AVADirect

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AVADirect Custom Computers
Private
Industry Computer hardware
Founded 2000
Headquarters Twinsburg, Ohio
Key people
Alex Sonis CEO
Gary Muravin COO
Travis R. Bortz EVP
Products Desktops
Workstations
Laptops
Tablets
Mini PCs
Media PCs
Servers
Website AVADirect.com
Avalanche II Hardline Liquid Cooled Gaming Computer
AVA Omni VR Desktop
AVA Sixense VR Desktop

AVADirect Custom Computers is an American computer manufacturing company located in Twinsburg, Ohio. It specializes in the design, engineering, and production of customized high-performance computer systems. AVADirect’s custom computers span the spectrum from Microsoft Windows or Linux manageable and highly-reliable servers to high-end computing workstations - gaming systems to business PC’s - and, notebooks to barebones systems and parts. AVADirect offers over 1 billion different custom computer configurations to customers located in the United States of America.

History[edit]

Freedom USA, Inc. d/b/a AVADirect Custom Computers was founded in 2000. The company was originally established on the business model of building and selling custom computers at trade shows in the Northeast quadrant of the United States during the millennial PC boom. As the company grew, the demand for an online marketplace increased, and company founders wanted to give customers the opportunity to customize computers with the maximum number of hardware options. In 2003 Freedom USA, Inc. changed its name and business model from on-site computer retail to a custom computer E-commerce business model and AVADirect Custom Computers was born.

Products[edit]

Late November 2015, AVADirect released three new lines of computers:[1] Avant, Affinity, and Ascendant. The Avant Gaming Series is composed of six Gaming PC's and three Gaming laptops, varying in size and power. The gaming computers in the Avant line focuses on encompassing all gamers, from casual players to enthusiasts. The line features the latest generation of components to provide maximum power and performance. The Affinity Series is AVADirect's line of systems for home use, including Home computers and laptops, Home servers, Home theater PCs, and Network-attached storage (NAS) solutions for the average user. All Affinity systems are equipped with Skylake processors. The Affinity line is aimed at the everyday computer user, with a focus on multitasking, streaming, and web browsing. The Ascendant Series is AVADirect's business line, with powerful Workstations for advanced users like engineers, researchers, graphic designers, and other creative professionals. The line includes servers, desktops, laptops, and workstations, with a focus on demanding applications and processes, such as AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Suite and rendering power.

In the spring of 2015, AVADirect began partnering companies in the virtual reality industry to build computers for specific VR needs. AVADirect builds the AVA Omni VR Desktop to work in conjunction with the Virtuix Omni virtual reality locomotion simulator.[2] Similarly, AVADirect offers the AVA Sixense VR Desktop to work in conjunction with the Sixense STEM System virtual reality motion control controller.[3] In December 2015, AVADirect worked with Road to VR, a virtual reality publication, to develop the “AVA Exemplar by Road to VR” which the publication uses as the benchmark computer to compare virtual reality devices and applications.[4] In March 2016 AVADirect introduced the Avatar, their own VR computer.

In February 2015, AVADirect released an exclusive line of custom computers that were researched and developed as solution-based configurations for high-performance computing for specific consumer niches. The Signature Series line of custom computers includes: PC Gaming desktops and Virtual Reality based computer configurations.[5] In November 2015 AVADirect added two new computers to its Signature Series line: the Avalanche II and the Avalanche Mini. Both custom gaming PCs use hardline liquid cooling and processors with the Intel Skylake architecture.

AVADirect manufactures a variety of Gaming computers, including high performance desktops and laptop configurations for PC Gaming and enthusiast computing. These include a wide variety of full-sized desktops, Liquid Cooled Gaming Computers, Quiet Gaming Computers, and Mini Gaming Desktops. Performance based gaming laptops are also included as a mobile gaming option in the gaming hardware offerings. Custom gaming computers feature high performance graphics processing units from industry leaders such as AMD and NVIDIA.

