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Evatech Computers is a 100% Australian owned & operated custom PC provider, specialising in gaming, workstation, and home office PCs tailored and built to order to suit clients' exact needs and budgets.

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Evatech's Extensive PC Testing Process Explained

Published 5th Sep 2023, updated 19th Oct 2023 - 9 minute read

We don't just build every PC in-house; we also test them and measure those results against our other builds to ensure they're performing as they should. This page explores the process of what it takes to complete an Evatech PC, so you can shop with confidence.

Simple beginnings

It starts during the initial stages of processing a confirmed custom PC order. Our staff will use their years of experience to select the correct components to go into the PC. To keep things simple for our customers, our website only offers a few meaningful options when it comes to motherboard, graphics card, RAM, CPU cooler, storage, etc. rather than the tens or hundreds of options there are from each brand and for every model. This means our first job is to extrapolate the customer's selections into actual brands & model selections, while still ensuring it matches the customer's selected tier and our minimum advertised specifications for each selection, and that everything is compatible & optimal for the build.

If it's an especially complex or unique build, the staff member processing may consult one of our technicians for brainstorming. If necessary, we contact a customer if alterations are needed and will come to a mutual agreement before continuing.

Rest assured; we only use select from quality brands & models; ones with years of experience in the industry with a good track record.

Ready to build

Once any missing parts have arrived from our suppliers and all items for the build are in stock, the build is allocated to the next available technician according to the position in our build queue.

The technician starts with checking the build list against what the customer ordered, to double check that all their selections are being met or exceeded. They'll then go and pick the parts specified, checking them off one by one and ensuring the correct quantities.

Just before the technician starts unboxing the components for the build, they'll put the system's RAM into one of our memory testing stations where it runs MemTest86 until it completes a full pass. RAM testing can be one of the most time-consuming parts of testing, with RAM capacities up to 32GB not taking too long (3-7 hours typically): but 64GB, 128GB, 192GB, 256GB, 512GB, & 1,024GB+ capacities often being left to run overnight or over multiple days all while connected to a UPS. Of course, if an issue is detected, the RAM is set aside to be returned under warranty, and another kit is put on for testing. A fault can delay the system's build timeline, especially if it had high-capacity RAM selected. A painful process, but one that is necessary to avoid the pain for customers themselves!

With the unboxing out of the way, the technician will begin assembly after carefully considering how to fit all the components, with attention to optimising general PC airflow as well as specific & targeted component cooling - any additional fans are also mapped out, only removing/replacing existing PC case fans when necessary.

Cable management is a continuous task, not something that gets done only at the end which means neater and more logical cable ties and routing. Not to say it will be easy to understand or follow, but we do our best considering the vast number of cables involved!

Once the RAM has passed its test, and everything is installed, mounted, plugged in, and managed, it's time for the big moment: does it turn on? Then, waiting for it to POST and auto-enter BIOS so we can check the basics, and check if all the fans/RGB are functioning as expected at this early stage.

Lastly, before proceeding to the next stage, the technician will download the latest BIOS available for the motherboard in the system and using a trusty UPS will update the system's BIOS to the latest version to ensure to the best of our abilities that known issues/bugs & security patches are applied to the system. We'll then set an XMP/EXPO profile (if applicable) to get the best out of the RAM for the customer. In some cases, the latest BIOS is tried and tested but not desirable and an older version is preferred - but this is rare.

Operating system & software

Whether or not the customer has selected an Operating System for their system, we'll install Windows 11 onto the system, ensuring we select the customer's choice of primary storage device (especially important if the customer did in fact select Windows 11 from us). We create an Admin user aptly named "Admin" without a password, and then we're into a fresh install of Windows 11.

Technicians then start with the latest graphics card drivers (if applicable), followed by motherboard drivers, then confirm they've satisfied the PC's driver requirements by checking in Device Manager. If the system has any specialty requirements to make RGB devices work (eg: MSI Mystic Light, Corsair iCUE), cooler customisability, or video capture card, etc. these applications are also installed and set to meaningful options, but can be further tweaked and managed by customers once they receive the PC.

