Two high-value, high-speed gaming desktops

We highlight reviews of two recent Editors' Choice-winning gaming PCs.

It's become rare for a developer other than Blizzard to explicitly target PC gamers. Now we have two such PC-centric games on the horizon. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, from Atari and Polish-developer CD Projekt Red, promises visceral, adult-oriented role playing when it launches May 17. Electronic Arts and developer DICE have described this fall's Battlefield 3 as a "love letter" to PC gamers, a claim backed by a Battlefield 3 DirectX 11 presentation at this year's Game Developer's Conference.

With these, and hopefully other graphically modern PC games on the horizon, you might start to think about upgrading your current rig, or buying a new system altogether. If you're leaning towards the latter, we've reviewed two desktops this week that will put you in strong PC gaming position.

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The higher-end system of the two is the Maingear Vybe Super Stock. Our review configuration came in at $2,849, but if you drop the 250GB solid-state boot drive down to a 120GB model, the new price is $2,449, with little impact on performance. As to its speed, this system is one of the fastest to grace our labs, impressive considering it went up against a near-$5,000 desktop from Falcon Northwest. But thanks to an aggressively overclocking Intel Core i7 2600K chip (set to 4.8GHz, from 3.4GHz out of the box), and a pair of AMD Radeon HD 6950 graphics cards, the Vybe overachieved on almost all of our tests.

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For those on a tighter gaming budget, we suggest the $1,199 Velocity Micro Edge Z40. This system uses the mainstream Core i5 2500K CPU, and in this case it's overclocked to 4.0GHz from a 3.3GHz standard speed. It also features an Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti graphics card, which should let you play any game currently on the market with at least medium image quality at 1080p image resolution.

We'll vouch for the overclocking in these systems, as they both passed the LinX stability test. And between their speed, their build quality, and their overall value, each is also an Editors' Choice Award winner.

Read the full review of the Maingear Vybe Super Stock.

Read the full review of the Velocity Micro Edge Z40.

 

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