Top Gaming PC of 2017
While its impossible to select ‘the best’ one, we narrow down four top gaming PC which have tried to make a strong presence in the gaming market. Whether they have successfully accomplished their mission is what we will find out now.
Acer Predator G6 : Monster Truck Rally is out
This 34 pound mid-size tower is a…tank! But this beast came with lots of useful features that are worth considering.
Acer’s gaming pc has tried to inspire a feeling of warships and combat tanks but we cannot ignore that it is plastic scale-like pattern clothed over a steel case. It has a dark exterior with meshed side panels with the Predator logo. The top and front seem to be one armored plate with two red stripes running along. The front has a headset cradle ( a right place to hang them), two USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm jack for audio in and audio out, USB 2.0 based SD card reader, a drive upgrade bay for a 2.5 inch drive. What stands out is the Turbo button which lights up the entire machine and toggles 4GHz to a overclock speed of 4.6GHz.
Flipping it open reveals a cramped up interior with one 92mm cooling fan and a ATX Motherboard. There is no proper cable management which will disappoint DIY PC gamers. And a shame that it can only accommodate a single video card. One HDMI, a DVI port, a Display Port, six USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports and one Ethernet connection are present on the rear.
An Intel core i7-6700k processor paired with 16GB of DDR4 RAM along with 256GB SATA SSD and a 2TB HDD shows a major effort in earning the credibility in the eyes of the gamers. The SATA drive won’t transfer large files as quickly as PCle drive but it is a better option too.
Specifications become secondary when we focus on the real deal: Nvidia GTX 980. But these days 980 isn’t present in systems that much. Nonetheless this GPU handles gaming 1080p pretty well and those with 1440p will not be disappointed either. Having a single cooling fan is where we see this model losing its cool. Even at minimal amount of gaming we can see the temperature rising.
G6 arrives with less bloat-ware (Thankyou , Acer). Among few programs, Acer PredatorSense allows the user to toggle with overclock speed, the lights and the fan speed.
Gamers would expect that at $2000 the gap between thermal throttling and the sound of a hair dryer would be less. It is $450 more than other models so it needs to prove its worth in all aspects. Even hinges are made of plastic which may pry off easily. The Predator can hunt now but the messy interior may not support future upgrading.
Asus ROG STRIX GD30CI: A Gaming Stormtrooper
Asus has long been at forefront in the gaming market. And this rig also stands out from other PCs with as many features as possible.
Gamers , let me remind you that ROG series have never been influenced by the ubiquitous black and red themes . This rig , following it’s brothers’ suit, was inspired from science fiction , space travel , cyberpunk themes . A full sized tower standing 21 inch tall , it cannot miss your eyes. Same with the plastic works too. The white plastics , once removed , reveals an all- black case. You can tweak the look by removing or adding white panels. There are downloadable skins from the company’s website too.
The top panel , once removed , reveals the optical drive.The front has the typical ports : two USB 3.1 ports , two USB 2.0 ports , a headphone , a microphone jack and a flash card reader. The left panel has a perforated mesh which lets you see the belly of this monster along with RGB lights inside. This lighting can be controlled with Asus’ Aegis III software utility. It has a power button that sits between two front panels.
Once the side panel is removed, you will be surprised with all the spacious interior (unlike Predator G6). Rear of the system has the usual ports- two USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.1 ports, Ethernet jack, 7.1 channel audio ports, two HDMI ports, two Display Ports and one DVI port.
We get the standard Windows 10 Home pre- installed with few utilities from Asus. For a price of $1899 we get an Intel core i7-7700 processor with an unnecessary 32GB RAM of DDR4-2400 RAM. The combination of 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD is very generous. Although a 2TB HDD wouldn’t be so bad, Asus!
How game is the Strix? Well , it comes with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 . though there are options for buying the models with GTX 1060 or 1050 too. It isn’t as overclocked but the GPU runs for 1080p gaming pretty well . The Strix produces playable frames at 1440p too. What puts Strix at an awkward postion is that the same features are accessible from other models at a lower price.
