Reviewers say the Velocity Micro Edge Z40 (*Est. $950 and up) is the best entry-level gaming desktop for aspiring gamers who want a system that can grow with them. The Edge Z40 comes with a host of options, and you can pay more for serious performance. However, reviewers say spending an additional $150 on the base model to get an enhanced CPU and graphics card is the best option for entry-level gamers. That configuration includes an overclocked second-generation Core i5 processor, a 1 TB hard drive, 4 GB of RAM and an overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX 560Ti graphics card.
Even though the base configuration of the Velocity Micro Edge Z40 can't match the performance of high-end gaming rigs, it is a very capable performer. The desktop can handle all of today's most demanding games, although some of the more intensive titles may need to be played at lower resolutions. For example, in PCMag's test, "Crysis" plays very smoothly at medium graphics settings, but drops to a still playable yet not quite smooth 30 frames per second (fps) at high resolution. Reviewers take issue with the fact that although the Edge Z40 ships with an Nvidia graphics card, it doesn't include SLI support for running dual Nvidia cards, and the support for AMD's CrossFireX dual-card setups is limited because the second PCI x16 slot is limited to x4 bandwidth rather than full x16. Like most gaming desktops, you'll have to pay extra for a monitor and speakers. If you're looking for a full-fledged gaming system, you may want to consider the Origin Genesis (*Est. $1,340 and up) . Experts report excellent gaming capabilities in configurations that start at roughly $2,500, and go up -- way up -- from there.
Only a few reviewers have tested the Velocity Micro Edge Z40. The best analysis comes from PCMag.com and CNET, which both test and rate the desktop and give it Editors' Choice awards. About.com also covers the base configuration of the system.
The Velocity Micro Edge Z40 earns an Editors' Choice award in the entry-level gaming category from PCMag.com. "The Edge Z40 has the power to decimate the competition at this price point, and includes a feature set that used to take thousands of dollars to achieve," Joel Santo Domingo writes after benchmark testing the PC.
Review: Velocity Micro Edge Z40, Joel Santo Domingo, June 10, 2011
CNET reviewer Rich Brown gives the Velocity Micro Edge Z40 an overall score of 4 out of 5 and an Editors' Choice award. The PC holds up well in benchmark tests against systems that cost twice as much or more, although the system's budget roots show when tasked with playing the cutting-edge "Metro 2033." Brown comments that the inclusion of an Nvidia card in a system that only supports multi-card support for AMD Radeon graphics could make upgrading tricky and expensive, however.
Review: Velocity Micro Edge Z40, Rich Brown, April 28, 2011
About.com reviewer Christine McKee isn't as happy with the Edge Z40 as other reviewers are, although she doesn't conduct any hands-on testing of the machine. She says gamers will need to improve the computer's graphics, processor and RAM "to make it a killer gaming machine."
Review: Velocity Micro Edge Z40 Gaming Desktop PC, Christine McKee, Jan. 13, 2011