Desktop computers are a primary form-factor offering from AVADirect Custom Computers focused on delivering performance computing solutions intended for regular use at a single location. This custom computer company offers full-sized desktops, Silent Desktops, All-In-One Desktops, and PC Barebones including configurations that feature cases from industry leaders such as Corsair, Cooler Master, EVGA and Fractal Design, NZXT Corp, and Thermaltake.

AVADirect offers custom Workstations that are designed for professional use that require computational efficiency featuring performance hardware for application based scenarios for professionals including scientists, graphic designers, content editing professionals, and architectural engineers for applications like AutoCAD who require computational and graphical processing power for efficient work.[6]

AVADirect offers custom Laptops that include brand names including Asus Clevo, Getac, Micro-Star International, and various other brands for hardware customization in portable notebook form-factors. Notebooks from AVADirect span a variety of models including Desktop replacement computers based on a Z97 chipset,[7] Ruggized notebooks, and Ultraportable models.[8]

In addition to laptops, AVADirect offers next generation touchscreen computers, or Tablets for interactive, mobile computing. AVADirect features the NVIDIA Shield Gaming tablet for gaming, media interactivity, and streaming content. They also have expanded tablets into the Ruggedized industrial enterprise space.[9]

Mini PCs from AVADirect are configured for minimal footprint hardware. AVADirect has developed a small, high performance desktop for mini computing scenarios including the featuring the Intel NUC.[10]

Media PCs are also available from AVADirect. These computers serve as a variety of uses in the home as they can be considered a content or media hub for home entertainment users. A Home Theater PC is different from a standard desktop featuring additional hardware components, such as a Cable TV Tuner, allowing for Input/Output functionality from a traditional cable service providers. HTPC’s can also receive gaming components to produce quality performance on next generation televisions on as a gaming console replacement device.[11]

Custom data storage Servers and enterprise storage solutions are available from AVADirect including web based, proxy, enterprise file dedicated, GPU server systems, application specific, and custom cloud based custom server hardware are available at AVADirect.[12] AVADirect has a history of working with large universities and organizations to provide powerful and reliable server and storage solutions. AVADirect has also catered to small businesses providing NAS units.

Virtual Reality[edit]

AVADirect launched their signature VR Desktop and Laptop, The Avatar, in early 2016. Designed to meet and exceed the hardware requirements of virtual reality, the Avatar VR PC was put through extensive research and development and has since received immense accolades and praise from a number of tech publications.

Avatar Virtual Reality PC

In December 2015, AVADirect and Road to VR, an industry leading publication dedicated to consumer virtual reality, launched a partnership to combine each company's core competences and create the AVA Exemplar VR PC. The AVA Exemplar is a virtual reality desktop configured with the help of Road to VR to provide a seamless virtual reality experience without a heavy price tag. Road to VR uses the AVA Exemplar in their US and UK offices to benchmark and review VR games, accessories and platforms.[13] In August 2016, AVADirect launched the AVA Exemplar 2, an updated version of the AVA Exemplar using a new chassis and the latest generation components.

In 2015, AVADirect partnered with a second virtual reality company, Sixense, by creating the AVA Sixense VR Desktop. Configured to compliment the Sixense STEM System, a wireless virtual reality motion tracking system. AVADirect was featured with Sixense at the 2015 Game Developers Conference and the 2016 Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference. Throughout the partnernship, AVADirect has continued to provide the Sixense team with AVA Sixense VR Desktops for R&D and development of the Sixense STEM System and other Sixense software.[14]

In late 2014, AVADirect entered the virtual reality industry by partnering with Virtuix Omni to create the AVA Omni VR Dekstop, a virtual reality desktop designed and configured specifically to support the Virtuix Omni platform. Throughout the partnership, AVADirect has been featured with Virtuix at tradeshows and conventions, including the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show and the 2015 and 2016 Game Developers Conference. AVADirect also continues to provide the Virtuix team with top of the line AVA Omni VR Desktops for internal R&D and development.[15]

