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AVADirect Avatar 2017 Desktop Review

Price Analysis & Conclusion

The 2017 AVADirect Avatar brought us on a stroll down memory lane, and it quickly reminded us of why we were fond of it in the first place. The new version’s Intel Core i7-7700K offers excellent top-tier gaming performance, and although AVADirect’s CPU overclocking may not yield the highest clock rate in the field, we can attest to its rock-solid stability, which is one of AVADirect’s primary goals with the Avatar series desktops.

The processor is cooled by a Corsair H110i v2 240mm CPU liquid cooler, which is only offered with the CPU overclocking service ($99 for the cooler, $25 for the overclock, for a combined total of $124). If you forgo the overclock, the Avatar comes equipped with an air-cooled CPU heatsink. This configurator option is convenient for AVADirect’s target audience – the average consumer looking for a powerful and stable top-tier gaming PC. If overclocking isn’t something they care for, why would they need anything better than an air-cooled CPU heatsink (especially an aftermarket, non-stock cooler)? This prevents customers from paying for a component they don’t necessarily need.

The 240mm cooler is also a definite upgrade from the previous model of the Avatar that featured a Corsair H60 (120mm) cooler. So, too, are the Corsair SP120 RGB LED exhaust fans mounted in the rear of the case and on the radiator. Previously, these were just the stock 120mm Silent fans that came with the case, and the colorful LED fans now come stock in every Avatar configuration at no extra cost. Combined with a 20-color remote-controlled LED strip (also at no added cost), AVADirect is packing massive aesthetic value into the new iteration of the Avatar.

The Avatar’s EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti provides top-tier performance at 2560 x 1440 and 3840 x 2160. We wouldn’t recommend such a powerful GPU for gamers with 1920 x 1080 displays (you could save some serious cash downgrading to something less beastly, but still potent), and this configuration of the Avatar is most certainly geared for the PC novice who wants the best possible performance. AVADirect again walks the path of stability with the Avatar by not offering GPU overclocking services (although the company does offer it on other desktop series for $25), holding it back from attaining true dominance against the other GTX 1080 Ti-equipped systems in GPU-intensive gaming benchmarks. However, it doesn’t trail far behind, and end users could just as easily download MSI Afterburner and boost the graphics card themselves should they find they have the need for more speed.

The Avatar is also quite proficient in productivity applications, aided by speedy SSD storage and 16GB (2 x 8GB) of DDR4-2400 memory. The 256GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD is a welcome change from our last encounter with the Avatar; AVADirect didn’t even offer M.2 storage on its configurator at that time. This was one of our primary criticisms in the 2016 review, and although the capacity of the newer, faster SSD isn’t substantial, it’s a great starting point for the average consumer. The memory options have not changed from the previous version of the Avatar (it’s still a kit of Kingston HyperX DDR4-2400), but again, the company tunes the Avatar series for stability over speed. Few games rely on the memory for performance, and the capacity is more than adequate, even if it’s not that fastest RAM on the block.

It’s almost as if AVADirect is paying attention to what its critics and customers say about its products. Virtually every nitpick we had mentioned in our review of the 2016 version of the Avatar has been remedied with the new 2017 model. AVADirect’s website configurator was significantly simplified since then too, and it’s incredibly easy to use (one of the easiest we’ve ever sampled), especially for an average consumer. The new configuration’s price is much more attractive; the previous version sat at $2,509 with a Core i7-6700K and GTX 1080, and it lacked M.2 NVMe storage, RGB LED fans, and a 240mm CPU liquid cooler. At $2,677 (only $168 more), the 2017 AVADirect Avatar offers all of this with a newer CPU and better graphics card, resulting in a better price-to-performance ratio than its predecessor and similarly equipped competition (the Steiger Dynamics Era Reference, priced at $2,958).


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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