Boutique PC builders: When you want the very best


consists of the Mach V, Talon and FragBox desktops, accompanied by Falcon's portables: the DRX, TLX and -esque I/O.

The brand has been in production since 1992. With a 3-GHz Intel Core i7 850 processor, 6GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTS 450 graphics card and a 500GB hard drive, the base $1,903 unit is hardly a slouch. You can bump it up to a Core i7 Extreme processor, 12GB of memory, dual ATI HD 5970 graphics cards, two hard drives and an SSD; the grand total for that is $6,897.

To really impress your buds, you can add a full-on custom paint job or one of Falcon's own designs. The cases are hand-painted using high-quality automotive paint. For example, the motif will set you back another $1,250. My favorite, the paint scheme, almost looks three-dimensional and costs $900.

According to Falcon Northwest founder Kelt Reeves, the company recently completed a customized FragBox -- a small form-factor PC measuring 8 x 10.75 x 14.75 in. -- with a purple flame paint scheme and a price tag of $17,000.

come with displays measuring 17 (DRX), 15.6 (TLX) and 13.3 (I/O) in. Size and heat restrictions limit the base $1,459 I/O, a 13.3-in. notebook that's the "baby" of the group, to hard drive upgrades (up to a 500GB hard drive or 256GB SSD).