How Velocity Micro Went From Cabinet Sales to PC Building

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by AlphaAtlas, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

    Mar 3, 2018
    Velocity Micro is known for making top end, expertly crafted, and pricey computer systems, and we've reviewed several of their offerings in the past. But the Richmond, VA based builder didn't start off making PCs. According to a report by the Chesterfield Observer, Randy Copeland, the owner of Velocity Micro, started off as a cabinet salesman. Even though he got a D in his mid 1980s computer class, Copeland started building his own PCs, and offered some of his IT expertise to customers to help boost his sales. After founding his own cabinet company, he started Velocity Micro as a "hobby" business, but went all in when Maximum PC reviewed one of his systems in 2002.

    The publication's review gave Copeland’s computer a 7 out of 10 rating. The magazine wrote that Copeland's machine didn’t have the latest and greatest prototype components, but was meticulously built with more craft and care than some of the other computers it had reviewed. Soon, other magazines started noticing Velocity Micro, including PC Gamer, Computer Shopper, PC World and Forbes. Copeland took the hint, and decided to focus his business on the high-end computer market. He began hiring employees and leasing space on Southlake Boulevard. At its production peak in 2007, the company had about 100 employees and built 5,000 to 10,000 machines a month, sold mostly through big-box stores like Best Buy and Circuit City. At the time, Velocity Micro distinguished itself from larger manufacturers like Dell and HP by building faster computers with the same parts.
  2. TangledThornz

    TangledThornz Gawd

    Jun 12, 2018
    Checked out their site and holy dollar signs, Batman; they're expensive.
    Flogger23m likes this.
  3. RogueTadhg

    RogueTadhg [H]ard|Gawd

    Dec 14, 2011
    Never heard of them.
    Flogger23m likes this.
  4. Compddd

    Compddd [H]ard|Gawd

    Aug 6, 2003
    Seems expensive for what it is.
    DocNo and Flogger23m like this.
  5. trick_m0nkey

    trick_m0nkey Moderator Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Back in the 90s and early 2000s there were a decent list of specialized PC builders...Velocity Micro was one of the bigger and well reviewed ones. They even sold their computers at Best Buy for a couple of years. Glad to see that they are still kicking.
    DocNo, GoldenTiger and FrgMstr like this.
  6. Skull_Angel

    Skull_Angel [H]ard|Gawd

    May 31, 2010
    All things considered; the prices don't seem too far off from what pre-dell alienware was around.

    I haven't looked into why, but to me, it seems like the prices of a lot of custom gaming rigs have dropped dramatically since the late '90s early 2000s. I suspect it has something to do with QA though, considering all the issues I use to hear about concerning bad parts (untested and/or cheap) and driver issues (not using proper drivers). I'm not sure how it is currently because I haven't had many acquaintances come bragging and/or bitching to me about their custom pre-builts for a while.
  7. RagingSamster

    RagingSamster 2[H]4U

    Jun 6, 2003
    My main rig is housed in that 2nd Antec case - it is a sturdy (spelled "HEAVY") behemoth.
  8. northrop

    northrop grumman

    Sep 27, 2005
    Cool read, thanks for posting. I picked up one of their computers +10 years ago, and still use their Lian-Li case to this day.
  9. magoo

    magoo [H]ardForum Junkie

    Oct 21, 2004
    LoL, I bought an Alienware PC when Doom 3 was being released.....around mid-2000.

    I still have that Chief-Tec case shown in the video, the second case. Yup, it's heavy. I've modified it at least 4 or 5 times.
    It still lives on as a music server in my basement.
  10. mynamehere

    mynamehere [H]ard|Gawd

    Jun 30, 2007
    I've still got one of those cases sitting in my attic from my 2nd build. It was THE case to have back ithen.