Windows patches CPU bug, gaming performance unaffected

News has been circulating about a processor (CPU) bug with all Intel chips released in the last ~10 years which requires an operating system level fix. There is a disclosure from Google which indicates AMD processors are also affected by this, despite AMD previously saying they are not impacted.

Early reports suggest if the exploit is taken advantage of by a malicious party, they could gain complete control of your system – this is purely speculative and absolute worst case – there is so far no evidence of this being exploited in the wild so far.

The patch required to fix this can cause an impact on performance. It will slow down “syscalls” (function calls where the program talks directly to the operating system). This includes everything from opening files to communicating over the network; it’s virtually impossible to write a program without it. Performance impact will vary between applications; programs that don’t make as many syscalls may be mostly unchanged or unnoticeable. Although there’s a lot of uncertainty, rumours, and secrecy involved (to ensure the information doesn’t get into the wrong hands before adequate steps have been made to keep us all safeguarded first): we have some benchmarks.

The fix released for Linux with an i7 6700 calling the getpid syscall 100,000,000 (one-hundred million) times:
Before the patch: ~3.8 seconds
After the patch: ~15 seconds

Gaming performance however is a completely different ballpark – because games doesn’t need to interact with the OS directly nearly as often (if at all) as gaming benchmarks (below) have proven.

Testing conducted on Linux with a Intel i7 8700K and Radeon RX Vega 64 (thanks to Michael Larabel @ phoronix)

It is imperative that you do allow the Windows updater to run in order to protect yourself from being compromised.

It’s important to note that Intel has stated any performance impacts are entirely workload-dependant (as our research also implies) and that for the average computer user, should not be significant, and that it will also be mitigated over time by further OS updates.

As for our customers, apart from ensuring their Windows updates are turned on and they let it complete, gaming should be largely unaffected, so, happy continued gaming!

Goodbye 2017… Hello 2018!

The year sure blew by here at Evatech HQ, we had a lot going on to keep us all busy.

Almost as soon as we started back in January, we had Intel’s 7th Gen CPUs launch; Kaby Lake. This also saw the introduction of Z270, H270, and B250 series motherboards. Previous series Z170, H170, B150, and H110 motherboards were able to take a BIOS update to cope with the 7th Gen CPUs, but were mostly replaced once the new stock had become abundantly available.

By late February we had added AMD’s comeback to CPUs and motherboards after their previous release which was back in 2011. Ryzen has had quite a few issues since its launch, and Evatech still advises against Ryzen for all our customers. We also released our own warranty service, dropping support of National Warranty Services (NWS) in order to give Evatech ultimate control of the quality of work carried out on our customers’ PCs.

In March we saw Nvidia launch the highly anticipated GTX 1080 TI graphics card, which is still the best gaming graphics card you can buy today. Ryzen also released their lower-end CPUs. Evatech officially picked up InWin cases. While not the easiest or most conventional to build in, they do have an undeniable pleasing look to them once completed.

April. What can I say? We kept our heads down and got work done.

Skipping ahead to May, we got a look at RGB RAM done very, very right, with GSkill’s DDR4 Trident Z RGB RAM.

In June, we launched our Zurich workstation PC which has proved to be very popular amongst businesses and individuals who spend most of their time working in 3D design applications and the likes. A few weeks after the success of the Zurich, we added our Stealth PC, which offers home users the ability to go further than our original Everest PC in terms of performance, and is also focused on quiet operation. As if this wasn’t enough, Intel also launched their X299 series of motherboards, to replace the X99 series. With this of course, a new range of CPUs, for the first time ever going up to an i9 CPU, instead of the previous highest end i7 CPU.

In early July we were finally able to announce that we had been working with Channel 7’s hit new TV show focused on PC/console gaming; screenPLAY. screenPLAY airs on 7mate, and was recently moved from a Thursday 10pm time-slot to Thursday 7:30pm. The show is hosted by faces that should be familiar to most gamers or game enthusiasts: Stephanie Bendixsen (@hexsteph), Nich Richardson (@nichboy), and Miles Ross (@MilesTheRoss). Evatech supplied screenPLAY with the PCs they use to game on, record the gameplay, as well as edit and process the video footage for the TV show that is then aired on YouTube and/or TV! We also provided the gaming chairs you will see the hosts sitting on.

With August we started to get a taste for Bitcoin’s ability to influence PC hardware availability and pricing. Bitcoin’s price started to surge, and crypto-currency miners all over the globe started to buy up Evatech’s favourite GPUs: GTX 1060, GTX 1070, GTX 1080, and GTX 1080 TI. We turned away requests to building mining rigs, or customers who were obviously after graphics cards for mining purposes as we are all about gaming. We experienced some delays while we struggled to get our hands on top-tier graphics cards for our customers, but still managed to get PCs out on time for our gaming customers.

