Evatech vs the Rest. Custom PC Retailers Compared

We (Evatech) was proudly one of the first Australian retailers to offer a fully featured website that put customers in control of their custom PC builds, while ensuring you don’t accidentally order a system that isn’t compatible. Over the years, we’ve heard from our customers that our website is the best experience they’ve found, and we thought we’d check out what the competition has to offer.

We were fairly surprised to see that nobody has caught up to us. Here at Evatech, since launching our custom PC builder, we’ve never stopped coming up with ways to make it better or easier to use. Yet our competition are still years behind, lacking even the most basic features.

  • Instant on page incompatibility checking on all major component combinations (tens of millions of possible combinations) !
  • On page PSU wattage requirement calculator, because higher wattage means nothing if your not using it!
  • Performance indicators for all the latest and greatest PC games so you know what to expect before you spend a dime.
  • Order tracking from the moment you checkout so you can check in on every state of the process from invoicing to building, testing, packing and dispatch.
  • A very clear yet comprehensive guide to putting together a well rounded custom gaming PC for those not so familiar with PC hardware, available to browse as you build.
  • The ability to save configurations indefinitely, re-edit them, share them with friends or family for advice and come back later when it’s most convenient for you.
  • A physical location in Melbourne where local customers can drop in and get real advise from the team who are happy to walk you through every step of the process and take the order right there over the counter.
  • Secure, well packaged and fully insured courier delivery. We’ve shipped tens of thousands of fragile high powered custom PCs nation wide and know how to do it right.

Let’s compare.

Scorptec

Makes no attempts at error detection or compatibility checking. Instantly I was able to have an AMD CPU on an Intel motherboard with incompatible RAM that doesn’t fit the board. I also finished a PC build without a power supply. Even ignoring all this, the process of clicking to add each component and being forwarded to a different page and having to select your desired component (and figure out if it’s compatible for yourself) is really quite time-consuming and confusing. In the end, there doesn’t seem to be a way to save a configuration to share with others or come back to later. There’s very little effort put into helping the customer customise a PC here.

CentreCom

A little more structured than Scorptec, limiting you to choose a matching Intel CPU and motherboard, if I select an AMD CPU they have no AMD motherboards apparently, so I couldn’t go any further with that. After that however, the helping hand stops entirely. I was able to do the following without any complaints from the website to suggest it is not possible:

  • 3x M.2 SSDs for a motherboard that doesn’t support M.2 devices at all
  • RAM doesn’t fit the motherboard
  • Motherboard doesn’t fit the case
  • 2x optical drives in a case that has no optical drive support
  • Thermal paste as my CPU cooler, with no option to add an actual CPU cooler after the fact
  • An ADSL2+ splitter/filter as network adapter
  • iPad case/cover as my case accessory

Mwave

A little more structured again, a layout similar to our own. They have a lot more options for base system choice, which for the most part just seems to lock you down to a case or choice of a very limited number of cases, and then a very limited number of motherboards, graphics cards, RAM choices, etc. At the other end of the spectrum, in their most expensive configurable system, you’re able to select the impossible combination of 4x liquid cooled GTX 1080 cards and a 280mm liquid CPU cooler, 3 PCI-E SSDs, a PCI-E network adapter, and a PCI-E sound card, in a motherboard that doesn’t support that many PCI-E devices and a case that wouldn’t physically fit the hardware little own have a proper place to mount it.

PLE

Locked into compatible CPU/motherboard combinations just like Mwave and Evatech. Again though, we are able to select RAM that doesn’t fit the motherboard, a motherboard that doesn’t fit the case, a power supply that doesn’t provide enough power for the components, and a confusing warranty selection process which can leave you uncovered by the warranty if you’re not careful, despite paying for it.

GR-TEK

Use of questionably generic sounding HiPro non 80+ power supplies with advertised wattage that (if true) are completely overkill. Additionally, there are plenty of old previous generation components & default component selections that make for extremely un-optimized builds.

