Skip to main content

AVADirect’s Mini Cube Gaming PC: Good Looks, Price, And Performance

The Hardware: Inside AVADirect's Mini Gaming PC

Listed under AVADirect's Mini Cube Gaming PC category, this configuration starts with Lian-Li’s PC-Q28B. If you'd rather lose the black parts, you can order the PC-Q28A instead and still access the custom finish options.

Lian-Li doesn’t offer its cases in chrome, and chroming the case’s ultra-fine brushed finish would have destroyed that look. AVADirect instead applies a chrome-like vinyl film with a pressed-in brushed texture.

AVADirect does a remarkable job of covering the case’s surfaces, taking special care to wrap edges and remove port openings. Though vinyl wrap isn’t costly, the value of this $99 option comes from the time involved in applying the covering.

A premium build should support the highest-end media formats, so AVADirect included LG’s BH16NS40 Black 16x/16x/48x BD/DVD/CD Blu-ray burner with our sample. This $138 option also includes a brushed finish, though the lighting required to make it shine would have turned the case wrap into a photograph-dooming reflection. A retail boxed part, the LG drive adds CyberLink Media Suite 10 to the package.

Seasonic’s 80 PLUS Plantinum-rated 760 W fully modular power supply blocks the view of other internal components. Though this PSU offers much more output than the system needs, a Platinum rating assures optimal efficiency results.

Modular power cables make it easier for us to pop out the power supply for a look inside. AVADirect fits this build with a Core i7-4770K processor, a GeForce GTX 780 from Asus, and Kingston’s XMP Beast-series DDR3-1600 C9 16 GB dual-channel memory kit.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • Someone Somewhere
    Page four. The ASRock system has an i7-4770K. How is the CPU cooler an 'AMD Boxed Cooler"?

    Also, many of those seem somewhat unbalanced, especially for a gaming system.

    EDIT: Toss an R9 290X or 780 in the M8 and drop to a 4670K, and you'd have a real value winner.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    12209289 said:
    Page four. The ASRock system has an i7-4770K. How is the CPU cooler an 'AMD Boxed Cooler"?

    Also, many of those seem somewhat unbalanced, especially for a gaming system.

    EDIT: Toss an R9 290X or 780 in the M8 and drop to a 4670K, and you'd have a real value winner.
    Thanks for catching the pasting errors, it helped me fix two articles :) As for the rest of the ASRock build, I used what was available. Remember that A WHOPPING 1/3 of the benchmark set does benefit from the i7's added cache and/or HT, and that ONLY 1/3 of the benchmarks benefit from a higher-model graphics card :p
    Reply
  • bemused_fred
    12209289 said:
    Page four. The ASRock system has an i7-4770K. How is the CPU cooler an 'AMD Boxed Cooler"?

    Also, many of those seem somewhat unbalanced, especially for a gaming system.

    EDIT: Toss an R9 290X or 780 in the M8 and drop to a 4670K, and you'd have a real value winner.

    A 290-X in a mini-ITX case?!? He wants a P.C., not a space heater!
    Reply
  • Menigmand
    "Good looks" are highly subjective... I would say that case is not pretty. If the AVA sticker can be removed, and there's an option without the optical drive, then it would be better.
    Reply
  • vaughn2k
    We'll.. this is another good example of implementing modular cables. But I really don't like the idea of blocking the inside of the computer with a power supply, unless it is designed the way like Thermaltake Elite 120 does...
    Reply
  • vertexx
    Nice article. I'm not for the fake chrome vinyl wrap look, and I would question how long that would last.

    Overall though, it's good to see these guys putting together a nice compact, high performing PC.
    Reply
  • vertexx
    The same parts plus OS can be purchased for ~$1,900. Still, for someone who doesn't want to mess with building a system, it looks like a decent value.
    Reply
  • Steveymoo
    So expensive >< Jesus Christ.
    Reply
  • MooseMuffin
    These guys seem pretty price competitive actually. I just ran through their configurator with a system I put together for myself recently and it came within $150. Not bad considering you get the warranty, and that every other boutique seems to mark up way more with fewer part options.
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    Love that case. The polished aluminum look should be on all high end builds regardless of chassis size, in my opinion.
    Reply