September started off with a bang as Deakin University placed an order for five X299 PCs, each of them identical: liquid cooled i9 7900X, 128GB DDR4 RAM, 4x liquid cooled GTX 1080 TI, a 2TB SSD, 8TB HDD, 1500w PSU, and sleeved PSU cables. After receiving the five PCs, they fairly promptly ordered another four of the same system for another campus. Oh yeah, each system was valued at over $14,000. Evatech single-handedly wiped out Australia’s stock of liquid cooled GTX 1080 TIs, meaning we had to bring in many units from the US to build the PCs in time. It was around this time that the crypto-currency mining had taken its toll on RAM availability and pricing, unfortunately.

Deakin’s second order of expensive PCs brought us into October, which also saw the new Quadro series of graphics cards added to our workstation PCs. Nvidia also released their GTX 1070 TI graphics card, which hasn’t seemed too popular just yet. We also loaned a gaming PC to screenPLAY to use at PAX in Melbourne (since they film in Sydney). Later in the month, we were introduced to Intel’s 8th Gen CPUs; Coffee Lake. Availability of Coffee Lake was next to non-existent however, and Evatech’s website didn’t begin offering Coffee Lake powered custom PCs until later the next month… What’s the next month?!

November! We were finally able to list Coffee Lake in our Valkyrie X custom PC. Kaby Lake is still offered in our Valkyrie system, along-side Coffee Lake, probably for the next 6 months or so until Intel finishes the 8th Gen release entirely. So far, we’ve only got Intel’s Z370 series of motherboards, with the rest to follow in the first half of next year (rumoured).

With our workload really ramping up in November, December had started and we hadn’t even realised it for the first week. Apart from getting PCs out to customers all over Australia in time for Christmas and the summer school holidays, we had a lot to be thankful for: coming to the end of our best year yet. Due to being a relatively new company in this space, we’ve only just really started to see return customers in a big way this year. With their old systems just not able to keep up with the ever-demanding new game releases. We’re happy to see happy customers come back for more of the Evatech experience.

We have a lot of people to thank, starting with you; the customers. Without you, we simply wouldn’t be able to work in such a challenging and rewarding space, being able to bring dreams to reality for those who know what they want and those who are unsure but don’t want to be ripped off or mislead.

Next goes to our hard-working staff; management, purchasing, accounting, technicians, support, and sales. All working together seamlessly to maintain our high customer satisfaction levels.

Finally to all our partners; distributors, brands, and couriers. Without any of these, we’d have nothing. And let’s not forget our happy friends over at screenPLAY! We’ve thoroughly enjoyed sponsoring the show, as well as prizes to happy viewers of the show.

Thank you to all who have been a part of our journey so far, we sincerely look forward to working with all of you in the new year, and also aspire to please the newcomers in 2018.

Look for us in the new year – we’re here to stay, but might have a new look…

Hope you and your loved ones have very happy and safe Christmas & New Years celebrations.

Valkyrie Custom Gaming PC in NZXT Source 340 White

An affordable yet powerful beast of a gaming PC that looks clean – sure to power our customer’s gaming needs for years to come.

With a primarily black and white theme going on the little red accents around the CPU cooler fans really pop.

The NZXT Source S340 White edition with it’s matte black interior finish not only looks great but has plenty of room for future upgrades.

Continue reading “Valkyrie Custom Gaming PC in NZXT Source 340 White”

Valkyrie Custom Gaming PC in NZXT Source 340 Elite Matte Black

A fairly simple and well balanced configuration that will be a great performer for years to come. The colour combination really came together well, which will look great behind the full tempered glass side panel. We’re sure that our Sydney based customer will enjoy this even more than we have!

See below for specifications and more pictures.

Case: NZXT Source 340 Elite Matte Black
Motherboard: Intel H270 Chipset mATX
CPU: Intel Kaby Lake i5 7600K 4-Core 4.2GHz
CPU Cooler: 120mm Tower Air Cooler
RAM: 16GB DDR4 Quad DIMM Black Series
Primary Storage Device: 250G SATA3 SSD
Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 1080 8GB
Network: WiFi Dual Band N PCI-E Adapter
Power Supply: 600w ATX 80 Plus Bronze
Operating System: Windows 10 64bit Home Edition USB
Anti-Virus: Norton AntiVirus
Packaging: Heavy Duty Packaging & Internal Foam – Required for all shipped custom PCs
PC Warranty: Bronze 1 Year On Site Pickup & Return Premium Warranty Service
Service: Full Assembly, Burn-in Testing, and Setup

Start customising your very own gaming PC.





