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$2000 Gaming PC Challenge

JB HIFI / Officeworks / Good Guys / Bing Lee VS Evatech

It pays to shop around, especially on big ticket items like gaming PCs! This isn’t news, but what happens when you compare an Evatech custom built to order gaming PC with an off the shelf pre-assembled in china option? The results might surprise you.

We get it. Custom built in Australia sounds expensive right? Logic says that should be true, but when you do your homework it’s a very different story. To illustrate this, we’ve done a little experiment. With $2,000 to spend we visited JB HiFi, Bing Lee & Officeworks to see how much bang for our buck we could get, then compared it to an Evatech custom gaming PC for the same price.

Initial Observations

The first thing we noticed when doing our comparison is that there wasn’t a lot of options to choose from when it came to a gaming desktop PCs. The second thing we noticed is that there were no options with ‘current-gen’ hardware! Several months after the launch of the 9th-gen Intel CPUs and RTX series GPUs, they were nowhere to be found.

Last but not least, we noticed a disturbing trend of only 12 month manufacturer warranties. Under Australian consumer rights laws this probably isn’t even legal but we think we know why they do it. We suspect it’s help the retailers push their ‘extended’ warranties. Essentially scaring you in to spending more money on something the law entitles you to anyway.

Setting the Rules

To make this as fair as possible we set of very basic ground rules.

  • We couldn’t exceed our $2000 budget
  • We had to choose the best value for money gaming PC without exception
  • All pricing and specifications were recorded on the same day (15/03/2019)
  • All options must be stand alone PCs, not bundled with peripherals or a monitor.
    • Initially this was done to try and ensure the fairest possible comparison and minimise subjectivity but it turned out none of the competitors offered such a bundle in this price range anyway.

The Comparison Chart

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

CPU

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

8th Gen 6-Core 8700 4.6GHz

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

8th Gen 6-Core 8400 4.0GHz

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

8th Gen 6-Core 8700 4.6GHz

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

9th Gen 6-Core 9600K 4.6GHz

RAM

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

16GB DDR4

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

8GB DDR4

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

16GB DDR4

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

16GB DDR4

Video Card

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

NVIDIA GTX 1060 3GB

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

NVIDIA RTX 2060 6G

(Up to 40% Faster than a GTX1060!)

SSD

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

128GB

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

128GB

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

256GB

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

500GB

Hard Drive

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

2TB

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

1TB

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

1TB

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

2TB

Operating System

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

Windows 10 OEM

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

Windows 10 OEM

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

Windows 10 OEM

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

Windows 10 Full Retail Licence

(Transferred)

WiFi

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

Warranty

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

1 Year

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

1 Year

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

1 Year

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

3 Years (Extendable to 5!)

Upgradable / Customisable?

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

Price

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

$1888

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

$1999

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

$1999

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

$1999

The Results

For the tech savvy among you who understand what you’re looking at on the chart above, the results are pretty clear. For the sake of those who might not have a full understanding of what exactly they are looking at in the chart, we’ll break it down for you.

A crash course in PC gaming hardware metrics.

When it comes to gaming performance, they key contributor is the graphics card, as long as the CPU and RAM are not a bottleneck. The best way to compare graphics card performance is with a real world benchmark result. There are thousands of these available online, some from more reputable sources than others. We would recommend using well known and trusted independent hardware review websites like GamersNexus.net, TweakTown.com and Techspot.com

Here’s an example.

In modern gaming systems, 8GB of RAM is considered entry level, 16GB plenty and 32GB overkill. As for the CPU in a gaming PC, low end systems will get by with an i3, while mid range systems should ideally be paired with an i5 and only the highest end systems would need to bother with an i7 or i9.

There is a commonly held misconception when it comes to CPUs that higher “GHz” means more performance or that more cores means more performance. Both of which are both true in a way, but mostly false. “GHz” is a measurement of the CPU’s clock speed or ‘tick’ rate. 4GHz means the CPU cycles through a set of ‘instructions’ 4000000000 times a second. This doesn’t account for the number of instructions per cycle it can handle, also known as “IPC”. A CPU with a higher IPC and lower clock speed can outperform a lower IPC, higher clock rate competitor.

