CNET First Look
Velocity Micro Edge Z40As we've seen from previous Velocity Micro PCs, the Edge Z40 is an outstanding gaming PC and all-around performer for its price. We recommend it to anyone looking for a mainstream gaming desktop.
-Hi, I'm Rich Brown, senior editor for CNET.com. Today, we're gonna take a look at the Velocity Micro Edge Z40. So, this is an Editor's Choice gaming PC goes for $1199 and it's one of the fastest gaming desktops we've seen in that price range. It comes with an overclocked Intel Core i5-2500K, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 560Ti graphics card, 4 gigs of RAM, a terabyte hard drive as well as a Blu-Ray player which is actually pretty rare with this price range. Overall, the system does pretty much everything we want it to. It plays games. It plays HD movies. Now, like most Velocity Micro systems, this is very clean build. We've seen this case a bunch of times before and, as usual, it just looks good and sturdy. Now, up here, there is a Blu-Ray drive and, behind there, there is a media card reader; and in the back of the case, there's plenty of connectivity options. We have a couple of PS2 inputs for old school mouse and keyboards up at the top. Down here, you've got USB 3 ports which is actually becoming pretty common in any system that uses Intel's latest generation of core CPU. You've got a digital audio output up there, a couple of USB ports as well as eSATA and FireWire for alternate data outputs. It also has a 7.1 analog audio output down here and the graphics card, you see, there's two DVI outs as well as a Mini-HDMI output. Now, inside the Velocity Micro, everything is nice and clean like we expect. You can see the CPU here. Now, the stock speed for that chip is 3.3 gigahertz with Velocity Micro's overclocked up to 4 gigs. That makes it very competitive and on certain tests, it can even outperform a Dell system, for example, that uses Intel's higher-end Core i7 CPU but that doesn't have quite the same clock speed. Over here, you can see that there's two sticks of RAM for 4 gigs total in this PC. If you wanna know its performance for this, you could add a couple more sticks for 8 gigs total and for test like Photoshop 5, for example, we expect that would show pretty nice performance game. Here's the graphics card that has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 560Ti card that's relatively new and this is actually an overclocked version of the standard speed for that card, so it actually outperforms some cards that cost a little bit more running at their stock speeds. You'll find some limitations when you get to the highest resolutions and the highest image quality settings and more recent games which, for the most part, there's nothing this system can't play. Over here, you've got the hard drive and it has a standard 1 terabyte drive. You can see this nice, big drive cage over here that makes it easy to slide drives in and out and there's plenty of room to add more storage if you want. Finally, for card expansion, there's room to add a few more cards to this PC but the graphic situation is a little bit tweaky. This is an Nvidia graphics card but the motherboard will only support multiple graphics from AND-based cards from AMD-based cards. And also if you wanted to say buy this system and then add a graphics card post-purchase, you need to tweak the configuration to set this to an AMD card in order not to waste the hardware. Fortunately, Velocity Micro offers lots of upgrade options on its website. Now, if you do add a second card, you won't be able to use the 1x PCI Express slot up here. This has limitations of the way the system routes bandwidth but you do have room for a couple extra expansion cards with the PCI slots down here below. So, this system is very fast and it's great for gaming and general productivity but it's also an awesome value. We compared it with multiple configurations from different vendors online and nobody else is able to eat the price Velocity Micro is offering with this system, that's why it's an editor's choice. So, I'm Rich Brown. This is the Velocity Micro Edge Z40.