Take their ‘Black Ops’ gaming PC for example, combining a very high end 6800K / X99A CPU and motherboard combination with a low end, previous generation  AMD R7 360 video card. For those of you now sure why this is so ridiculous,  this budget GPU will bottleneck the CPU so badly when gaming that a system they are charging over $2000 for and powered by one of the highest end CPUs on the market would struggle to hit 30FPS in games like GTA V or Battlefield 1 at 1080P.  There is no logical reason for this pairing, either go for a WAY cheaper CPU so your not just throwing your money down the drain, or shell out a lot more of a GPU that actually makes sense to pair with a i7 6800K.

Oh and by default with a 750w power supply (when the max power draw for the configuration is around 300-350W) and we did some searching, HiPro power supplies are not officially distributed in Australia as far as we can tell. The only results we found other than GR-TEK were in Russian and Chinese where they go for the equivalent $30-$40. Any reputable PC builder will tell you the last place you should be skimping of quality in a high end build is the power supply, it’s the heart of machine, a primary point of possible failure and the type of component that if it catastrophically fails, could wipe out half the system with it.

The International Competition

(AVADirect, Origin PC, Xidax etc)

Slick websites for the most part and while some are slightly better than others, they for the most part have less options,  advertise pricing in USD before tax, work out to be rather expensive (and charge a lot of shipping because, well it’s travelling half way around the world). These guys might have big budgets, flashy websites and endorsements from youtubers and podcasters but when you weigh up the pro’s and con’s, buying locally with local warranty and support just makes soo much more sense.

The “uncustomisables”

A lot of ‘off the shelf’ gaming PCs can picked up from big box retailers like JB Hi Fi, Harvey Norman, Bing Lee and the Good Guys and while these aren’t customisable so not really within the scope of this article, it’s worth a mention as many of the same issues exist.

Aside from the fact that these are almost always well overpriced for what they are, they are often configured to match a sales pitch and real gaming performance. i7 CPUs with frankly, crap old video cards are extremely common because some marketing suit in a head office somewhere is banking on the fact that poor suckers who don’t know better will buy simply based on the idea i7 is higher than i5 or i3 so it must be awesome.

In addition, these guys don’t exclusively sell PCs and the salesman (and women) pushing you to buy it often have no idea what they are talking about and are just trying to hit sales quotas. Don’t expect any real advise or any quick professional advice or assistance should something go wrong after you purchase.

and all the other little or not so little guys…

If you really dig deep, there is a lot of little places you can buy a “custom” gaming PC but be wary of the pitfalls. Unbalanced systems, selling previous generation components as if they were the latest greatest thing, generic components, poor after sales support, slow turn around times and potential incompatibilities are all unfortunately rampant.

Evatech

Proudly Australian owned and operated from day 1, founded and run by true PC and gaming enthusiasts who love what they do and wanted to do what they love. Customisable PCs and PC building has been our core focus for most of our existence. It’s not just something we dabble in casually. It is something that takes up near 100% of all our staff members’ time in one way or another.

We sticky only use brand new, trusted first tier, latest generation components in every build, picked specifically for reliability and performance. No generics, no refurbs, not now, not ever. This is not just a sales pitch, this is a guarantee.

Our website is developed in-house by our own staff, built from the ground up solely around the custom PC building experience and constantly revised, updated and improved to provide the best possible experience to customers based on our own professional experience and of course our great customer’s feedback. This means if we think of a great new feature, its up and running a few days later, or if we find an issue it’s addressed immediately.  Outsourcing to the lowest bidder with a close enough is good enough mentality might be how other players do it, but we don’t settle for anything less than perfect, because we don’t expect our customers to either.

While the stores mentioned here are just some of the big players (plenty that were not mentioned), custom PC building is an afterthought on top of their normal business of selling parts and offering repair services. The horror stories we’ve heard from customers about other stores usually boils down to our competition’s staff members either not being adequately trained or knowledgeable, or carelessness and overlooking details, which is a likely result of being rushed or having many other things on their plate.

Contact any one of our sales or support team and you will get honest advice from experts tailored to suit your exact needs. We tell customers every day that there configurations are overkill for their needs and help them save money or optimize their builds for maximum value. No up-sells, no commissions or sales targets to hit or the dirty salesman’s tricks that go with it.

Still not convinced? Give us a try, that’s all we ask. Let our sales team show you what good customer support can be, and explore our website to discover how well really truly custom PCs can configured online.