Velocity Micro has sent us other lower-cost gaming PCs that support multiple graphics cards, but we were dismayed to find that one of the last ones we reviewed switched to a single-card motherboard shortly after we reviewed it. That can happen, especially to smaller vendors, but we're heartened this time around in that Velocity Micro is still offering the same motherboard a month or so into this PC's availability on its Web site. Velocity Micro says despite the "Holiday Edition" name, this configuration will be available through January 1, and it may be extended to a "Winter Edition" afterward if demand is high enough.
Aside from the ability to accept a second graphics card, the Vector Holiday Edition also offers a fair number of other internal expansion possibilities. The system already comes with 4GB of RAM by way of two 2GB memory sticks, but you also get room for two more, allowing you to double the memory easily. You also get two 1x PCI Express card slots, as well as two standard PCI slots. One has a wireless networking card in it, and you'd need to move it to add a second graphics card due to slot overlap, but either way we're impressed by the extent to which this PC is both feature-rich and expandable.
That diversity extends to the outside of the Velocity Micro as well. You get the usual array of USB 2.0 jacks, but the motherboard also provides two USB 3.0 inputs, as well as FireWire and eSATA jacks. That's should leave you free to connect the vast majority of external devices. Velocity Micro also provides a pair of PS/2 mouse and keyboard inputs for your old school input devices. Audio jacks come by way of an S/PDIF optical output, as well as jacks for 7.1 analog output. For video, the graphics card includes two DVI ports, as well as a Mini-HDMI output.
|Velocity Micro Vector Holiday Edition||Average watts per hour|
|Annual operating cost (@$0.1135/kWh)||$67.99|
Given its overclocked CPU, we're not surprised to find the Velocity Micro consumes more power than either the Acer or the Gateway. At least you get the extra performance. Expect to see a not-insignificant $5.67 or so extra each month on your power bill for this PC.
Velocity Micro's service and support compares well with that of other boutique vendors. Like Falcon Northwest and others, Velocity Micro relies exclusively on in-house phone support technicians, and though it doesn't offer 24-7 phone support, you can get in touch from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, which is a pretty fair window. The warranty on the system covers parts and labor for a year, as well as one year of depot repair service. And Velocity's Web site has all kinds of useful support resources.
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