Support[edit]

AVADirect provides U.S. based customer support and technical support for its customers. This custom computer company delivers personalized customer support providing consumers current computer industry insights and knowledge regarding custom computer configuration information. AVADirect.com provides technical support for all custom computer configurations with its team of level 3 technical experts, indicating the highest level of technical expertise for computer hardware. AVADirect Custom Computers provides lifetime support for all computers purchased through their company.[5]

Certifications[edit]

AVADirect "God Mode" Extreme Gaming PC

AVADirect has an ISO 9001, International Organization for Standardization certification—AVADirect Computers and available products are registered among Microsoft’s industry hardware standards that ensure products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. Such standards help businesses increase productivity while minimizing errors and waste. By enabling products from different markets to be directly compared, they facilitate companies in entering new markets and assist in the development of global trade on a fair basis. The standards also serve to safeguard consumers and the end-users of products and services, ensuring that certified products conform to the minimum standards set internationally. AVADirect is a General Services Administration Schedule contractor |GSA-GS35F0159V|. This independent agency of the United States government supplies products and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal government employees, and develops government-wide cost reduction policies, and other infrastructural management tasks.[16]

AVADirect is a Microsoft Certified Partner as a licensed independent technical support provider offering a comprehensive, wide range of support channels for Microsoft and multi-vendor products. This support includes data management, software development, application development and others. Additional vendor partnerships include Premier Intel Channel Partners; AVADirect is one of a select group of customer computer manufactures to be fully compliant with the organizational requirements representing the Intel® Channel programs of solution providers, system integrators and value-added resellers.[17]

AVADirect is also compliant with all current ANSI/ ESD 20:20 standards. This standard provides technical and administrative requirements for establishing, implementing, and maintain an ESD Control Program to protect electrical parts, assemblies, and equipment susceptible to ESD damage from Human Body Model (HBM) discharges greater than or equal to 100 volts.[18]

AVA Aurora build from the Intel Extreme Rig Challenge

Awards[edit]

AVADirect competed in the Intel Extreme Rig Challenge in the summer of 2016, where 12 of the top North American custom computer builders competed to create the most extreme gaming rig possible with a budget of $10,000. Builders were voted on via Twitter throughout the months of June, July and August and the top 7 buiders were featured at PAX West 2016 in Seattle. AVADirect created the AVA Aurora and placed 4th overall, earning a showcase spot at PAX.[19]

Steven Bassiri at TweakTown gave the AVADirect Avant Mini Cube the award of "Must Have Performance Award" in early August 2016. Complimented on its performance, quality of build, features and value, the Avant Mini Cube received a 93% Overall TweakTown Rating.[20]

In June 2016, AVADirect was awarded the 2015 Boeing Performance Excellence Award - Silver Level. Out of 18,000 global suppliers, only 442 achieved Silver Level by maintaining a strong commitment to quality, performance, and continued innovation for each month for the duration of October 2014 to September 2015.

Digital Trends awarded the AVADirect Avant Tower a Digital Trends Recommended Product, calling it "a god-tier desktop at a peasant's price" and giving it an 8/10 review in May 2015.[21]

In January 2015, Notebook Review awarded the AVADirect Avant P970DM-G 17" Gaming Laptop with the Editor's Choice, calling the laptop "one of the most impressive gaming notebooks we’ve seen". Scoring a 4 star review, editor Jerry Jackson complimented the laptop's high performance level, excellent customization options, impressive speakers and silent fans.[22]

In November 2015 the AVADirect Avalanche II was awarded the 2015 Tom's Hardware Reader's Choice Award. "AVADirect is in the money with its $5,900 Avalanche II, earning a Tom's Hardware Reader's Choice award for its well-picked hardware, stylish chassis and custom water loop," said Derek Forrest, a freelance writer for Tom's Hardware.[23]

