Origin Chronos (2019) evaluation

Origin Chronos (2019) review

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“Tiny however mighty, the Origin Chronos will make you rethink the necessity for full-sized tower PC.”

Very small footprint

Wonderful efficiency

A number of hardware customization

Beats many full-sized desktops

May be noisy

Not a lot to take a look at

We love large tower computer systems. They’re huge, daring, absurd, and we frankly favor our computer systems to look extra like an alien monolith than a helpful piece of contemporary know-how. But our mind-set is definitely on the out. Computer systems proceed to shrink in measurement as they develop in energy.

Which brings us to the Origin Chronos. The smallest desktop PC within the firm’s line-up, the Chronos measures a bit lower than a foot tall, 4 inches extensive, and about 14 inches deep. That’s smaller than most A/V receivers, or in regards to the measurement of Microsoft’s Xbox One X. It provides full-fat efficiency regardless of that. Our evaluation unit got here packing a Core i9-9900Ok and Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti, certainly greater than sufficient to please.

Perhaps the query is not “why ought to I purchase a small desktop?” Perhaps it’s now “why ought to I purchase something however?”

Gaming desktop, or industrial machine?

There’s one speedy cause why a giant desktop will be higher. Design. A much bigger desktop can provide extra actual property to go wild with unusual, pointless prospers. Although typically cheesy, huge desktops at the very least are one thing. Origin’s Chronos is… nothing.

Origin Chronos review (2019 model)

Origin Chronos review (2019 model)

Origin Chronos review (2019 model)
Wealthy Shibley/Digital Traits

Nothing? Nothing. Have a look at it. It’s a bit steel field with a small badge on entrance. It’s not offensive, however it additionally doesn’t enchantment, except you need your pc to seem like a number of sheets of steel screwed collectively. This stands in stark distinction to Origin’s full-sized Millennium desktop, which has a singular and engaging customized enclosure.

You may add spice to the Chronos when you’ve got cash to spend. Origin provides a wide range of customized shade choices and themes. If in case you have the money, Origin will print (virtually) something you’d like on the Chronos’ flat, canvas-like flank. Rivals like Falcon Northwest and Digital Storm have comparable choices, although, and upgrading to metallic paint will set you again $250.

That’s the upside to Origin’s uninteresting design. It’s not a looker, however it minimizes the methods you need to know to remodel the internals.

At the very least it’s useful. The box-like Chronos will be set in both a vertical or horizontal orientation, relying in your wants, with out proscribing airflow. Pint-sized computer systems typically enchantment as a house theater PC, and the Chronos matches the half.

The front-facing port cluster additionally works in both orientation. It comprises two USB-A ports, a headphone jack, and a mic jack. All of them are straightforward to entry from any angle, and because the Chronos is small, you’ll be able to probably place it a lot nearer to you on (or underneath) your desk.

Cramped internals, however they make sense

Cracking the Chronos’ case is easy in concept, however difficult in observe. Solely two thumbscrews should be eliminated. That’s nice, however prying the panel off is difficult. It requires some drive to unseat the panel. As soon as free, the CPU radiator turns into an impediment. It’s screwed to the detachable panel, but not readily detachable itself, so the panel stays tethered to the physique by the radiator’s liquid cooling.

Origin Chronos review (2019 model)Wealthy Shibley/Digital Traits

That’s not an unusual subject for a small PC, so we will’t knock the Chronos an excessive amount of for it. Nonetheless, this association makes altering parts extra annoying and extra precarious than with a bigger system.

The video card can be difficult as a result of it’s connected to the motherboard by a riser that angles the cardboard so it’s parallel to the motherboard. Eradicating the cardboard is a little more troublesome than regular, and also you gained’t have the ability to squeeze in an aftermarket card with a cooler that’s bigger than inventory. Once more, although, it is a frequent sacrifice made by opponents just like the Digital Storm Bolt and Falcon Northwest Tiki.

The Origin Chronos packs extra graphics punch than you would possibly count on.

These issues apart, the Chronos is easy and comparatively straightforward to work with. The RAM is quickly accessible for improve, as is the onerous drive. The CPU can be freed from unneeded obstructions, so changing it shouldn’t be harder than a bigger case. That’s the upside to Origin’s uninteresting design. It’s not a looker, however it minimizes the methods you need to know to remodel the internals.

The Core i9-9900Ok flexes

An entry-level Origin Chronos will set you again at the very least $1,500 in case you go for an AMD Ryzen processor. Our upgraded evaluation unit got here with Intel’s Core i9-9900Ok, an eight-core beast that may attain clock speeds as excessive as 5GHz. It was paired with 16GB of 3200MHz RAM and a Samsung 970 PRO stable state drive, driving the value as much as about $three,550.

That predictably led to nice efficiency, although not any higher than different programs with that very same chip.

In comparison with the Asus ROG Strix GL12XC, which additionally had a Core i9-9900Ok, the Chronos was a bit slower. We’re not shocked. Origin’s desktop is way smaller, which results in much less thermal headroom, and probably much less efficiency.

It’s onerous to be disenchanted, although, as a result of the Chronos’ outcomes are nonetheless glorious. It hits a multi-core rating of 32,328 in Geekbench four and transcoded a 4K trailer from h.264 to h.265 in lower than a minute in a half.

These outcomes are enormously quick. The Chronos is in some way faster than the Alienware Space-51 R5 we reviewed in Might of 2018, even supposing system had the 18-core Intel Core i9-7980XE. Oh, and the Alienware is about almost 4 occasions bigger.

