When shopping for a serious gaming rig, it’s easy to spend a lot of money on fancy designs and flashy features. But what really makes a difference on the gaming grid isn’t an embellished tower case or funky internal design; it’s hardware. The Velocity Micro Edge Z55 updates the single-card mid-tower with Intel’s new fourth-generation Core i7-4470k quad-core processor and Nvidia’s powerful new GeForce GTX 780 graphics card. It’s not necessarily cheap, but it delivers exactly what gamers are looking for, performance that will lead them to victory.
Design and Features
The simple but stylish Edge Z55 dresses up the mid-tower PC with a sleek black plastic front panel that opens to reveal a tray-loading optical drive (an LG BD-ROM/DVD+-RW combo). The tower measures 18.2 by 9.2 by 20.7 inches (HWD)—just a little larger than the Digital Storm Virtue—but still small enough to tuck out of the way under a desk.
On top of the front panel, easily accessible, are four USB ports (two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0) and jacks for headphone and microphone. On the rear of the tower, you’ll find several more USB ports (six USB 3.0, four USB 2.0), along with two Ethernet ports, connections for audio, and several display outputs—HDMI, DisplyPort (both full size and mini DisplayPort), and DVI output.
A window on the left side gives you a view inside, letting you see the major components—like an Nvidia GeForce GTX780 graphics card, a 750-watt power supply, air cooling, and the Asus Z87-Deluxe motherboard. Built into the motherboard is integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi, along with Bluetooth 4.0 and 3.0+HS, letting you connect all of your wireless headsets or peripherals. An external Wi-Fi antenna gives you excellent reception, and a magnetic mount means you can slap it on the side of the tower or to any metal on your desk. If you need to get into the tower for maintenance and upgrades, it’s as easy as removing two thumbscrews at the back and sliding of the side panel.
Inside, you’ll also find plenty of storage, with a 2TB, 7,200rpm hard drive providing storage for you game installs and media library, and two speedy 128GB solid-state drives (SSD) paired in RAID0 for 256GB of flash memory, offering short boot times and zippy performance. Even with all that room, Velocity Micro leaves the drives alone—aside from preinstalling Windows 8 (64-bit) and drivers for the graphics card and other components, there’s nothing on the drives. Velocity Micro covers the Edge Z55 with a one-year warranty on parts and labor, with lifetime phone support.
Armed with Intel’s fourth-generation Core i7-4470K quad-core processor—the same processor found in the Digital Storm Virtue—with overclocking up to 4.4GHz (up from the 3.5GHz base) and paired with 16GB of RAM. With the new processor, the Edge Z55 offers strong performance, cranking through PCMark 7 with a score of 7,295 points, topping almost every comparable system from the previous generation, including the Editors’ Choice HP Envy Phoenix h9-1320t(4,033 points) and Maingear Potenza Super Stock (5,356 points). A Cinebench score of 9.64 points also puts it at the head of the pack, with the closest competitor being the similarly equipped Digital Storm Virtue (9.59 points). The Edge Z55 also finished our processor intensive multimedia tests with leading scores, finishing Handbrake in 29 seconds and Photoshop in 2 minutes 49 seconds.
The overclocked processor is joined by a potent Nvidia GeForce GTX780 GPU, with 3GB of dedicated memory. The results speak for themselves, with better than playable framerates in our gaming tests—83 frames per second in Aliens vs. Predator and 75 frames per second in Heaven, both at full resolution and high detail settings.
The Velocity Micro Edge Z55 offers a solid mid-range gaming desktop that packs in a lot of features—a Blu-ray drive, 2TB hard drive, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—on top of the a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 processor and a shiny new Nvidia graphics card. It’s a combination that should serve you well on the gaming grid now, and will continue to feel fast in the future. It can’t match the affordability of the Editors’ Choice HP Phoenix h9-1320t, but it holds its own against other top performers, like the Digital Storm Virtue and the V3 Gaming Traverse.
|Primary Optical Drive||Blu-Ray Disc|
|Processor Family||Intel Core i7|
|Storage Type||HDD, SSD|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GTX 780|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||2248 GB|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc