capsule review

Origin Genesis Review: Near Perfection in a Gaming PC

At a Glance
  • Origin Genesis X79

    PCWorld Rating

    Origin's Genesis X79 is a beautiful, boutique system to fit your every gaming need.

Origin already has one system on our performance desktop chart; consider its Genesis LGA 2011 X79-based rig to be an encore, as when your favorite band finally busts out your favorite song (and then some) after it’s bowed and exited.

This $4599 desktop (as configured) returns to the computing concert with a hex-core processor in tow. Origin has juiced up Intel’s Core i7-3930K from its stock-clock speed of 3.2GHz to a whopping 4.9GHz. Time to send in the water-cooler—Origin’s own “Frostbyte 360” cooling system, featuring a triple-bay radiator and three 120- millimeter fans—lest one’s desktop burst into flames.

The impressive overclock joins 16 gigabytes of memory and four solid-state drives configured in two separate 240-gigabyte RAID 0 arrays (one boots straight to the system’s 64-bit installation of Windows 7 Home Premium). No fewer than three Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 video cards grace the clean insides of the Genesis ’s custom BitFenix Shinobi XL chassis—eating up the entirety of the Intel DX79SI motherboard’s available PCI Express slots. While it’s surprising that Origin didn’t opt to water-cool its video cards as well, that move would likely have added still more to the new Genesis’s price.

The system price may seem steep, but it’s actually right in line with its class, especially when you compare the Genesis’s ’s performance in WorldBench 7 against its peers. The desktop’s score of 196 doesn’t lead the category—full-tower desktops like Maingear’s Shift Super Stock (205) and Primordial Computers’ Medusa (207) are technically faster. They’re also a lot pricier: For just under a five percent drop in performance, Origin’s Genesis arrives anywhere from $1896 to $3368 cheaper than the competition.

Impressive Gaming Performance

And this desktop keeps up on its gaming, too: Its 154.8 frames per second on a Dirt 3 benchmark (2560 by 1600 resolution, high quality) is just a hair under the Medusa’s 156 frames per second. On Crysis 3 (same resolution, ultra quality), the Genesis outperforms both the Medusa and the Super Stock.

The Shinobi XL chassis looks absolutely stunning. Red highlights painted (or glowing) on the case’s front look even better than the case’s normal all-black façade. The system’s water-cooling setup forces its multi-format card reader and Blu-ray combo drive to sit in the bottom two 5.25-inch bays; you might be able to install additional devices into Genesis ’s two free screwless 5.25-inch bays, but it’ll be a pretty tight fit. Four USB 3.0 ports rest near the top of this desktop’s front panel, joined by an additional USB 2.0 connector that Origin’s commandeered and boosted for faster recharging of connected devices.

The internal wiring job on the Genesis is practically flawless — that’s boutique craftsmanship for you. The medusa of SATA and power cables for the system’s four SSDs and single two-terabyte drive is well-hidden – you’re on your own should you choose to add two more drives to the systems’ final two free drive trays. A single blue LED light strip adorns the extreme left side of the case, a nice (but meager) complement to the case’s side-panel window. And you’ll definitely want to keep that side panel nice and shut. Even with it on, the Genesis is quite audible as a result of its beefy air- and water-cooling setup.

The Genesis’s rear might seem sparse at first, but that’s due to the complete (and acceptable) omission of any graphical connections for the system’s X79 motherboard. Two USB 3.0 ports join six USB 2.0 ports, optical S/PDIF, a FireWire port, two gigabit LAN connections and integrated 7.1 surround sound on the mobo itself. The systems tri-SLI setup delivers a whopping six DVI, three HDMI, and three DisplayPort connections. All that’s missing from this smorgasboard is some eSATA love, a fairly minor omission given the diversity of all the other connection types.

Origin didn’t bundle a mouse or keyboard with this review system, but you’re welcome to choose from a number of different products when configuring the system on the company’s easy-to-use website.

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to dislike Origin’s Genesis performance desktop. The price point is lower than the competition; the performance, practically top-shelf; the particulars, pleasing. It’s not the fastest overall system on the charts (barely so), but it offers one of the best combinations of features, construction, accessibility, and “wow” that you’re going to find, period. And this delightful desktop doesn’t even need a fancy new Ivy Bridge chip to get its point across, either!

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Origin's Genesis X79 is a beautiful, boutique system to fit your every gaming need.

    Pros

    • Excellent Price-to-performance ratio
    • Strong graphics for gaming (but loud!)

    Cons

    • No room for expansion cards
    • Lacks eSATA
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