We connect the PC to Ethernet so it can grab all the latest Windows updates so customers can get straight to action rather than sit through a few restarts until Windows is ready.

Sometimes, technicians will disable Microsoft OneDrive & Microsoft Teams from being loaded at startup, but this isn't something that we enforce - it's just a little extra attention to detail to maximise system performance/startup speed which can of course be easily reversed should you prefer they do run.

Testing

We start with CPU load testing, and further RAM testing now that the RAM is in the system. Using either Prime95 or AIDA64 (or both) while monitoring the CPU's values, we can ascertain if the CPU is able to sustain a heavy workload and keep the temperature and performance in line with what we expect of them. These tests are allowed to run for an hour at minimum before we take our notes on the values produced.

To ensure the CPU's performance is within our expectations, we also run Cinebench R23, performing the multi core and single core tests looped, then recording the scores after an hour.

With the CPU & RAM tests finally completed, we move onto the GPU tests (if applicable).

Continuing the testing onslaught, we open our GPU load test software suite. With 3DMark's tests running, technicians monitor for any signs of graphical artifacts, glitches, or any type of crashing. With a successful run of the tests, a score is produced and noted down. Unigine's Heaven offers the same, and this score too is recorded.

FurMark is the last of the GPU specific tests we run, which will peg the GPU at 100% load to ensure the GPU's cooling is adequate to keep the performance and cooling within safe ranges and will be ready for the customer. This test runs for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 60 minutes. While longer isn't necessarily harmful, it's not any more useful if it hasn't produced any type of fault after this period.

While the above tests are being run, technicians keep their tuned ears open to listen out for any sorts of abnormal noise levels. This can come in many forms, such as: high-pitched whining, unreasonably loud fans, something fouling fans, bad fan bearings, chassis vibration, uncharacteristically loud water pump operation, just to name a few. There is however a certain level of perhaps all the mentioned examples in any given PC, but we'll have caught the bad ones before they have a chance to make it to one of our customers in an Evatech PC.

Additionally, we have a few checks that need to be checked off during the build/test phase:

  • ✅ BIOS updated
  • ✅ Memtest completed with a PASS
  • ✅ XMP set & stable - sometimes means not setting the maximum the RAM kit is rated for, but stability is the primary objective
  • ✅ Fans functional & curves/profile set to something reasonable for performance/noise
  • ✅ Drivers installed & detected
  • ✅ Additional storage drives formatted & assigned drive letter(s) so they can be used by the customer
  • ✅ RGB / cooling management software installed & set (if applicable)
  • ✅ Windows activated with license key (if Windows Operating System is selected by customer)

Assuming all the above is satisfied as necessary for the system, we run a program to take a comprehensive whole-system test, including storage drives, which also takes a snapshot of all the hardware present in the system so we can verify that certain devices were present at the final stage of our build/test phase.

Only if the customer didn't select an Operating System, the step taken here would be formatting the storage drive(s), otherwise we uninstall our testing software so our customers have maximum storage space available to them.

Recording the results & comparisons

Just in case all the above wasn't quite enough, and to really ensure some type of issue hasn't slipped through the cracks, we enter all the recorded info & values into our home-grown PC Info database, as well as any technician notes should they have any.

With the CPU & GPU's test values & scores entered, we can pit this system's CPU & GPU against our previous systems which have the same model CPU & GPU (independently).

By doing this, we can visualise and decide if the performance is within tolerable differences - with values that are outside of the expected ranges highlighted for being "too good" (eg: temperatures too low) or "too poor" (eg: scores not as high as expected).

Based on the knowledge that not every CPU/GPU is equal as a result of silicon lottery and manufacturing processes, compounded by not every build having the same level of CPU/GPU cooling, case airflow, and ambient temperature of the tech room... techs must deem if the performance & results are acceptable after all factors are considered before moving on or further investigating.

Wrapping things up

Now that the PC is done and data recorded, it gets prepared for dispatch.

  • If the customer selected click & collect, the PC gets put into the original PC case box with the plastic and (styro)foam and made ready for collection
  • If shipping was selected, the PC is well packaged, inside and outside, before being labelled and collected by the courier

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