(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|1,600 x 1,200 (high, 4x aa)||1,280 x 1,024 (medium, 4x aa)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|1,920x1,200 (DirectX 10, 4x aa, very high)||1,440 x 900 (DirectX 10, 4x aa, very high)|
Our gaming charts suggest that we might have found the limit for GPU effectiveness in Crysis, at least with ATI-based cards. With a pair of dual-chip Radeon HD 5970 cards, the Origin Genesis comes to our gaming tests with four GPUs total, doubling the graphics processing of the single dual-chip Radeon HD 5970 in the Mach V, and pair of single-chip Radeon HD 5870's in the Maingear Shift. But despite having twice the horsepower, the Genesis only tied the Maingear system on Crysis. Our hunch is that Crysis isn't designed to scale very well across more than two GPUs, but ATI's software drivers could also be the culprit.
Our Far Cry 2 scores, arguably more relevant than the Crysis figures, show that on the games that do support it, the quad-Radeon GPU setup provides a very definite performance improvement. If you have the high resolution display(s) to take advantage of them, a pair of dual-chip cards can be are worth the extra outlay, but you'd be smart to make sure the games your want to play can take advantage of four Radeon HD GPUs first.
Understandably, with two dual-wide 3D cards installed in the Genesis, you don't have a ton of expansion card room leftover. There's a single free PCI Express slot, as well as an open standard PCI slot. That's it. You have room to add three more 3.5-inch hard drives, and only three of the six RAM slots were taken, so you can certainly add meaningful components to this configuration post-purchase. But in terms of adding new features by way of expansion cards, your options are somewhat limited.
External ports on this system are mostly in keeping with our expectations for this kind of PC. You get 10 external USB 2.0 ports, S/PDIF, coaxial digital, and 7.1 analog outputs, a pair of eSATA ports, and a pair of FireWire ports. Each graphics card has a pair of DVI ports as well as a mini DisplayPort output, although the Genesis can only support up to three displays in this configuration.
The one missing piece in the Genesis's connectivity options is the lack of USB 3.0 ports, which, along with SATA 3.0, come with newer Intel X58 chipset motherboards. Few products if any support USB 3.0 right now, so it's not an immediately useful feature, but for future-proofing, as well as the fact of the Genesis's $5,000 price tag, it's reasonable to demand that Origin support USB 3.0 as well. Origin has added USB 3.0 to the Genesis' configurator via a Gigabyte motherboard, and it also has USB 3.0 add-in cards available.
|Origin Genesis||Average watts per hour|
|Off (60 percent)||2.37|
|Sleep (10 percent)||258.1|
|Idle (25 percent)||319.27|
|Load (5 percent)||587.31|
|Annual power consumption cost||$167.75|
We don't expect from high-end gaming desktops in terms of their power efficiency, but Falcon Northwest demonstrated that with the right settings, you can have fast performance and at least minimize the damage to your annual power bill. With the tweaks Falcon made, it will consume roughly half as much power as the Origin Genesis will over a year. In monetary terms, the Mach V will cost you roughly $7.46 a month in added electric charges. The Genesis will tack on $13.98. As you can see from our comparison chart, the Genesis isn't the only high-end desktop that draws more power than necessary, but we hope Origin and others will take a page from Falcon Northwest and explore ways to reduce their power usage.
Service and support tends to be a way for boutique shops to distinguish themselves from their mainstream and no-frills competition. Origin PC is no exception. It boasts lifetime in-house phone and online service for the Genesis, as well as lifetime labor coverage. The default parts warranty only covers you for a year though. Falcon Northwest offers three years of parts coverage with every Mach V. Both vendors also offer discretionary shipping coverage to send your PC in for repair, although Falcon explicitly states that it will pay for overnight shipping both ways should it be necessary to send the system in, Origin is less specific in the details of its shipping coverage.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 4.0GHz (overclocked) Intel Core i7 920; 6GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; (2) 2GB ATI Radeon HD 5970; (2) 80GB Intel X25-M solid state hard drive; 1.5TB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive
AVADirect Custom Gaming PC
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit);
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