Wraith Custom Gaming PC in Corsair 760T Black

A custom PC build with no sacrifices made. Everything in this build screams high quality and high performance, along with high capacity and high capabilities! Our Victoria based customer will surely be happy with their brand new Evatech gaming PC. Check out the specifications and more pictures below:

Case: Corsair Graphite 760T Black Full Tower
Motherboard: AMD AM4 X370 ATX Extreme Edition
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700X 8-Core 3.8GHz
CPU Cooler: 240mm Enclosed High Performance Liquid Cooler
Additional Fan: [2x] Additional Premium Performance Case Fans
RAM: 32GB DDR4 Quad DIMM Black Series
Primary Storage Device: 2TB SATA3 SSD
Second Storage Device: 8TB Hard Drive
Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 1080 TI 11GB
Second Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 1080 TI 11GB
Optical Drive: BluRay Internal Writer
Sound: Creative Sound Blaster ZX PCI-E Sound Card
Network: WiFi Dual Band AC Ultra-Fast PCI-E Adapter
Case Lighting: White Sleeved LED Cable
Sleeved PSU Extensions: Premium Sleeved PSU Cable Kit – White/Red/Black
Power Supply: 1000W 80 Plus Gold Modular
Operating System: Windows 10 64bit Home Edition USB
Anti-Virus: Kaspersky 1 Year Licence
Office Suite: Office Home & Student
Packaging: Heavy Duty Packaging & Internal Foam – Required for all shipped custom PCs
PC Warranty: Titanium 5 Year On Site Pickup & Return Premium Warranty Service
Fast-tracked: Jump the Queue – Ships or ready to collect in under 5 business days*
Service: Full Assembly, Burn-in Testing, and Setup

To start customising your own gaming PC, head over to our website.

Ryu Custom Gaming PC in Corsair Air 240 White

This build came together really well – Corsair’s white Carbide Air 240 case with MSI’s Mortar Arctic motherboard which is also white, teamed with Asus’ GTX 1070 Dual, white again, and ID Cooling’s liquid cooling unit which has a very subtle white LED logo. All that with the red accents from the RAM and sleeved power supply cables really comes out looking great.

This particular build is on it’s way to it’s new owner Sydney right now and we hope they love it as much as we do.

The Carbide Air 240 from Corsair can be vertically mounted as shown in the photos or rotated 90 degrees horizontally with the square Corsair logo at the front also rotatable to match (hence the green tape holding it in place for shipping).

Checkout the listing here for more details and photos. (link)

This small form factor (ITX) build as configured using our custom PC builder page with built in error checking, live quoting, easy online checkout and literally millions of possible hardware combinations to select from. The Air 240 also comes in black for those interested with 10+ other options to choose from too if this particular model isn’t your style.

Don’t forget you can shoot us an email or drop in to the store any time to discuss your next dream custom PC and we ship nation wide providing our built to order computers not only to Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra but everywhere between and beyond.

If you’re looking to configure something similar to the machine shown in these images checkout this link (here)

  • Case: Corsair Carbide Air 240 White
  • Motherboard: Intel H270 ITX AC Wifi Edition
  • CPU: Intel Kaby Lake i7 7700 4-Core 4.2GHz
  • CPU Cooler: 120mm Enclosed Liquid Cooler
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 Dual DIMM Red Series
  • Primary Storage Device: 256G SATA3 SSD Pro Edition
  • Second Storage Device: 3TB Hard Drive
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 1070 8GB OC Edition
  • Sleeved PSU Extensions: Premium Sleeved PSU Cable Kit – Red
  • Power Supply: 700w ATX 80 Plus Gold
  • Operating System: Windows 10 64bit Home Edition USB
  • Office Suite: Office Home & Student
  • PC Warranty: Bronze 1 Year On Site Pickup & Return Premium Warranty Service
  • Fast-tracked: Jump the Queue – Ships or ready to collect in under 5 business days*
  • Service: Full Assembly, Burn-in Testing, and Setup

Need for Speed 2017 (Payback) [details & trailer]

It’s been 2 years since the Need for Speed reboot (2015, or 2016 for us [un]lucky PC gamers) hit the ground and for the most part was received pretty well, even despite EA pushing the release back on PC to make sure it was as polished as we deserved. Personally I found that it lived up to most of the hype and was a worthy NFS title after a string of questionable releases with perhaps a few exceptions. But it’s now 2017, marking another 2 year gap between titles, and while there had been a long radio silence on the upcoming game, EA broke that silence earlier this week officially confirming a 2017 release date for the next NFS title.

Some of the key things mentioned in their post:

  • The word “drift” was subtly thrown in
  • That by the end of November 10th 2017 you will be playing a new Need for Speed game
  • Customisation is here to stay, for the upcoming release and beyond
  • Cops and police chases
  • Open world wasn’t explicitly confirmed, but hopefully was implied – it’s 2017, a title as big as NFS should definitely be open world from here on out
  • Always-online gameplay is no longer necessary!

That’s about all they’ve given us for the time being. They’ve promised more details in the coming weeks and months before release – we guess that the next instalment of news will come June 2nd 2017 as suggested by the image.

If you want to build a PC capable of playing Need for Speed 2015/2016, check out our gaming PC customiser!

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. Continue reading “Evatech vs the Rest. Custom PC Retailers Compared”