Review: PB Technologies PB Extreme 7105W
- — 03 October, 2012 22:00
|Name||Gaming Desktop: PB Technologies PB Extreme 7105W|
|At a glance:||Intel Core i5-3570K @ 4.5GHz,16GB DDR3-1866 RAM,Nvidia GTX680 2GB video card,128GB SSD + 2TB HDD,Duct tape!|
|Summary:||Some build issues, but still fantastic value and performance.|
September 2012 Gaming PC Shootout. Find full specifications, benchmarks and comparable models here.
PB Technologies is probably the largest retailer in New Zealand dedicated to selling only PCs and components (along with a few other gadgets, but no microwaves at least), with eight stores across Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington.
Last time we reviewed one of its gaming PCs it had the embarrassing issue of only one video card enabled – there were two installed. It was a small issue with an easy fix, but disappointing. Regardless, it was with a clean slate and open mind that I welcomed the PB Extreme 7105W gaming PC onto my test bench to put through its paces.
At first glance this PC appears to be amazing value, and in truth it is: for $2,599 you get a very powerful rig. The already-powerful Intel Core i5-3570K is overclocked to a healthy 4.5GHz, and is backed by a massive 16GB of G.Skill Ripjaws Z DDR3-1866 CL9 memory.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 2GB is also a very powerful component – personally I’d opt for a GTX 670 because it gives 90% of the performance for less than 80% of the price, but the system is already relatively affordable.
The hard drive configuration on the other hand is perfect in my books, with Windows 7 Home running on the super-fast 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 SSD, supported by a massive 2TB 7200RPM Seagate storage drive. The inclusion of a Blu-ray reader/DVD-RW combo drive, rather than just a standard DVD writer, is also a nice touch.
The rest of the specs are great too – Cooler Master HAF XM case, 750W Seasonic PSU, Gigabyte Z77 motherboard, and even a TP-Link Wi-Fi adaptor thrown in for good measure.
There was one thing I probably would have left out though: duct tape.
I like duct tape. One of my mottos is “If you can’t fix it using duct tape, you’re not using enough duct tape”. In fact, as I write this, there are two half-used rolls of duct tape literally within arm’s reach should the need arise. Yet not even I, a bona fide connoisseur of cloth-backed adhesives, would think that it looks good holding down cables in my PC. Yet there it is.
Moving on, it gets worse. During testing, the system crashed so badly it had to self-restore the BIOS from its secondary backup. Once it was back up and running again, I noticed that its CPU temperature skyrocketed before crashing once again.
Being curious, I had a poke around to see if the CPU heatsink was installed correctly when I noticed that the protective sticker hadn’t been removed from the X6 cooler before being mounted on the CPU.
To be fair, we don’t give retailers a heck of a lot of time to build and send these test units to us, but that really is a rookie mistake.
Happily the PB Extreme 7105W (with sticker removed) performed exceedingly well in our test suite, comfortably beating even more expensive machines that we have tested.
Despite the issues I had with it, I would still rate this machine as worthy of consideration. One of its benefits is that it comes with a full warranty from a reputable, local (depending what city you are in) retailer. PB Technologies has its own service and support department, too. Last but not least, the PB Extreme 7105W is one of the best value-for-money rigs I’ve seen in a long time.September 2012 Gaming PC Shootout. Find full specifications, benchmarks and comparable models here.