Interview: The Making of a Boutique Gaming PC
December 13th, 2011
By James Wang
If the sole purpose of an automobile was to get from point A to point B, then there would be no need for Ferraris. But Ferraris exist, and people, whether they own one or not, love them. Their utility is secondary, the idea is primary. And the idea is performance, craftsmanship, and perfection. It is for these very same reasons that boutique gaming PCs exist.
Short of playing games, which is scarcely work for these finely tuned beasts of silicon and metal, these systems express the idea that there is something exhilarating about building a machine that surpasses what is ordinarily considered the maximum performance within a certain generation of hardware. By exploiting the additive power of graphics cards in SLI and through ingenious CPU cooling solutions, these systems effectively "timeshift" their owners into the future, a future where GPUs are four times as powerful and CPUs march to a beat of 5GHz.
Despite perennial warnings that the PC platform is dying, PC vendors are not just surviving, they are thriving. Last month, Intel launched its new flagship Sandy Bridge E and X79 platform. Despite its substantial cost, system builders of all stripes and colors flocked to it. Today, almost all of their top end gaming systems are powered by X79 with SLI graphics - while one might quibble over the virtues of having additional CPU cores, no one debates the benefit that results from having additional graphics horsepower.
To get more insight into how these systems are built, and how you might build one yourself, we interviewed six of Europe's biggest gaming PC vendors, each operating in a different country.
The six part interview:
- Komplett (Norway)
- Scan (United Kingdom)
- Verkkokauppa (Finland)
- IT Direct (Romania)
- CoolMod (Spain)
- INET (Sweden)