CNET First Look
Velocity Micro Edge Z30Velocity Micro's Edge Z30 is the best deal going right now for midlevel gaming PCs featuring Intel's new Core i7 chips. The overclocked Core i7 860, a fast Nvidia graphics card, and a solid selection of features all around make it easy for us to recommend...
[ Music ] ^M00:00:07 >> Rich: Hi, I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET. Today we're gonna take a look at the Editor's Choice winning Velocity Micro Edge Z30. So this is a midrange gaming PC and it comes with Intel's newest Core I7 chip, an over-clocked version of the Core I7860. Now, this system comes in at about 1,350 bucks. It's configuratal [assumed spelling] though so you can set different options online if you go to Velocity Micro's website. And we found with this particular spec it's probably the best deal going right now for a midrange gaming PC. It's faster than systems that cost about $200 more from other vendors and it'll run any application and play pretty much any game on the market with few compromises. You can see it has a nice clean case we've come to expect from Velocity Micro. It's also a fairly compact computer. You can see on the front there's room for 2 optical drives. Behind here is the DVD burner. Down here it's got the media card reader and the spare drive slot here. And on the back of the system you'll see its connectivity is fairly complete if not overly exciting. Starting from the graphics card you have a pair of DVI outputs. Down here you have 7.1 analog audio, then you get all kinds of USB outs here. There's a Firewire and eSATA down at the bottom for external storage. And there's also a pair of digital audio outputs. Now, there's no HDMI output on the graphics card but that's okay because you probably wouldn't haul this into the living room anyway. And if you do want to connect to an HD TV or an HDMI equipped standard desktop display you can always get an HDMI to DVI adapter. Now inside the case you can see one of the reasons why we tend to like Velocity Micro systems so much. It's because it's a very clean case and even for a system that's under $2,000 that's pretty impressive. So you can see here there's just a basic CPU fan on top of the Core I7860 chip. Now considering the size of the fan and the fact that Velocity Micro over-clocked the chip that's pretty good testament to this system's stability, and, in fact, when we ran it for our stability test we saw no problems. So for the rest of the system you can see there's a dual slot of graphics card here; this is an NVIDIA GTX260 card, it's the newer version with 216 cores. It's nice and fast. You may hit some bumps if you decide to go all the way up to a 24 inch LCD at full image quality but for the most part we had no problems with this on our gaming tests. There's a single terabyte hard drive here and there's room for 2 others as you can see. Down here you've got 8G of RAM no free slots but 8G should probably do you for the foreseeable future. And as far as expandability there is no second graphics card slot here but we don't really expect that at around the $1,500 price point. There's also no traditional PCI card expansion instead you get a single 4X PCI Express slot as well as a 1X PCI Express slot. So this system is pretty straightforward and it's one of the reasons why we like it so much. It has a nice clean look, it's expertly built, it has a great value and it pretty much will handle any task you want to throw at it. That's why it's an Editor's Choice winner. So I'm Rich Brown and this is the Velocity Micro Edge Z30. ^M00:02:59 [ Music ]