Though non-K processors are powerful, 7700K would be nice. A single cooling fan is always a source of irritation for all those desktop notifications of rising CPU temperature. The Strix seems to check off the features boxes but not offering great performance at the same time. It cannot be considered go-to PC but it will fall behind very soon.
Gigabyte Brix GZ1DTi7: Oval Office for Gamers
Gigabyte is producing new PC series: Brix. And this addition of Brix GZ1DTi7 is a strong performer.
It’s oval. It has neon-green mesh along the side. The top opens up the flaps when the CPU becomes hot enough. Reminds me of Disney’s Tinker Bell!
This 19-inch tall tower has power button, a headphone jack, a microphone jack, two USB 2.0 ports on the narrow side. Underneath the bottom of side panel lives the rest of the family of ports: an HDMI port, three USB 3.0 ports, a USB 3.1 port, few more audio ports, an Ethernet port, a Display port, one DVI-A and one DVI-D ports. Interior is cramped up and it would be best not to put this machine in a limited air-flow space.
This rig comes with pretty good features. Intel Core i7-6700K processor which, of course, can be overclocked with 16GB of DDR4/2133 RAM. A 256GB SATA SSD and a 1TB hard-disk drive are the specs.
This rig has Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics card which slightly overclocks – from 1.5MHz to 1.7MHz . It operates at 40Gb/s . Practically it means it can transfer a 4k movies in 30 seconds. We get framerates above that desired threshold of 60 fps. The manufacturers boast that the rig is VR ready.
The Brix is more noisy during GPU load than CPU . But the shrill cannot be ignored .It also could have been spacious interior for future upgrading . For a price of $1700 , it is more-than-average model for a gaming PC.
MSI Aegis Ti3: No it’s not a Ball Machine
This rig rightfully belongs to esports tournament and it does have a lot going on inside! The MSI Aegis would be my best pick of the top gaming PC of this year.
This 20-inch tall tower has a love-hate design. It may appeal to a 10-year old but a 35-year old may think twice for this highly noticeable rig with typical black and red aggressive alien-warship look with that of a structure of a ball throwing machine.
The front consists of the MSI logo on a red button used for overclocking. The classic audio-in and audio-out jacks with two USB 3.1 ports , both Type-A and Type-C, one HDMI port and the VR link which MSI claims to be ‘VR Ready’ . The rear has the rest of the ports – two USB 2.0 ports , one HDMI-out , one HDMI-in port and one Ethernet port. There is a PS2 port too. Lots of grills and windows expose little bit of interior . The top and sides have ample cooling vents , a window that shows the installed GPU and a solid metal carrying handle which is bonus point since this rig weighs 31.5 pounds.
The bottom pedestal contains the 850 watt power supply and two 3 ½ inch hard drive bays with data cables. Two of the DIMM slots are easily accessible but other two are inside the CPU cooler radiator bracket. Installing graphic drives is requires removing the top panel and a hinge with a total of unscrewing 7 screws and sliding the optical drive. Honestly there is a lot of removing and unscrewing going around to put in anything. It will be easier for a new system builder to build from scratch.
With 7th generation i7-7700k processor along with 32GB of DDR4 RAM provide plenty of power. With NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB GPU , you are set for few years with these top end configurations. Well , GTX 1080 can pretty much handle anything that you throw at it.
Aegis’ 3D performance is not disappointing but there are faster systems offering better gaming at similar price tag. Cooling performance is great. Four cooling fans work together to keep the CPU well under 70 degree and it is pretty quiet too! This is one of the standout feature which may persuade buyers to opt for this model. An overclock speed of 4.8GHz can be reached without overheating the CPU. Fans start rotating only during 3D gaming which is unlike other systems. A 512GB of SSD and 2TB HDD provides with plenty of storage. Windows 10 Home is pre-installed. At $2999.99, this tower comes with plenty of power and features.
Poor cable management is a foe for those new system builders. The design may not appeal everyone. Simple things like long SLI bridges which are difficult to be fixed instead of proper high bandwidth hard bridge already at right spacing. This rig may not be for everyone but it can be rated higher for it’s superb features and cooling system.