Built for less then $1,350. Half of what they want with higher performance.
    Reply
  • NoviceNob
    DOGBITES: That's great that you built 'a better' machine for less. But why should anyone buy this unit? Because they can't build it themselves. And don't go saying, "it's so easy crap." It's not. And for the price? AVADirect has to make a profit too. You know what the employees are saying about how much you paid for your computer parts? Their saying, he paid a ridiculous price for those parts. It's all relevant. Enjoy your new computer.
    Reply
  • NoviceNob
    DOGBITES: That's great that you built "a better" unit. And why should anyone buy the Avatar 2017? Because they can't build one (and don't give me this, "it's so easy crap"), and AVADirect has to make a profit. Just like all those companies that you bought from. If you knew what employees paid for the same thing you bought, you'd be wondering why you paid 'so much'. Best of luck with your new machine. :)
    Reply
  • LilDog1291
    20170553 said:
    DOGBITES: That's great that you built "a better" unit. And why should anyone buy the Avatar 2017? Because they can't build one (and don't give me this, "it's so easy crap"), and AVADirect has to make a profit. Just like all those companies that you bought from. If you knew what employees paid for the same thing you bought, you'd be wondering why you paid 'so much'. Best of luck with your new machine. :)

    Ok but the problem is that they are creating a huge markup on the consumer pricing of the parts (which they are most certainly not paying) and making the PC gaming market expensive to enter into and causes some interested potential future PC enthusiasts turn away in favor of a console.

    So here is their EXACT same parts list if you were to purchase it yourself: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ymZKwV
    It comes in at $1888.85

    So their price is $2677 at this configuration. That is almost a 42% markup at consumer pricing, which again, they are not paying. So its safe to say they are most likely making 55-65% per system sold on parts alone. Now again they probably have rent and employees to pay, but I can't think of very many other businesses that make this much profit per unit sold. Its just robbery, plain and simple.
    Reply
  • c4s2k3
    20170652 said:
    20170553 said:
    DOGBITES: That's great that you built "a better" unit. And why should anyone buy the Avatar 2017? Because they can't build one (and don't give me this, "it's so easy crap"), and AVADirect has to make a profit. Just like all those companies that you bought from. If you knew what employees paid for the same thing you bought, you'd be wondering why you paid 'so much'. Best of luck with your new machine. :)

    Ok but the problem is that they are creating a huge markup on the consumer pricing of the parts (which they are most certainly not paying) and making the PC gaming market expensive to enter into and causes some interested potential future PC enthusiasts turn away in favor of a console.

    So here is their EXACT same parts list if you were to purchase it yourself: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ymZKwV
    It comes in at $1888.85

    So their price is $2677 at this configuration. That is almost a 42% markup at consumer pricing, which again, they are not paying. So its safe to say they are most likely making 55-65% per system sold on parts alone. Now again they probably have rent and employees to pay, but I can't think of very many other businesses that make this much profit per unit sold. Its just robbery, plain and simple.

    First, let me state that I also prefer to build my own. I happen to enjoy it. That said, you are talking about $800 or so differential on the price of components alone but you are ignoring:
    1) It should take several hours of your time to order the parts, assemble, manage cabling, install OS and software, and stability test your system. I don't know what $$ value you place on your own time, as that is indeed an individual assessment. For some, spending 2-4 hours of their own time is worth several hundred $$. And, BTW, claiming you can assemble it in 30 minutes is not an adequate answer as most people know enough to not rush something like a system build.
    2) As a builder, you assume all risk associated with acquiring all the components from whatever sources, assembling all those pieces, verifying they all work individually and as a system, installing software, drivers, and everything else to actually make the damn thing works. If you put it all together and for whatever reason it does not post or otherwise malfunctions, you eat it. It's more of your time to diagnose and fix. A pre-built system like this one incurs no such risk. That is likewise worth $$$ to many.

