SEATTLE, WA — April 7, 2014 — What do you get when you take some former Alienware executives, have them part ways after its acquisition to Dell and give them enough money to do something else? They reinvent themselves and come back more laser-focused than ever before with what made their former company so great at what it did; ready-to-go performance that had been pre-tweaked from the factory.
Enter Origin PC – this Miami Florida-based company started up in 2009 and has been making strong headway in the high-end performance PC arena ever since.
Even though my background pre-2008 is all in technology with an emphasis on PC hardware, it’s always great to see how it progresses in regards to performance, power reduction and at lower costs. The Chronos gaming desktop represents all of those things we look for in a reliable gaming PC in a rather small form factor.
Using an EVGA Hadron Air chassis, the Chronis features a water-cooled CPU which allows Origin to achieve high overclocking with lowered noise emissions over most standard air-coolers. It’s an incredible little case that packs most everything one would want in a small form factor, including a 500-watt “gold rated” power supply.
It doesn’t have the traditional front-loading optical drive, instead it uses a slide-insert/eject unit with its port on the right-hand side of the case. The only items you’ll find on the front panel are Origin’s swanky-looking logo and the power button.
Inside, we have the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780ti, 16 gigabytes of system RAM, an ASUS Mini-ITX Z87 motherboard, an Intel 4770K Core I-7 quad core processor with Hyperthreading, a Samsung 840 EVO 512GB SSD drive, an 8xDVD+RW drive and enough ports on it to satisfy the most hard-core of PC gamers. Networking chores are handled by the integrated 10/1000 Ethernet port and the built-in 802.11 A/C wireless. For those with Bluetooth devices, there is built-in Bluetooth 4.0 as well.
The on-board audio of our demo unit was really good but not as great as we’ve seen from the likes of an add-in sound card from Creative Labs – which is available as an upgrade- but the on-board should suffice for most gamers.
Unless otherwise state, all tests were done at maximum detail and graphical settings on a 24-inch LCD monitor at a native resolution of 1920×1200.
Home Accelerated: 4440
SSD Performance: 425.75 MB/Sec
Storage Score: 5035
Creative Accelerated: 4927
Work Accelerated: 5254
3DMark Cloud Gate:
Physics score: 8892
3DMark First Strike @ 1900×1200 16xFSAA:
Graphics score: 9196
Physics score: 12447
Graphics test 1: 51.13
Graphics test 2: 32.83
Physics test: 39.52
Combined test: 16.31
1920×1200 – 92.3fps
1920×1200 – 114fps
Call of Duty Ghosts:
1920×1200 – 75fps
Assassins Creed Black Flag:
1920×1200 – 62fps average
1920×1200 – 98fps
We took-on some of today’s blockbuster PC games and showed some of its system-level performance with PCMark. As one can plainly see, the Chronos has no problems delivering average framerates of over 60 frames per second in each of games tested. Sixty is an important number because anything below that becomes very perceptible by the human eye and is not a very good gaming experience.
Day to day use – to most people – is what really matters with a PC and with its lightning fast Samsung 840 EVO SSD drive feeding data to the quad-core Core-I7 4770K at blistering speeds, there are not many chores a desktop user can do that will really make this system break into a “sweat”. Most of today’s most graphically-intense games are GPU bound and not CPU – the NVIDIA GTX 780Ti is easily one of the most powerful video cards out and one of the most expensive but to those who want the power, it’s here.
Even though there are three large exhaust fans, the overall noise level is relatively quiet and additionally there is an Origin utility installed that allows you to set the various fan speeds, monitor temperatures as well as voltages.
Origin does allow you to do quite a bit of customization with its web-based customization tool of Chronos, so if the price of our test unit is a bit much for you, there are some CPU and GPU along with ram configurations that will lower the cost quite a bit.
Backed by a standard 1-year warranty (extended warranty is available), it’s hard to beat the performance, ease of mind and stellar lifetime labor, 24/7 customer support you’ll find in this nicely-woven small PC. If you’re at all in the market for a power-house gaming system/workstation then you should seriously consider looking into this incredible “little PC that could”.
Price as tested: $3,084.42
Company website: www.originpc.com