Velocity Micro Edge Z40 Review
The Edge Z40 is a truly cheap system that far outperforms others at this price with the help of an overclocked CPU. Add a little more memory to this PC and you'll have a budget gaming system that can hold its own against much more expensive machines.
This gaming computer seems to have made a strong impression on most reviewers. In a Velocity Micro Edge Z40 review for CNET, a senior editor raves about the value of this gaming PC, giving it the site's Editors' Choice award. In testing, the Edge Z40 produced numbers that were competitive with much more expensive systems, according to the review. An analyst at PC Mag is equally enthusiastic in his Velocity Micro Edge Z40 review. He found that this model annihilated other similarly priced PCs in gaming tests. The combination of performance and price earn the Edge Z40 an Editors' Choice tag from PC Mag as well.
As reviewed, the Velocity Micro Edge Z40 (starting at $999; $1,219 as reviewed, Amazon) is powered by an Intel Core i5-2500K quad-core CPU that has been "hyperclocked" to 4 GHz from 3.3 GHz. The default configuration includes only 4GB of RAM, so you may want to kick that up to 8GB (for an additional $80). As for video power, the Z40 machines reviewers evaluated include a Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti video card. A 1TB, 7,200 rpm hard drive provides plenty of storage. The Edge Z40 includes a DVD-RW drive and, unlike most gaming PCs, comes with a keyboard and mouse in its base configuration. The 700-watt power supply provides more than enough power for this system and can easily handle several future upgrades, such as a much more powerful video card. Reviewers note, however, that if you'd like to eventually add a second video card, you'll have to switch from the Nvidia brand to AMD Radeon, as the motherboard doesn't support Nvidia's linking technology (known as SLI).
Where to buy
The Velocity Micro Edge Z40 is a good value in its default configuration, but if you're willing to kick in a few hundred dollars more, you can turn this system into an excellent gaming rig while keeping the price relatively low. Consider overclocking the processor, doubling the memory, and springing for a stronger, faster video card. If you don't need the keyboard and mouse, you can remove them from the configuration and save yourself $20. Either way, that's a top budget gaming PC for less than $1,300.