Positive, the identical processor in a bigger desktop may be faster. However, what’s extra vital to you? A 5 % (or much less) increase in processor velocity or a desktop that’s so small you would sit your monitor atop it and largely neglect about it?

We’re equally impressed by the onerous drive.

Origin Chronos review (2019 model)Wealthy Shibley/Digital Traits

Our evaluation unit got here with a 512GB Samsung 970 Professional stable state drive. It carried out extraordinarily nicely, hitting a most learn velocity in extra of three gigabytes per second, and a most write velocity of two.three gigabytes per second. These are one of the best speeds we’ve witnessed so removed from a single stable state drive in a desktop pc.

Load up your favourite recreation and be amazed

As with its processor, the Chronos packs extra graphics punch than you would possibly count on. Our evaluation unit got here with Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti, the video card each PC gamer goals of. It’s extremely seen, mounted alongside a vent cut-out within the aspect of the case that makes the cardboard, and its lighting, straightforward to see.

Seems to be are one factor, however efficiency is what counts. The Chronos has what counts irrespective of the sport you throw at it.

3DMark’s Hearth Strike take a look at places the Origin Chronos off to a robust begin. Its rating of 26,821, pushed by a single RTX 2080 Ti, is on par with an Alienware Space-51 R5 with two GTX 1080 playing cards. Digital Storm’s Aventum X additionally makes for a stable comparability. Whereas faster with a rating of 33,927, its twin RTX 2080 Ti setup doesn’t widen its lead as a lot as we’d count on. Total, the Origin Chronos is the quickest single-GPU system we’ve examined to this point.

Now, let’s transfer on to real-world gaming.

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI represents one finish of the spectrum. This lovely turn-based technique recreation locations a heavy load on the processor, however the Core i9-9900Ok simply handles the duty. Beautiful velocity is the consequence. The Origin Chronos averaged 135 frames per second at 1440p decision and Extremely element. The subsequent quickest desktop we’ve just lately reviewed, the Falcon Northwest Tiki, solely hit 94 FPS. That story repeated itself at 4K decision, the place the Chronos hit a mean of 127 FPS whereas the next-quickest system, Alienware’s Space-51 R5 hit 85 FPS.

On the alternative finish of gaming is Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, a closely GPU-bound recreation that challenges right now’s finest video playing cards. It was no problem for the Origin Chronos at 1440p decision and Extremely element, as we noticed a mean of 85 FPS. That beats the Alienware Space-51 R5 with twin GTX 1080 video playing cards! 4K was naturally extra taxing, however the Chronos nonetheless turned in a mean of 49 FPS. That’s impressively near the 60 FPS most avid gamers favor. It beats the Alienware’s dual-GTX 1080 setup as soon as once more and comes inside 5 FPS of the 2018 incarnation of Origin’s Millennium, which had two GTX 1080 Ti playing cards.

Origin Chronos review (2019 model)Wealthy Shibley/Digital Traits

All this results in a fairly easy conclusion. The Origin Chronos is quick. Actual quick. It’d be an incredible alternative for driving a 1440p monitor with a 144Hz refresh charge, or a 4K monitor with a 60Hz refresh charge. A bigger desktop with a twin RTX 2080 or 2080 Ti setup, just like the Digital Storm Aventum X, is the one method to see higher efficiency. However don’t neglect – the Aventum X is over six occasions bigger than the Chronos, and weighs in at almost 100 kilos.

It’s exceptional to see the Chronos go to this point whereas remaining compact, and it boosts the argument that a small desktop could make sense. Not only for struggling Fb and procuring on Amazon, but additionally for hardcore avid gamers or professionals who want a critically succesful rig.

A observe about noise

Okay, however packing this energy right into a small package deal does trigger an issue. Simply ask our ears.

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The Origin Chronos at the very least sidesteps annoyance. Its sound is characterised as extra of a continuing, light whirr, like a giant storm blowing exterior your property. But a giant storm it stays, and we couldn’t assist however discover it at any time when we spun up a benchmark or loaded a recreation.

It’s not so loud to change into unacceptable, however the noise does take away from the Chronos’ measurement. This can be a small desktop you would place close to you. Maybe underneath a monitor. Maybe in a house theater, the place it’d be used for leisure. The noise, although, will likely be disruptive. You gained’t need it close to you, or in a quiet house theater, except you occur to play each recreation and watch each film with a pair of headphones on.

Our Take

The Origin Chronos is a compact pc that can make you query why something bigger is critical. It’s not thrilling to take a look at it, however it’s thrilling to personal.

Is there a greater different?

Falcon Northwest’s Tiki stays our favourite amongst tiny customized desktops as a result of it’s each quick and nice to take a look at. The Chronos is extra reasonably priced nevertheless, with a decrease beginning worth of $1,500, in comparison with the Tiki’s worth of at the very least $2,100.

Different opponents, just like the Digital Storm Bolt, can match the Chronos’ hardware, however its measurement that basically defines Origin’s possibility. The Chronos is smaller than common, so it’ll match locations the place the Tiki or Bolt can’t.

How lengthy will it final?

The Origin Chronos we reviewed had best-of-the-best hardware, so we’re positive it might final at the very least 5 years. Entry-level fashions will possible want a GPU improve after a number of years of service. The Chronos’ measurement will restrict your choices, however changing the GPU isn’t too troublesome.

Each Chronos comes with a 1-year elements alternative guarantee. Nevertheless, transport is barely lined for 45 days. We’d favor to see a 1-year transport guarantee as nicely.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. The Origin Chronos even in its personal class of customized gaming mini-towers, but it doesn’t pay for that in efficiency, and it’s no more costly than opponents. If most velocity in minimal measurement is your objective, the Chronos is what you need.

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