    I believe just (1) and (2) above close a great deal of that $800 gap pretty quickly for a lot of people. As much as I may like tinkering with computer components, I understand the value proposition of a system like this one, and why someone who wants to game might opt to acquire it.
    Reply
  • Luis XFX
    C4S2K3 Is right, for someone who is in a profession of some kind who makes plenty of money, the savings of a few hundred bucks over your time, effort, and the end result levels things out. I have been building systems since 1997, and I'm now at the point in my life where buying a prebuilt system is what I'll likely do from now on, I would rather spend time gaming than putting together systems and tweaking them.
    Reply
  • Rob1C
    LILDOG1291 Said:
    It comes in at $1888.85. ... So their price is $2677 at this configuration. That is almost a 42% markup at consumer pricing, ... Its just robbery, plain and simple.

    I live in North America. Back in the day when I was a Tech we made 15%, so your looking at $2,172.18 (using your numbers and parts source, and their Warranty).

    Our company also made Preconfigured Systems, half a dozen choices and you could swap out something like a Video Card or HD; we offered a 3 year Warranty (at the time IBM offered a 4 year Warranty and charged twice as much, others offered a 2 year and charged 5 to 15% more).

    Work went offshore and people bought whatever it came as from whoever made it, 1 year Warranty and a bit cheaper than us - why that made sense I dunno; I told people at the time their options (don't be a fool) but some knew better and what you see today is what you get.

    I'd pay that for an HP (still made you know where) but at least it wouldn't have faux pleather and odd wires exposed in the window.

    We made our money on quality and moderate volume (for a smallish company) but it was not much different at one of the biggest assembler/reseller businesses where I also worked (except they paid ridiculously little).

    Yes, price is too high.
    Reply
  • punx223
    20169524 said:
    For the price tag of over $2,600, this is completely ridiculous. I don't know why anyone would pay that for this. I just recently built a system for half this price just about that is far superior in most area's.

    1) I used the 6700k - it only slightly slower but the problem with the 7700 is you can only use Windows 10 with it. I wanted option & the 7700 gives you known.

    2) NMVE 512 M.2 hard drive with a 480 gig ssd & 60 ssd

    3) Noctua d15 air cooler, I have used the h100 twice before and the D15 is just as good if not better

    4) Dual blu-ray dvd burners

    5) Asus 270e Strix - wifi and blue tooth

    6) dual video cards. I went with 2 970's ( I got them pretty cheap )

    7) 1000 watt power supply

    8) 16 gig of ddr 4

    Built for less then $1,350. Half of what they want with higher performance.

    Comparing apples to oranges on older parts you can now get cheaper is not really a good way to prove a point... but to each their own..
    Reply
  • punx223
    20170652 said:
    20170553 said:
    DOGBITES: That's great that you built "a better" unit. And why should anyone buy the Avatar 2017? Because they can't build one (and don't give me this, "it's so easy crap"), and AVADirect has to make a profit. Just like all those companies that you bought from. If you knew what employees paid for the same thing you bought, you'd be wondering why you paid 'so much'. Best of luck with your new machine. :)

    Ok but the problem is that they are creating a huge markup on the consumer pricing of the parts (which they are most certainly not paying) and making the PC gaming market expensive to enter into and causes some interested potential future PC enthusiasts turn away in favor of a console.

    So here is their EXACT same parts list if you were to purchase it yourself: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ymZKwV
    It comes in at $1888.85

    So their price is $2677 at this configuration. That is almost a 42% markup at consumer pricing, which again, they are not paying. So its safe to say they are most likely making 55-65% per system sold on parts alone. Now again they probably have rent and employees to pay, but I can't think of very many other businesses that make this much profit per unit sold. Its just robbery, plain and simple.

    Did you plan to actually add all of the parts the review listed? you have no HDD, no memory... im sure theres more... but I clicked your link out of interest...

    I am disappoint. :/


    EDIT: I went ahead and updated this as I found that your motherboard is incorrect.... No added led system...

    this is not including the fact that should you have an issue a company is going to support you and help make things right and fix it for you... whereas building your own you support everything yourself.

    So now while that may not add value to you... there is inherent value in all of this especially your deceptively low PCPartpicker listing which is not even complete.
    Reply
  • dennphill
    Cool product but WAY overpriced. DOGBITES and PUNX223 are right on track.
    Reply