AVADirect's Menace (Clevo P770ZM) Gaming Laptop received the Editors' Choice award with a score of from 8.14 NotebookReview.com, a subdivision of TechTarget. Charles P. Jefferies said, "We’re pleased to extend our Editor’s Choice award to the AVADirect Menace (Clevo P770ZM) for combing desktop power into a civilized semi-mobile package every bit as formidable as its name implies."[24]

To wrap up 2014, PCWorld awarded AVADirect's Quiet Gaming PC as the top Quiet Gaming System in The Best Gaming PCs and Hardware of 2014 year-end gaming review. "AVA Direct pulls off its acoustic trick without resorting to liquid cooling. No, it's air cooling on the CPU and the video card, yet you can game at 2560x1600 without listening to the constant whine of fans," says Executive Editor of PCWorld, Gordon Mah Ung.[25]

In August 2014, AVADirect Quiet Gaming PC won the Editor's Choice Award by TweakTown. Systems Editor Trace Hagan said, "We appreciate how hard it is to make a quiet PC, and AVADirect has done an excellent job in that regard. This system is barely audible while under full load, and that makes gaming on this system a pleasure."[26]

AVADirect is an active participant in the ResellerRatings community, and has the designation of an Elite merchant. (In order to have a Reseller Ratings Elite badge, a company must have a minimum 8.00 rating over a lifetime of customer reviews. Currently, they have a customer rating of over 9.9 out of 10.)[27]

Reviews[edit]

Charles Jefferies of Computer Shopper reviewed the AVADirect Avant Mid-Size Desktop in late September 2016. The Mid-Size, equipped with an Intel Core i7-6700K overclocked processor and two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080's running in SLI, earned Computer Shopper's Editors' Choice as well as the "Good for Gaming" badge with a 4/5 star rating. The Mid-Size was able to produce some of the highest benchmarks and gaming frame rates Computer Shopper has ever seen. Jefferies was blown away by the power and performance of the Avant Mid-Size, as well as the overall aesthetics of the desktop.[28]

In early September, 2016, Ben Kuchera from the tech and gaming website Polygon (website) reviewed the Avant 34" Gaming All-In-One. Kuchera described the experience of playing at a 21:9 aspect ratio as "a neat middle ground between a standard monitor and virtual reality," and noted that being able to see things in your peripheral vision helps you to feel much more locked into the game's experience. Kuchera also complemented the customization and upgrade-ability of the 34" Avant All-In-One.[29]

Gordon Ung of PC Gamer got the first look at the AVA Exemplar 2 Ultimate VR Desktop right at the launch (mid-August, 2016), which was featured in an article testing the physical effects of low-end VR hardware versus high-end VR hardware. The Exemplar 2 was used as the high-end control hardware. Ung noted that the PC didn't just meet the specs needed for virtual reality, it exceeded them and "There’s obviously no comparison between our sub-spec PC and the AVADirect Exemplar 2 and its GeForce GTX 1080. On the AVADirect machine, VR on high is beatifically, buttery smooth,". Through the demonstration, Ung learned that low-end VR will in fact have serious physical effects causing nausea and sickness.[30]

In early August 2016, AVADirect sent Steven Bassiri from TweakTown their Avant Mini Cube Gaming Desktop from their signature Avant Gaming Line. Configured at a high end price point, the Avant Mini topped all of TweakTown's gaming performance. Combined with the pristine cable management, the Avant Mini Cube Gaming Desktop received TweakTown's "Must Have Best Performance Award" and scored an overall TweakTown rating of a 93%. "Overall, I was impressed with the build quality and performance of the Avant Mini Cube, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a blazing fast gaming PC," said Bassiri.[20]