Furthermore, cores are something that will only contribute to performance if the application or game you are running actually utilises them. Most modern game engines really only make full use of the first 4 to 6 cores (sometimes less). This means in most games, a 4 core CPU and 6 or 8 core CPU with the same IPC and clock rate will perform practically the same when compared side by side.

Of course this is a very generalised guide and dependence will vary from game to game. That being said, for the vast majority of modern games, this is the widely accepted best practice.

Gaming Performance

First Place : Evatech (40+% Higher than 2nd Place)
This was an easy win, with second place not even coming close. The Evatech configuration blows the competition out of the water with it’s significantly higher performing GPU (video card). You can see one such example in Battlefield V with the benchmark chart shown above. It also has the highest performing gaming CPU of the bunch with the highest IPC.

Last Place : Officeworks (with JB HiFi not far behind)
With the slowest GPU (video card) in the pack, the Officeworks PC would perform the worse in most titles. The only exceptions being for the most RAM hungry or CPU dependant games like the Total War series or Civilisation in which the JB HiFi model would lose it’s much lower RAM capacity and lower end CPU.

Storage Capacity

A secondary consideration when it comes a gaming PC but an important one none the less. Each system being compared today comes with a primary SSD and secondary regular hard drive. For those of you unfamiliar with the difference SSDs are Solid State Drives. They are significantly higher performing when it comes to boot and load times, but don’t effect in game performance much. Hard drives are spinning mechanical platter storage devices that have are cheaper GB but much slower. Bare in mind that it’s not uncommon for sames to reach 60-70GBs once installed and patched these days, plus Windows itself will eat up 10GB+.

First Place: Evatech (2-4x more SSD storage capacity than the competition)
With 500GB of SSD storage you have plenty of storage space to install a bunch of all your favourite games without the need to uninstall others or resort to using the slower hard drive. Still not enough? Well there’s an extra 2TB of space for you to install your less frequently played games and applications on the secondary drive.

Last Place: JB Hi Fi
Sporting only 128GB on the primary drive (much of which will be already eaten up by the operating system and bloatware rubbish that will come pre-installed), you’ll have room for 1 or two big AAA games before you run out of space. This is something that the Officeworks system also suffers from but with double the secondary hard drive storage capacity it edges out the JB Hi Fi system to avoid a last place tie.

Warranty & Upgradability.

First Place : Evatech
Pretty clearly the winner in this category with the only system that allows upgrades and comes as standard with much more generous warranty policy than the competition. Free troubleshooting assistance from professionals who actually know what they are talking about. Much much longer warranty period and very reasonable out of warranty repair pricing. Everything you would expect and more, for a $2,000 investment.

Last Place : JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, Bing Lee (3 way tie)
Is it because they use such lower end hardware that they can’t offer more than 12 months warranty? Is it all a scam to to try and rip you off further and help the big box retailers push their extremely pricey and often useless extended warranties? We suspect it’s mostly the latter, but there is also no doubt the hardware you get in an Evatech PC is far superior. Oh, want to upgrade in the future and keep your expensive investment up to date long term? Don’t even think about it, just buy a whole new one. Not only will attempting upgrades void your warranty but in a lot of cases you just simply can’t because they use non-standard hardware that’s simply not compatible with off the shelf gear.

In Summary (TLDR;)

Evatech

  • Far superior gaming performance
  • Higher quality latest-gen hardware
  • Upgradable
  • Much better warranty
  • Way better support
  • 100% customizable

Bing Lee, Office Works & JB-Hi Fi

  • None of the above
  • Overpriced
  • Lacklustre performance
  • Old last-gen hardware
  • Not custom or upgradable
  • Short warranty

Are we biased? Of course we are. But are we wrong? Well everything we mentioned above is true, verifiable and we stand by it 100%. The rest is up to you to decide. Bare in mind we specialise specifically in custom computers and have done so since our inception in 2013. The competition peddle their so called ‘gaming PCs’ next to staplers, toaster ovens and refrigerators. So is it really that big of a surprise that we would offer better quality, service and value? We don’t think so.

Not convinced? Give our store website a try at www.evatech.com.au and customise a PC today. It’s quick, easy, powerful, great value and packed with the latest hardware. All you have to do is lock in your order and our team builds, tests, setup and deliver your system to your door in a matter of days while you sit back and save time & money. What more could you want?

