If we still consider a gaming supply is a PC that’s so big, we have to chuck a celebration to get assistance lifting it out of a box, we’ve got news: Performance PCs don’t have to be enormous anymore.
Nothing illustrates that fact some-more than Origin PC’s redesigned Chronos micro-tower, that packs state-of-the-art hardware into a appurtenance not many bigger than last-generation gaming consoles. Sure, you’ll throttle during a price—$4,865 as configured—but a opening we get from such a compress appurtenance is impressive.
Most boutique vendors use off-the-shelf designs or somewhat mutated cases, though for this generation, Origin designed a Chronos from blemish and had it built to spec.
I’ve seen smaller micro-towers, though not many that are as accessible to wrench on. You’re usually a few screws divided from accessing a RAM and CPU cooler, and even stealing a GPU. Overall accessibility is utterly good for a PC this small.
A lot of micro-towers are dictated to be used vertically, though Origin gives we a choice. Want it horizontal? Just immigrate a magnetized feet and lay it flat. The antecedent box we saw during CES authorised we to stagger a trademark too, though a exam unit’s trademark wouldn’t budge.
Powering a Chronos are an 8-core Core i7-5960X and 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM in an Asrock motherboard. The RAM is in dual-channel mode, that is a usually choice in a house this small. That competence shock off some people, though my possess testing indicates a opening strike is minimal in many tasks.
Gaming chores are left to Nvidia’s top-dog Titan X graphics card, that competence sound like an peculiar choice given a choice of Nvidia’s GTX 980 Ti. The 980 Ti is roughly as quick and a lot cheaper, though for some reason, PC vendors have taken a VR disturb as an event to pull a Titan X instead.
Origin has overclocked both a CPU and GPU in a Chronos. The 5960X is liquid-cooled, and it’s been increased to a operation of 3.7GHz to 4.4GHz (its batch operation is 3.0GHz to 3.5GHz). The EVGA GPU is air-cooled with a batch cooler, though still gets a strike of 195MHz to a GPU core and RAM. This should all supplement adult to a unbending opening increase, and for a many part, that’s true.
For storage, a Chronos comes with a 512GB Samsung M.2 850 Evo NVMe SSD and 5TB Western Digital Red tough hoop drive. The PCIe-based NVME expostulate is no slouch, with Crystal Disk Mark 4.0.3 measuring consecutive review speeds in a 2.5GBps operation and consecutive write speeds in a 600MBps range.
You also get a slim slot-fed Blu-ray burner combo drive, and a 600-watt PSU provides copiousness of extract for all this hardware.
Because we shouldn’t buy an 8-core PC and afterwards leave those cores unused, a initial exam was encoding a 1080p MKV record regulating Handbrake 0.9.9. This renouned giveaway encoder loves CPU cores—the formula pronounce for themselves when we review a Chronos with a quad-core processors in a zero-point desktop complement and Velocity Micro’s Skylake-based Z40. The Haswell-E systems eat a quad-cores alive, though I’m a tiny let down by a scores from a Chronos when built adult opposite the CyberPower Trinity Xtreme. The Trinity Xtreme also uses a Haswell-E chip, though it has 6 cores instead of 8.
Most people shopping a Chronos will have a goal of personification games, so we tested this tiny tower’s gaming opening regulating a fake though well-respected 3DMark benchmark. As expected, a GeForce GTX 980 and a GeForce GTX 970 get left in a dust. The overclocked GeForce Titan X outpaces a stock-clocked label in a CyberPower Trinity Xtreme, too.
Tomb Raider Performance
We also gave a genuine diversion a go, and ran Tomb Raider during 2560×1600 fortitude with a Ultimate preset to see how a Chronos stacks up. Tomb Raider is indeed a tiny some-more supportive to CPU time speeds, so a faster chip in a Chronos outpaces a Trinity Xtreme by a healthy clip.
4K gaming performance
To find out how a singular Titan X handles a some-more complicated game, we ran Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor at 4K Ultra HD fortitude and set to Ultra with a 4K hardness pack. we also threw in a formula from a Falcon Northwest appurtenance with 3 Titan X cards and a Maingear PC with four Titan X cards inside, to give we an thought of how a micro-tower Chronos compares to beefier systems,
You can see a classical quandary with GPU scaling illustrated here, as we don’t triple (nor quadruple) opening in Middle-earth. Still, we can clearly see that both a three-card and four-card systems are faster.
I also ran a appurtenance during 4K fortitude in Rise of a Tomb Raider, The Division, and Rainbow Six Siege regulating Very High for Rise and Ultra for a latter dual games. Rise of a Tomb Raider and The Division had support rates in a low to mid-40s, while Rainbow Six was in a 60s.
The upshot is a Chronos has adequate chutzpah for some games during 4K, though others will need branch down settings to strike a enchanting 60fps mark. That’s not bad for a single-GPU appurtenance as tiny as an Xbox 360.
If there’s one thing we should take divided from a opening numbers you’ve seen, it’s that a Chronos is a quick machine. It crushes quad-core machines in a CPU-heavy tasks such as video encoding, and a overclocked GeForce GTX Titan X also outpaces other single-Titan X machines we’ve seen.
The problem is that opening ain’t free. When we bucket adult a Chronos with a compute- or graphically heated task, a fans flog in—enthusiastically. The sound isn’t server-fan shrill, though it’s noticeably loud. You won’t wish it on on your table but a headset on and a volume cranked.
There are bigger reasons than fan sound to give gamers postponement about a Chronos: If a rumors, leaked pictures, and tools on eBay are right, we’ll be saying uninformed hardware from Intel, Nvidia and AMD within months. It competence be wiser to wait and see what comes down a pipeline, generally given those new tools should work usually excellent in a Chronos’ existent design.
Still, we like what we see. The Chronos is quick and compact, and it facilities a lot of crafty touches like a captivating feet and workable interior. Yeah, a cost is formidable to swallow during scarcely $5,000—hell, a paint pursuit adds scarcely $500 to a cost tag, and with a $1,000 CPU and a $1,000 GPU, those extras all supplement adult quickly. The good news is that during slightest we get a opening you’re profitable for.