COMPUTEX 2018 saw many component manufacturers come up with their own desktop gaming machines. Most of the components inside were from their own brand which is a worrying trend. Component manufacturers are seeing a drop in sales so selling assembled machines increase their bottom line. Therefore, the company will see a boost in revenue due to bundled sales.
MSI enter the assembled market in a huge way but little of that made its way to India. Even GIGABYTE began selling almost every component in India. Other OEMs will soon start coming up with their own offerings. Those who already had assembled machines, they just went crazy with the configurations.
ASUS and Acer packed flagship hardware into their machines and ZOTAC have revitalised their desktop lineup. We didn’t see a lot of these machines in India, but the coming years should be exciting.
2018 Zero1 Award Winner: Acer Orion 9000
Acer is one of the first companies who started bringing their mainstream launches to India about the same time as they do globally. With the Orion 9000, Acer is going the boutique PC way so, you can get your own customised configuration. The standardised unit config sold in India comes with an Intel Core i9-7900X, 16 GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti, 32 GB of Optane memory and a custom Cooler Master AIO.
The motherboard and graphics cars are Acer’s own. Also, the SMPS is by FSP which is a good option for high-end configuration. This SKU scored 6792 in 3D Mark Fire Strike Ultra and in 4K games, the FPS would be about 65-70 in most AAA titles running at max setting. Acer seems to have gone all out with this configuration and there was no other brand with a configuration to match. So you can see why the Acer Orion ended up getting this year’s Zero1 Award.
Runner-up: GIGABYTE BRIX VR GB-BNi7HG6-1060
The BRIX was a surprise runner-up this time given that it uses a combination of a mobile Intel CPU with a GTX 1060. Other contenders came with desktop grade CPUs and GPUs but lost out to the BRIX.
It’s because the BRIX has a Core i7-7700HQ which is a quad-core processor with multi-threading while the other contenders were either using Intel Core i5 desktop processors or low-power mobile processors. There’s also the simple fact that it’s really compact, taking us just 2.6L of space. Want more? Well, it’s priced at `76,500 which makes it our Best Buy in this category as well.
Runner-up: ZOTAC GAMING MEK1
ZOTAC has had their ZBOX machines for a really long time. Earlier this year, we started to see the MEK1 gaming PCs make an appearance. ZOTAC simply gave the ZBOX a brand new avatar and bundled peripherals with the package. Their MEK1 machines are not only designed to appeal to a modern aesthetic but they’re also more focused on the gaming aspect.
The only downside that we see is that all the SKUs that are sold in India feature the older 7th Gen CPUs. For folks wanting to build a gaming PC, the 8th Gen CPUs offer a marked increase in performance so there’s little reason to settle with the older gen CPUs.
However, that doesn’t make much of a difference with real-world performance and the MEK1 ends up being our other runner-up. The only reason it lags behind the BRIX is because the MEK1 uses a Core i5-7400 which lacks Hyperthreading.