Categories
Guide

Customization The Best Gaming PC for August 2018.

We often get asked for advise from customers who have a rough idea of what they are trying to achieve but are just not quiet sure what the best configuration for their particular needs is.

For the purposes of this article we are going to make a few basic assumptions.

  • Primary Use : Gaming
    By far the most common and often the trickiest to determine with a lot of conflicting information floating around online.
  • Goal  : Best value for money
    Isn’t this always the goal? Well not always, a lot of our customers do like to splurge on aesthetics with bigger coolers, RGB LEDs and high end fancy chassis. Our recommendation below won’t take aesthetics in to account as it’s too subjective. That being said, you  can always use this guide as a jumping off point for the performance aspect and make a few tweaks or additions to get it exactly how you like it!
  • Availability : Right Now!
    In the world of PC hardware, something new is always around the corner and you can always find someone to tell you ‘just wait another month or two and you can get the X with the Y and it will be so much better’. Well sometimes this true but quiet often it’s a longer than expect wait for a smaller than expected jump in performance. Don’t forget to factor in the value of being able to game on your new PC for that extra time and remember, even if you wait a few weeks or months for the next big thing, it’s only a few months away from the next, next big thing and  you can’t wait for ever!

It also might be worth checking out our online custom PC builder page linked here before you jump in to the rest of the article so you can get a better idea of what we are discussing.

Getting Started; Addressing the lies.

Don’t fall for the CPU and RAM trap.

There are three main contributors to a PCs performance, the CPU, RAM and GPU (aka video or graphics card) but contrary marketing hype it’s not all about the CPU or RAM.

For almost all games, especially triple-A big budget 3D titles, the video card is the key contributing factor to in-game performance. The heart and soul of any gaming PC as long it’s not bottle-necked, responsible for rendering as many frames per second to the screen as it possibly can. The more frames per second, the better the performance and smoother than experience.

It really is that simple but quiet often the ‘gaming PCs’ you see in big box stores sitting on the shelf are configured purely for marketing purposes, designed to be sold to people who know nothing about PC hardware by shady salesmen who know equally as little or are happy to lie to your face to get their sales.

This is why you’ll commonly see an i7 CPU and a huge amount of RAM paired with some entry level or mid range video card completely unnecessarily! Why? Sadly it’s because your average mum or dad wandering in to a JB HIFI to buy their 13 year old a ‘gaming PC’ has no idea how important the video card is and how to even compare them against one another. What they do end up comparing is the CPU and RAM, a poor indicator for gaming performance but an easy mistake for the un-savvy customer to make. It seems intuitive right? i7 is better than i5 or i3 and more GB’s means faster!  Well this is completely wrong.

If you take anything away from this article to save you money on your next gaming PC purchase it should be these simple facts;

  • You should always start with the GPU and work backwards.
    Figure out what sort of performance you are looking for, choose the right video card for your needs and work backwards to make sure you choose the appropriate supporting hardware.
  • More cores doesn’t mean better gaming performance.
    Most modern game engines will only utilize 4 cores and barely touch the others. In fact a lot will only really fully utilize 2! This might change a bit in the future but not any time soon and it’s been this way for a very long time. As a result in the vast majority of games an i5 will match in i7 in performance and in some cases even the i3’s!
  • More RAM that you actually don’t need doesn’t actually do anything.
    These days, RAM comes capacities come in increments of 8GB and in all but the most demanding games, 8GB will get you by just fine. Jump up to 16GB and your totally covered, anything higher just isn’t going to make a difference for gaming.

Choosing the best video card for gaming PC and pairing it correctly.

For as critical as this step is to any gaming PC, it’s not actually that difficult. Performance and price almost scales uniformly and it’s generally a case of you get what you pay for. The only real trick is knowing what you can expect for money.

Top of the Line.
Best Gaming PC GPU for 144Hz, 4K & VR

If you really want the best of the best, as of today the GTX 1080 TI is the only way to go.  The only card considered a higher tier than this is the much more expensive Titan X which is more optimized towards professional applications over gaming and as a result even with it’s extra pipelines and on-board memory they perform almost identically in terms of gaming.

To pair with this, a high end i5 like the 8600 or 8600K with 16GB of RAM would be our recommendation but if you wan’t that extra piece of mind and it’s within your budget, an i7 would be worth concidering. Especially if you have some secondary use cases that would leverage the extra cores or if your a big fan of games like the Total War series that lean much more heavily on the CPU.

Great.
The Best Gaming PC GPU for 1080P / Max Settings

A couple of steps down from the top is the GTX1070 or GTX1070 TI. Both great cards in their price range with only very little difference in performance and price between them and each capable of running all modern games at 1080P extremely well, even at high / ultra graphics settings very well.

For CPU and RAM, a mid to entry level i5 with 16GB of RAM would be all you need, no need to worry about an i7 at this tier.

Mid-Range
The Best Gaming PC GPU for General 1080P Gaming

A lot of games, especially popular e-sports titles don’t really require much in the way of gaming PC horsepower as they try to optimize for high frame rates over rich, high detailed 3D environments. A great example of which are titles like Overwatch and Fortnite. If these are the types of games you love and you don’t really worry about needing to crank all the graphics settings up to their highest you can easily get away with a GTX 1060 3GB.

The 3GB model is a slightly cut down version of the 6GB but still plenty to get very smooth frame rates across a very wide range of popular titles and if you dial back the settings a bit you can still find a very enjoyable balance in the more demanding games too.

A high end i3 like the 8300 would be great pairing with this card and you could easily get away with only 8GB or RAM.

Entry Level
The Best Gaming PC GPU on a Tight Budget

Happy with medium pre-sets and really only play a handful of less demanding classics like Counter Strike, Team Fortress, Dota etc? The GTX 1050 packs enough of a punch to keep you very happy, but don’t expect 4K or VR levels of power! It’s great value for a lot of games but you might struggle in a more demanding title a little further down the road.

As for CPU and RAM with this one, it doesn’t really matter. Even the entry level Pentium would get the job done and anything over 8GB of RAM would be waste of money.

Should you go with SLI? (Dual Video Cards)

For those of you not familiar with the term, that means running two of the same model GPU in the same machine, setup and linked together so they work together to power your PC while you’re gaming. The upside is a lot more gaming performance assuming the game you are playing is well optimized to support it. The down side is of course the extra cost, not only in the second GPU, but the motherboard and power supply that is required to support it.

Remember, even the most optimized games don’t scale 1:1 so it’s always better to have a single higher performing card over two less powerful ones.

So the answer is yes, but only if it’s a high end card, it’s within your budget, and your happy to pay the premium involved with to get the extra performance.

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News

Pre-Christmas Delivery Cut Off Dates for Custom PC Orders – 2017

UPDATE : CUSTOM PC PICK UP ORDER DEADLINE EXTENDED!

Order before midnight this Sunday (17/12) and it will be ready for pick up no later than Friday (our last business day before the Christmas break!)

Our store is located at 1/382 Huntingdale Road, Oakleigh South 3167 VIC and will be open until 6PM Friday 22/12/17.

It’s that time of year again and if you were considering a brand new custom gaming PC for yourself or a loved one this Christmas, now’s the time to pull the trigger!

Our tech team are hard at work 7 days a week cranking out every order we possibly can but during peak times of year link this, the turn around time can be several days longer than usual. To guarantee pre-Christmas delivery, the sooner you get an order in the better!

So when is the delivery order cut off dates?

While the below cut of dates given are not a guarantee, they are conservative approximations made in good faith. Courier delays are rare but can occur on occasion, especially in such a business time year for deliveries. Please bare this in mind when placing your order.

  • Canberra, Gold Coast & Brisbane Metro – 05/12
  • Adelaide & Sydney Metro – 07/12
  • Melbourne Metro – 12/12
  • Perth, Darwin, and smaller metropolitan cities and towns are encouraged to place their order before the end of November. Delivery may still be possible for later orders but it’s hard to guarantee.

So I can’t order after the cut off date?

Of course you can! Just be prepared that it might not arrive before Christmas. While we make every effort to get all orders dispatched ASAP, each system is meticulously assembled by hand and rigorously burn in tested prior to dispatch.  Deliveries will continue to occur between Christmas and New Years baring public holidays.

Do you guys have any PCs in stock we can simply walk in and buy in the store?

We do but they are selling fast! Check out our home page at www.evatech.com.au to see whats available.

