Vigor Gaming is a new member of our evaluation program. We ordered its midrange Force Recon L2 system to see what the company is capable of. As it turns out, we were pleasantly surprised, but not totally impressed.
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 a synthetic benchmark is simply irresponsible. We think service, support, and reliability are much more important factors in today's climate than speed. Fast is easily bought, but purchasing and ownership satisfaction can be elusive.
This process allows us to not only evaluate the system, but the OEM that builds it. Our goal is to give you the wide-angle lens view of the computer and the company so that you can make informed and educated decisions as to what you purchase or recommend to clients, friends, and family.
We have no history with Vigor Gaming, as it only recently agreed to be included in our evaluation process. However, we had heard from various sources that Vigor Gaming is an offshoot of Vicious PC, which has received decent evaluations from [H] Consumer. Oddly, the current Vigor Gaming website makes no mention of Vicious PC, but the cached Google page states, “In our search for Excellence, the founders and engineers of award-winning Vicious PC products have joined us in July 2005 in the quest for ultimate creativity, innovation and artistry.” We're not entirely sure what the relationship is between the companies, or even if there is one, but we thought that it was an interesting bit of trivia.
As such, we don’t really know what to expect from the company. Sure, every “hardcore gaming” integrator promises the moon these days, including killer framerates, unsurpassed build quality, responsive tech support and free backrubs, but not every company delivers on these promises. This Force Recon PC may indeed be a force to be reckoned with, but it may also be a farce.
This is a gaming PC, built by a company with the word “gaming” in its title. So, naturally, we’re expecting an impressive gaming experience from this machine. We’re also looking for all the hallmarks of gaming prowess: stability, upgradeability, superb build quality, and clean and tidy wiring. It’d be nice if it was reasonably quiet too. These are high expectations, we know, but the gaming PC business is incredibly cutthroat and demanding, and companies that can’t meet these expectations have a lot of trouble becoming a mainstay.
We’ve picked up some fairly pricey systems recently and thought it was time for a nice budget machine that still had some muscle. Vigor offers rather competitive price points, so we’re very interested to see what we get for our money.
Here’s what we got: