Cody Cardarelli May 16, 2011

Origin Chronos

At A Glance


Fast and sexy, with a small foot print to boot.


Extremely noisy under gaming loads.

Like a tall, cool drink of hella-fast computer

The Origin Chronos was an early bet on which system would be the fastest here, as we’ve seen what other vendors can do in Silverstone’s fabulous FT03 case.

Despite it having the same volume as the AVADirect and iBuypower machines, the FT03 occupies a smaller footprint than all others here, including the CyberPower LAN Party Evo, yet it accommodates an incredible amount of hardware.

The open access of the FT03 case makes wrenching inside the system a joy compared to the other rigs here.

Yeah, we know, it’s tall. But for folks who want to stuff their machine under a desk, or even keep it atop a desk, system height is rarely a problem. We can’t really see the FT03’s height being an issue unless you have to store your rig in a foot locker or a cubby.

Inside the FT03 is a Core i7-2600K overclocked to 4.7GHz, a pair of GeForce GTX 590 cards, and an Asus P8P67-M Pro board. To keep costs low, Origin runs a pair of 64GB Crucial C300 drives (what no M4 available?) and keeps the system RAM to 8GB of DDR3/1600.

The Origin PC’s performance is quite competitive. It walked past the others in our ProShow test, but it just couldn’t wrest the crown from the wicked-fast AVADirect machine in Sony Vegas and MainConcept Reference.

Think of the Origin PC Chronos as the Manute Bol of PCs. It’s tall, but really doesn’t take up that much room.

So it’s fast and it’s beautiful, there’s gotta be a catch, right? Unfortunately, yes. Like the AVADirect, the Origin’s fans are tweaked to increase as the system heats up. With Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 590 cards producing the heat of a phaser on overload (even with the case drilled out to add ventilation), the Origin PC’s case fans spool up to unbearable levels. And due to the pitch of the fans, you get a din that’s annoying as hell during gaming. It’s as bad, if not worse, than the AVADirect’s dual Radeon HD 6990s under gaming loads. To be fair, if the Origin’s acoustics could have been better managed, it likely stood a chance of winning this affair—the same goes for the AVADirect. But as it is, they are both too loud.

And that’s just a shame. Because, like the AVADirect, Origin’s is a majorly fast system that costs even less than the Falcon Northwest FragBox. But it’s just too damn noisy for us to recommend it.

$3,800, www.originpc.com

Processor Intel 3.4GHz Core i7-2600K (overclocked to 4.7GHz)
Asus P8P67-M Pro (Intel P67 chipset)
RAM 8GB DDR3/1600
Two GeForce GTX 590 cards in SLI
StorageTwo 64GB Crucial C300 SSDs in RAID 0, 1TB Western Digital 7,200rpm HDD
Optiarc Blu-ray burner
Silverstone FT03 / Silverstone 1,200 watt

Zero Point
Origin PC Chronos
Vegas Pro 9 (sec) 3,049 2,256
Lightroom 2.6 (sec)
ProShow 4 (sec)
Reference 1.6 (sec)
2,113 1,537
STALKER: CoP (fps)
Far Cry 2 (fps) 114.4 203.8

Our current desktop test bed consists of a quad-core 2.66GHz Core i7-920 overclocked to 3.5GHz, 6GB of Corsair DDR3/1333 overclocked to 1750MHz, on a Gigabyte X58 motherboard. We are running an ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics card, a 160GB Intel X25-M SSD, and the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate.


Origin Chronos

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