I don’t know anything about PCs, can you help me with a recommendation?

That’s what we are here for! Just give a call, drop in to the store or shoot us an email via the contact page on our store site here.

 

So what are you waiting for? Click here to head on over to our store page now and start shopping!

Categories
News

Evatech & Asus, Proudly powering screenPLAY on Channel 7mate

For the longest time Australian gamers (us included!) have had so little when it comes to quality Australian made gaming content. So when we heard Channel 7 was launching a gaming themed show hosted by @nichboy (Nich Richardson) and @hexsteph (Stephanie Bendixsen) of the late ABC show Good Game fame we jumped at the chance get behind them and show our support when they reached out to us.

Sworn to secrecy we worked with them behind the scenes for months before the show was finally announced mid June and since then the team has put out a tone of great content with weekly TV episodes, and daily web content including a tour of Blizzard studios, an interview with Nolan North, daily news videos and audience Q&A live streams the call ANSA on their Facebook page.

As an official sponsor of the show we provide the gaming PCs Nich, Steph and the rest of the crew use in their FirstPlay videos and Twitch streams as well as the systems they the film crew use for video editing and publishing. If you look closely in this screenshot you can see one of our custom built systems lurking the corner.

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News

Destiny 2 Coming to PC in September

While the very successful and critically claimed  Destiny from Halo’s Bungee studios was a console excursive, Destiny 2 is making it’s it way to PC this September with a simultaneous cross platform launch.

It is currently unclear if the MMO world player base will be separated by platform or if PC and console players will cohabitate the same servers.

Hopefully, as with the first release, Destiny 2 will have Australian (typically in Sydney) based servers for the region.

All we really have to go by at this point is a few leaked posters and an official announcement trailer.

Stay tuned for more details as they develop. We should get a better idea of system requirements and game-play features closer to launch and a beta will be open to those who pre-order.

As PC gamers it’s always good to be a little concerned with the quality of the ‘port’ of a console game as we’ve all seen instances of it going terribly wrong but coming from a studio with a stellar track record like Bungee we are  confident it will be just as good if not better than it’s console counterparts.

If your looking for a new gaming PC to make sure your ready to go come September, look no further an www.evatech.com.au and get free shipping for limited time only, Australia wide, simply by adding any custom PC to your cart.

Evatech, shipping Australia’s finest custom gaming PCs from Melbourne to Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra, Brisbane, Hobart and everywhere in between.

 

Categories
News

Nvidia GTX 950 and 950TI Rumors Circulate.

Repeated by several unverified sources, the claim that Nvidia is preparing GTX 950 and 950 TIs to replace their long standing GTX 750’s currently doing battle with the AMD R7 line up.

If the rumors are true (and they do seem to be) the new cards will be based upon the GM206-300 GPU currently powering the GTX960, at lower clock rates and a 128bit memory bus.

No specifics announced in terms of release dates or pricing but it seems likely the move will come sooner rather than later and that these new X50 series cards will replace the GTX 750TI price point at the $150-$200 mark.

The now 18 month old GTX 750TI was amazing value for it’s entry level gaming GPU price point and we have every reason to expect the same from its inevitable replacement.

 

Categories
News

GTA 5’s PC Port Being Handled By Max Payne 3 Team @ Rockstar

In an interview with Alt-Tab, Rockstar games has told us that the team that handled the Max Payne 3 port to PC is the same team tasked with bringing GTA V to PC in January. Max Payne 3’s PC edition was arguably the best version of the game and great PC port with no performance issues or major bugs and top notch optimized menu’s, controls and textures to make full use of the strengths of the PC platform.

Categories
Guide

Christmas Custom Gaming PC Buying Guide 2014

With Christmas being right around the corner, you or someone on gift list may be in need of a new gaming PC. If that’s the case, your in the right place, in this article we will be listing our recommended custom gaming PC configurations for a range of budgets.

 

 

 

Categories
News

Building a Gaming PC for Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor

Monolith’s Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor has been getting a lot hype ahead of it’s release tomorrow and if the big game review sites are to believed, rightly so.

  • 8/10 – Gamespot.com
  • 9.3/10 IGN.com
  • 5/5 GiantBomb.com
  • 4.5/5 GamesRadar.com