Velocity Micro is somewhere between a boutique builder of workstations and a high-volume manufacturer. The company is big enough to be stocked by major retailers and to pack a bit of marketing swag in the box — a T-shirt and a book bag, in my case. But it wants you to think of it as one of the little guys, creating hand-built, made-in-the-U.S.A., engineer-tested alternatives to assembly-line workstations. The mix of big and small seems to be working for the company, as it continues to expand its product line and rack up winning reviews — and this review was no exception.
We tested the ProMagix HD80, a single CPU model designed for 3D CAD and media professionals. The HD80 is near the top of the ProMagix line of professional desktop workstations, exceeded only by the dual processor ProMagix HD360MAX (starting at $2,999). The HD80 comes in a custom designed full-size aluminum ATX case, which Velocity Micro says dissipates heat better than steel or plastic. One interesting feature is a top fan, which draws heat up instead of to the side, as in most workstations. "It's letting hot air do what it's always done: rise," says the online configuration page for the HD80. Liquid cooling is a $160 option, one I think necessary for only the most demanding users and environments.
In a summary sent with the workstation, Velocity Micro discusses its use of retail-grade components, stating that "not only are retail-grade parts easier to upgrade and service, their higher quality translates into more power and rock solid stability." The big name brands would counter by saying they specify all components to their demanding standards. I like the retail parts approach Velocity Micro follows, but each approach offers it own advantages. If you are one who likes to get under the hood, a workstation stocked with easy-to-upgrade retail parts is more suited to your style.
All Velocity Micro systems are covered by non-tiered, in-house support, 100% based in the USA. A call placed to our expert sales or support teams will never be routed anywhere offshore. Not ever.