It has been a long time since I cared about driver support and Direct X. I will admit it, for the better part of the last decade I have exclusively been a console gamer. The simplicity and design just aligned more with my lifestyle. Sure, PC gamers were always talking about how powerful their machines were, the latest mods for Just Cause 2 and, of course, their graphical superiority. Recently, my tastes have evolved. I want to consume as many experiences as possible, and PC gaming seems to be at the forefront of that idea. Steam and other streamlined solutions have motivated me back to the world of video cards and RAM upgrades. What better way to get back into it, than by obtaining a PC from the guys who really started the high-end PC consumer show?
First, let’s cover a little history on ORIGIN PC. Let’s get one thing out of the way, this is NOT the EA game service and this hardware manufacturer is not affiliated with EA. The confusion with the names is understandable, though. ORIGIN PC is basically what became of Alienware after Dell moved in and changed the dynamic of high-end PC gaming. The three founders of ORIGIN, Kevin Wasielewski, Richard Cary and Hector Penton created ORIGIN back in 2009 with one idea in mind: getting back to their roots of creating custom-designed, high-end machines with the hardcore enthusiast in mind.
Customization is also a huge part of the company’s direction, not only in technical setup, but also design. There are several artists on staff that can custom design cases for you. You can check out a selection of their work on their Facebook page, and a lot of the samples look great, especially when accompanied with the lighting technology they offer. They also offer up plenty of technical customization. Want the latest Titan video card? They can slap that in, complete with an SSD drive and professional overclocking that simply blazes when put to the test. It is also worth noting that their liquid-cooled technology is maintenance-free, and super effective. Combine that with their trademark wooden crate they use for shipping, and you have an experience unmatched in the business.
Based in Miami, Florida, ORIGIN PC continues the philosophy that Alienware started, but with more options, and a customer-focused mentality. I recently sat on a call with Eddy Piedra, Marketing Specialist at ORIGIN PC, and asked him what really set the company apart from other manufacturers in the field. The customer was a recurring theme, and he proceeded to explain all the things the company does to ensure each buying experience is easy and friendly. When you visit the website, you are greeted with simple options. Do you want a gaming PC or laptop? Do you want something small and compact, or large with massive room for expansion? The process is very easy to navigate, and options are thoroughly explained. It’s the second level of service that makes it work, though.
Anytime you get hung up on something, including technical questions, you can simply chat with a live representative directly from the site. Prefer a phone call? The option is also there and available 24/7. This is one feature that impressed me. No matter how mundane the request, these guys are here to answer it immediately. I tried this feature out a few times during my research to discover that responses were quick, and the answers direct. No one had to transfer me to a technician, and everyone was friendly regardless of the juvenile nature of my inquiries. Their level of customization and their expertise in the business is something I respect. Their support before purchase gives me confidence that I’ll be taken care of should something go wrong with my ORIGIN PC down the road.
We are running their Chronos model, which is the small form-factor machine that is easy on size, but still big on power. Inside is an i7 3770k processor, complete with ORIGIN’s overclocking technology. We have 8GB of RAM and are running an NVIDIA GeForce 670 with an SSD to boot the OS. It literally takes seconds to go from powering on, to being within Windows. It is amazing how much of a difference an SSD makes. When showboating the normal benchmarks, everything goes through the roof. Windows Experience index scores are insane (even though we claim they all don’t mean anything, we still run them) and benchmarking games in the 100+ frames per second category is insane. Whatever game you want to run, we can max it out.
For the initial setup, I ran everything I could think of. Whether it was a solid indie game, or a big-budget shooter, the Chronos handles it all without a hitch. Even running on a massive 55-inch screen at 1920×1080 resolution, the custom liquid-cooled technology inside the box keeps it running whisper quiet. Seeing a game like Saints Row: The Third running on Ultra settings really puts things into perspective, especially after so much time as a console gamer. Factor in now that almost all games support an Xbox 360 controller plugged into the PC, and you just have better looking, and running games.
I couldn’t be happier with my new rig. It has been over a decade since I had a machine capable of running games like this, and now I remember why it was so exciting. Sure, PC gaming has downsides like compatibility and driver issues, but they can be overlooked when everything runs smoothly. If you are in the market for a top of the line gaming PC, I cannot recommend ORIGIN’s service and products enough.