NCIX, a very nice choice for *nix.

The bad news for Canadian Linux users is that we’ve no System76 or ZaReason to call our own. The good news is that we have NCIX.

I’ve previously done business with them in the form of smaller purchases — specifically hard to find¬†Mobilicity handsets for friends. But a high-end custom-built desktop computer — sans Windows — was a much bigger deal. What finally spurred me to place my order was their secret weapon:¬†Physical stores.

The helpful manager of my nearest location wasn’t himself well-versed in hardware requirements for Linux, but all he really needed to assemble a system for me was my short list of critical components; most of the other parts were cherry-picked from a list of weekly specials.

System highlights:

Fit and finish.

I could have saved fifty bucks and built the computer myself, but whoever did it for me clearly loves their work — the inside of my finished tower is a wondrous thing to behold, and boxes for the individual parts were made available for pickup with my assembled rig. Oh, and start to finish took all of three business days. Bam.

If you’re wondering about the warranty, I can take my system back to any NCIX store for free servicing within the next year; after that, the manufacturers’ coverage on the separate components takes over.

Icing on the cake.

If the savings and service weren’t enough to win me over, some additional touches sweetened the deal:

  1. Mix & match optical drives. At the manager’s suggestion each of the two optical drives in my tower are from different manufacturers — if data from a dual-layer DVD can’t be read by one of the drives, I just have to stick it in the other one. Clever.
  2. Zero Dead Pixel Exchange. I hate hate hate dead pixels, so this additional coverage was worth every penny of the ten-or-so extra dollars I paid for it. Even if my new monitor is flawless. Which it is.


You’ll have to forgive me if I sound like I’m gushing over NCIX here. You’ll also have to believe me when I say that I’m absolutely not getting kickbacks from a shady referral program or anything; I just had a really great experience, and wouldn’t hesitate recommending them to anybody. And apparently I’m not alone.

It’s taken a while for this former iTard to appreciate the value of a system that doesn’t have an immediately-recognizable logo on the hood. But thanks to my new favourite computer store, I’m never going back.


  1. Bah, I still miss the days where Netlink’s receipts were full letter size manila pages. But I still buy all my stuff there. =)

    Top tip: the same company owns and I think a few other online sites with different branding and names. DirectCanada has somewhat lower prices for just about everything. Netlink will match most of the DirectCanada prices if you take a list of the DC SKUs into the store with you and ask the rep. Even if they can’t match it, you’ll get some discount. There’s no reason ever to pay list for just about anything at Netlink.

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