Avant P870DM2 17" Gaming Laptop

Tom's Hardware's Derek Forrest took a look at the AVADirect Avant P870DM-G Gaming Laptop in July, 2016. The laptop, which was equipped with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Mobile Graphics Card and an Intel Core i7-6700K processor, matched up evenly or above in benchmarks Forrest ran against competitor's laptops of similar builds and price points. "The Avant sports plenty of premium features of its own. G-Sync makes a huge experiential different in the latest games, and the desktop components offer superb performance. LED backlit keys and accent lighting really stand out; this thing looks the part of a true gaming laptop, and you'll certainly turn heads at a LAN party," said Forrest, wrapping up the review.[31]

Nathan Lake with Computer Power Magazine received the AVADirect Avatar VR Desktop in late June 2016, complimenting the performance, price, and size. "Ready to jump aboard the VR train, but don’t have the hardware horsepower necessary to punch your ticket? The Avatar VR Desktop is optimized to handle the demanding requirements of virtual reality. Every possible system configuration includes a VR-ready GPU, and AVADirect lets you design your rig with up to two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition GPUs" says Lake.[32]

AVADirect hooked up with Dan Ackerman with CNET for a look at the AVADirect Avatar VR Desktop in early June, 2016. AVADirect sent CNET the Avatar Ultimate configuration, including the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti VR Edition (configuration now equipped with GeForce GTX 1080) and an Intel COre i7-6700K processor. Ackerman said, "Everyone seems to be marketing a gaming desktop with top-end parts as "built for VR." AVADirect, like a small handful of other PC makers, has actually put some thought into that idea, most notably including a front panel with VR-ready HDMI and USB port" and "Gaming and VR performance was excellent, and the tidy interior was neatly cabled".[33]

Tom's Hardware had a first look at the AVADirect Avant P750DM-G Gaming Laptop in May 2016. Alexander Quejado got to explore the sleek and powerful gaming notebook with positive things to say regarding the performance for a reasonable price. "The P750DM-G outperforms similarly- or higher-priced systems," says Quejado. Quejado also said, "AVADirect also gives you the tools needed to squeeze every bit of performance from its Avant P750DM-G. Similarly, the software suite provides artistic direction: audio can be refined to your liking and the back-lighting can be tweaked to match any them".[34]

Xopher Reed at WatchPlayRead received the AVADirect Avant Mini Tower, equipped with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, 8GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i5-6600K processor, in mid-May 2016. Reed had great things to say about the computer, including "I highly suggest that if you’re looking or are in the market for a new gaming PC that you check out AVADirect, they make a great computer that hit everything on my pro list and nothing on my con. Even the price point is excellent". Reed also mentioned "I’m going to be looking at one really hard when I need to replace my old Gateway in the office".[35]

Avant Tower Gaming PC

Digital Trends reviewed the AVADirect Avant Tower in May 2016. Reviewer Brad Bourque was sent the system with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti, 16GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i7-6700K. Bourque said, "the Avant is built for users who might want to add on later... The result is minimal clutter in the visible area of the case, with power and data mostly running behind the motherboard. Should you need to access the internals, it’s simple enough thanks to a hinged side panel with a quick release handle... If it’s value you’re hunting, it’s hard to beat the AVADirect Avant".[36]

In April 2016, Mike Fahey from Kotaku took a look at the AVADirect Avant P870DM-G Gaming Laptop, equipped with an Intel Core i7-6700K and Nvidia GeForce GTX 980. Fahey said, "for those who prefer power over portability in their gaming laptops, the AVADirect Avant P870DM-G with the Geforce GTX 980 is the best you can get in a single GPU configuration," and "a laptop like this seems like an awesome alternative to moving my entire office into our more spacious living room. Steam’s VR performance test seems to think so as well. I was so impressed I even ran 3DMark 11. I never run 3DMark 1".[37]

