Vicious PC brings to the table a water-cooled, mid-range gaming PC for around $1500. Is this viciously priced PC too good to be true, or do we have another winner on our hands? The answer may surprise you.
Vicious PC is the latest company to go under the microscope of our system evaluation program.
As many of you might know by now, HardOCP doesn’t "review" systems, we evaluate the experiences they facilitate. We order the system the same as you would and evaluate every aspect of the end-user experience. Not only does this give us a better idea of what hardware an end user actually receives, it also allows us to obtain a more accurate picture of just how each company functions and treats its customers. As fast as PC hardware has become over the years, we think giving a personal computer "5 stars" based on how fast it ran a synthetic benchmark is simply irresponsible. We think service, support, and reliability are much more important factors than speed in today's climate. Fast is easily bought, but purchasing and ownership satisfaction can be elusive.
One of the reasons that we were looking forward to evaluating this computer was because Vicious PC offered a water-cooled system for around $1500. We wanted to see what kind of quality and performance we could buy at that price.
We purchased the Vicious PC Assassin, the lowest-end of Vicious PC’s Athlon 64 line.
While the $1500 price tag might seem like a good family-computer price–and indeed the Assassin could be used as a general-purpose family machine–Vicious PC isn’t targeting the middle-aged, responsible family crowd.
For one, the computer is named after an occupation which consists of murdering prominent members of the public with malice aforethought, sometimes for achieving political ends, other times for payment. It’s a niche appeal.
Secondly, the computer itself is a little “overkill” for most familial needs. Yes, water-cooling is impressive and the cold red cathode looks cool, but most families would be fine without either. This is an obvious gaming PC.
The Assasssin starts at $1,359 before an instant 10% internet rebate (applied at check out), which includes an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ processor, a standard heat sink fan, two 160GB Maxtor hard drives, an NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT video card, a Biostar T-Force motherboard, and a Cooler Master Centurion C5 case. We changed the configuration. We didn’t need two hard drives, and we decided to downgrade to the NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT while upgrading the CPU to an AMD Athlon 64 3700+ and the motherboard to an ASUS A8N-SLI board. We also added a media reader.
We decided to add the Cooler Master Aquagate Liquid Cooler with radiator and 120mm adjustable fan, adding $102 to the price over the basic air-cooling solution.
We also ordered Cyberlink’s Power DVD Player and Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 2006 as extras to our configuration.