AVADirect Avatar Gaming Desktop Review

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Price Analysis And Conclusion

The AVADirect Avatar packs significant power into an attractive chassis with aesthetic bonuses that include a remote-controlled 20-color LED strip and an etched side window. The case is not overly flashy or gawdy, and it’s extremely accessible for its size. All of the components can be easily reached if you choose to upgrade the Avatar on your own. However, be careful where you grab it. We nearly ripped out all of the front ports and switches by lifting the Avatar off a desk, accidentally freeing the detachable plastic and leather panel (it was an amazing catch, though).

The overclocked Intel Core i7-6700K is stable with all four cores running at 4.7GHz, but the lack of a third party graphics card (it comes with the Founder's Edition GTX 1080) with higher clock speeds keeps the Avatar from commanding a larger lead in GPU-intensive games and tasks. AVADirect can overclock the GPU upon request (for an added fee), but it isn’t standard operating procedure for the company, which leans towards stability over ridiculous memory and GPU clock speeds (the memory is rather mundane at 2400MHz).

The lack of next-gen storage options is also a potential thorn in AVADirect’s side, with the company only offering SATA-based SSDs for all of its configurations. The Avatar can't compete in a storage throughput showdown when compared to systems with PCIe-based storage (see the MSI Titan Pro), but the performance is adequate for everyday gaming and office tasks. Unless you are a stout enthusiast, the absence of NVMe SSD options is forgivable, and sometimes it's easy to forget that an SSD (even SATA) is significantly faster than a traditional HDD in a world where M.2 NVMe storage is finally taking off. Remember too that typical users simply don't need the throughput that PCIe SSDs (and RAID 0 configurations) offer.

Which leads me to my point: AVADirect’s target audience is not the seasoned DIY enthusiasts that often comb our pages searching for the highest-clocked GPUs and memory or how to overclock a CPU by themselves. The company’s hardware selection and services are geared towards hardware novices that want a high-performance gaming PC that they can just plug in and play. A $25 fee for overclocking the CPU to a stable 4.7GHz may seem like a waste of cash to some, but for these non-initiated PC gamers, it offers a way to get increased performance out of their hardware without the need to experiment on their own (and possibly damage their system).

At just over $2,500, the AVADirect Avatar is priced above average for the hardware inside. Our test system, even with an expensive Founder's Edition GTX 1080, hovers around $2,000. Even if you shaved off the Avatar's extras (remote LED strip, overclock service, SSD) you’d still be left with a system housing a water-cooled i7-6700K, 16GB of RAM, and a GTX 1080 for just over $2,300. However, compared to some other vendors (which we will explore in upcoming reviews), AVADirect's performance tweaks and aesthetic extras are inexpensive, and the Avatar is an ideal choice for consumers looking for that combination of performance, simplicity, stability and style. The company’s component selection could be deemed conservative by enthusiast standards, but the Avatar provides exceptional productivity and gaming performance that feels anything but standard.

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Derek Forrest
Derek Forrest is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes hardware news and reviews gaming desktops and laptops.
  • svan71
    about 1k overpriced...
  • Luko92
    You can build yourself the same configuration for less than 2000$ and you can choose a less expensive mobo, better fans, case, RAM, SSD, and GPU for the same price.
    Why should I buy an Avatar?
    If you are not able to build it yourself it'll cost you around 50$, not 500$.
  • razor512
    It is a massive ripoff, While I could not get the same case, I picked parts for an equivalent system. and ended up with a significantly lower price. Building it yourself, will be $783.84 cheaper. that is enough money to buy an extra GTX 1080, and a 256GB Samsung 950 Pro SSD to go along with your 500GB 850 evo, and 1TB HDD.

    Building that same system:
    Base Total: $1745.38
    Mail-in Rebates: -$30.00
    Shipping: $9.78
    Total: $1725.16


    This same build on black Friday, would have been about $1600
  • c4s2k3
    I also prefer to build gaming rigs vs. buying turn-key system, but this is clearly aimed at people who are willing to spend more and spend zero time pairing components, price hunting for components, building, testing, loading OS, tweaking BIOS configurations, or any such thing.

    Some people simply place higher value on their time than those of us who enjoy building a rig, and from that perspective, systems like these are far from a "rip off".
  • razor512
    The issue is that this goes beyond people paying extra to get prebuilt system, these markups are worst than apple's markups.
  • diblaze 1
    there is a three year warranty . most places charge 300.00 or more for it .even though the parts come with there own warranties out of the box. for the added piece of mind and warranty, and w/o the hassle of building it. i think it's a good buy ...of course my hands don't work like they used to.