Computer Power User Magazine showcased the AVADirect Avalanche Series in April, 2016 with a review of the Avalanche II and the Avalanche Mini by Nathan Lake. Lake compliments the series on the outstanding benchmark results, ultimate configurations, supreme power and boutique aesthetics. Lake says, "There’s an unpretentious elegance to the Avalanche Series’ interior. Whereas some builders use bright, showy color schemes and systems nearly bursting with hardware, AVADirect opts for precise, clean lines and gentle white illumination that perfectly match the white hardline tubing. The effect makes the interior look roomy, even though neither chassis is a full tower. The high-quality hardware and generous overclocks assure performance that matches the precision look." [38]

In January of 2016, Jerry Jackson from NotebookReview took a look at the AVADirect Avant P870DM-G Gaming Laptop form the Avant Gaming Series. Jackson said the P870DM-G "represents the pinnacle of PC gaming for early 2016," and "is a genuine desktop replacement with the optional desktop-class NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 graphics providing best-in-class performance for the latest generation of visually intense games." [39]

Paul Lily at MaximumPC broke down the Virtual Reality gaming space featuring a Signature Series configuration in the AVA Sixense Virtual Reality Desktop, "You can feel that we're on the verge of a virtual gaming revolution, or so several companies heavily invested in VR technology hope. We're right there with them -- not from an investment standpoint, but from the perception of a fan, as we've played around with some awesome VR demos. Looking to give the category a nudge, Ohio-based boutique builder AVADirect today announced a pair of desktops designed in collaboration with Sixense for the latter's Stem System."[40]

Jeff Bakalar's CNET published an exclusive review for the Avalanche, AVADirect's first high-performance hardline liquid-cooled gaming computer, . "But now that it's all said and done, the final product is not only a liquid-cooled machine that outperforms every similar rig we've tested, it's also a work of art."[41]

Tweaktown's Anthony Garreffa reviewed the pioneering AVADirect AVA OMNI VR DESKTOP, specifically handcrafted for the Virtuix Omni to bridge the gap between standard PC gaming, and a fully immersed, total body virtual reality gaming experience. "With all of the news of VR headsets and games, one can get lost in the reality of it all when it comes to purchasing a new PC that is ready for all things VR. This is where AVADirect's new Omni VR desktop comes into play," says Anthony Garreffa.[42]

PCWorld gave AVADirect Custom Computer's i7 X99 Custom Gaming system a gleaming review (4.5 out of 5 stars) in late December 2014. "The configuration of the i7 X99 that AVADirect sent us comes as close as any PC I’ve seen to perfectly melding class and gaming flash", said Freelance Writer for PCWorld, Jon L. Jacobi.[43]

Tom's Hardware reviewed an AVADirect Mini Cube Gaming PC form factor - Good Looks, Price, And Performance, (December, 2013). "AVADirect offers a vast array of top-end hardware and an extremely talented staff. But the company decided to go even further to prove that its custom-built machines could challenge both the quality and the value of our own efforts," says Thomas Soderstrom.[44]

On September 26, 2011 AVADirect had a system reviewed in the premiere episode of Wrecknology for machinima.com. The system was stated as being "One of the fastest computer we have ever tested!" and was then sawed entirely in half. In December 2008, AVADirect received 8 out of 10 from MaximumPC for their Core 2 Crossfire DDR 3 Gaming System, with reviewer Gordon Mah Ung citing the system as "a nice machine and sensibly priced, given the amount of hardware it packs".[45]

In March 2009, AVADirect's Core i7 computer was reviewed alongside two other boutique manufacturers, Alienware and CyberPowerPC, on Tom's Hardware.[46]

Competitors[edit]

AVADirect’s indirect competitors include large manufacturers such as Dell and HP. Its direct competitors include boutique manufacturers such as Alienware, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest, Origin PC, Maingear, Puget Systems, and Velocity Micro.

References[edit]

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  3. ^ Parrish, Kevin (22 April 2015). "AVADirect Expands Signature Series With Sixense VR Gaming PCs". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
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  46. ^ "Three Core i7 Systems From Boutique Builders". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 

External links[edit]