By overclocking its GeForce GTX 460M, XoticPC brought us a G73JW-based gaming platform at a modest weight that stands up well against its heavyweight rivals. The added SSD proves less beneficial in our particular benchmarks, but we can tell you from experience that boot and application load times are certainly improved. Anyone who multitasks with RAM-intensive applications will certainly enjoy the upgrade from 8 GB to 16 GB as well.
While those upgrades are certainly things that most enthusiasts can do on their own, getting an overclock that’s supported by the seller adds a safety net not found in do-it-yourself tuning. Likewise, several more advanced customizations, such as added or upgraded background lighting, go beyond the mods most owners could easily implement on their own, giving this G73JW an appearance that stands apart from most user-upgraded systems.
The strongest and weakest points in XoticPC’s argument are price. While XoticPC charges $200 less than Newegg for a matching 8 GB RAM configuration, upgrades add up quickly. Lighting mods alone add up to $247, and big changes like the $1105 CPU upgrade and $211 for added RAM sent us back to Newegg to price shop. XoticPC charges nearly full price for its hard-to-replace processor, without a credit for the removed part. But the company still has to pay its technicians. On the other hand, memory is easy to install, and XoticPC charges double the market price for similar parts.
XoticPC offers performance and visual enhancements not available from the G73JW’s manufacturer, Asus. Yet, as with any custom build, buyers must carefully choose between the components they’d like installed by the seller and those they might be able to install themselves. After all, we're reminded that any time you pay someone else to install parts, overall value can take a hit.