A-Kul’s Arrival

It seems fitting that one of the main reasons that I purchased a brand new computer is the imminent launch of Guild Wars 2. My previous desktop computer purchase was partially prompted by the intention to play the original Guild Wars over seven years ago. This time, I decided not to go the DIY route. This time, I decided to purchase a custom-configured rig from a specialist PC builder, MAINGEAR. A big reason for this decision is because I would rather pay for a good build, great customer support, and professional troubleshooting assistance than go through the pain, frustration, and time consumption that I went through when I built my first desktop in 2005. It was a good experience to go through once, and I learned a lot over the years of troubleshooting problems, but I’m so over it. After several months of research of all the major specialist gaming PC builders and their wares, I purchased a Potenza from MAINGEAR. I don’t need a massive rig with space for multiple graphics cards or hard drives, and I prefer a small form factor, so the Potenza worked well for my needs.

My Rig

Chassis: MAINGEAR Potenza with VRTX Cooling Technology (Silverstone Fortress FT03-MINI)
Exterior Finish: Black Brushed Aluminum
Motherboard: Asus® P8Z77-I Deluxe Featuring USB 3.0, SATA 6G, 802.11n/Bluetooth, Lucid Virtu MVP
Processor: Intel® CoreT i7 3770K 3.5GHz/3.9GHz Turbo 8MB L3 Cache HD 4000
MAINGEAR Redline Overclocking Service
Processor Cooling: MAINGEAR EPIC 120 Supercooler
Memory: 16GB Corsair® Vengeance DDR3-1600 1.5V (2x8GB)
Power Supply: 450W Silverstone ST45SF 80 Plus Bronze Certified PSU (I did some research on this, as at first glance, the wattage seems a bit low, however I found out that MAINGEAR did extensive testing and determined that this PSU works well for this setup.)
Graphics and GPGPU Accelerator: EVGA® GeForce GTX 680 2GB GDDR5 Superclocked w/PhysX
SSD Caching: 60GB Corsair® Accelerator SSD Caching Drive
Hard Drive Bay One: 1TB Seagate® Barracuda 7200rpm 64MB Cache SATA 6G
Optical Drive One: 8X Dual Layer DVD RW Drive Slot Loading SATA
Ethernet Adapter: On-board Gigabit Ethernet
Wireless Network Adapter: Integrated 802.11b/g/n Wireless
Bluetooth: Integrated Bluetooth Technology Module
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Things I had before:

Display: Dell 24 inch UltraSharp™ 2407FPW Widescreen Digital Flat Panel Monitor
Speakers: Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX®-Certified Speakers
Headset: Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930
Keyboard: Logitech Gaming Keyboard G510
Mouse: Logitech Wireless Gaming Mouse G700

Here’s my current setup, with A-kul to the right of the monitor (more pictures):

MAINGEAR Potenza

For reference, here is my setup from about five years ago with Angseth located under the desk (specs):

My Computer Station - Summer 2007

Angseth has actually been gone for a long time. It got to the point where it no longer worked, so I just recycled everything about a year or so ago.

In case you’re curious about the computer names, the following Wikitroid entries—Angseth and A-Kul—should shed some light on the choices.

8 comments

  1. Allan · July 21, 2012

    Can i ask how much this cost? Thanks! :)

    • Brinstar · July 21, 2012

      Around $2 300.

  2. Lawrence · July 21, 2012

    True powerhouse rig I’d say, GW2 should run absolutely smoothly (I assume as I missed all beta weekends so I have no idea even how it will run on my older and vastly inferior system).

  3. Sven · July 21, 2012

    Did you have anyone help you pick parts? I’m just wondering why you settled on an i7 vs an i5.

    It looks like a pretty good deal for a high-end pre-built. A similarity spec’d system from Falcon NW would have set you back another $300.

    • Brinstar · July 21, 2012

      I did speak to a MAINGEAR staff member through their live chat a few months ago, and that person was really helpful, however at the time, I was more focused on choosing the right GPU than the CPU. I settled on an i7 because they offered the overclocked version and I wanted that. I am pretty sure that their staff can help, but aside from that, there’s a ton of sites out there that can also offer advice.

  4. scarygrin · July 21, 2012

    I’ve been a fan of Xotic PC when I wanted to get a new Asus laptop.
    They do desktop pc that similar to this one. I think Xotic is more expensive.
    I ended up going with a Toshiba for myself and recently my wife as well.

    • Brinstar · July 21, 2012

      Toshiba laptops are great. :-) My first laptop was an outdated (for the time) Toshiba and it was very reliable. It got me through my final year of undergraduate and the entirety of my Master’s degree program (1 year). My partner has a Toshiba laptop right now.

  5. inkgrrl · July 21, 2012

    Gratz! I’m impatient for GW2 to launch too ;-)

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