Origin Chronos (2019) Evaluation: A Small PC Packing Unimaginable Efficiency

origin chronos review feat

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

Very small footprint

Glorious efficiency

Plenty of customization

Beats many full-sized desktops

Might be noisy

Not a lot to have a look at

We love large tower computer systems. They’re large, daring, absurd, and we frankly desire our computer systems to look extra like an alien monolith than a helpful piece of contemporary know-how. But our mind-set is actually on the out. Computer systems proceed to shrink in dimension 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 large, and about 14 inches deep. That’s smaller than most A/V receivers, or in regards to the dimension of Microsoft’s Xbox One X. It affords full-fat efficiency regardless of that. Our overview unit got here packing a Core i9-9900Okay and Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti, absolutely 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 rapid purpose why an enormous desktop will be higher. Design. An even bigger desktop can provide extra actual property to go wild with unusual, pointless thrives. Although usually cheesy, large desktops at the least are one thing. Origin’s Chronos is… nothing.

Origin Chronos review (2019 model)

Origin Chronos review (2019 model)

Origin Chronos review (2019 model)

Origin Chronos review (2019 model)

Wealthy Shibley/Digital Tendencies

Nothing? Nothing. Take a look at it. It’s somewhat metallic field with a small badge on entrance. It’s not offensive, but it surely additionally doesn’t attraction, except you need your laptop to appear to be a couple of sheets of metallic screwed collectively. This stands in stark distinction to Origin’s full-sized Millennium desktop, which has a novel and enticing customized enclosure.

You’ll be able to add spice to the Chronos when you have cash to spend. Origin affords a wide range of customized coloration 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. Opponents like Falcon Northwest and Digital Storm have related choices, although, and upgrading to metallic paint will set you again $250.

That’s the upside to Origin’s boring design. It’s not a looker, but it surely minimizes the tips you will need to know to remodel the internals.

At the least it’s practical. The box-like Chronos will be set in both a vertical or horizontal orientation, relying in your wants, with out limiting airflow. Pint-sized computer systems usually attraction 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 may probably place it a lot nearer to you on (or beneath) your desk.

Cramped internals, however they make sense

Cracking the Chronos’ case is straightforward in concept, however difficult in apply. Solely two thumbscrews should be eliminated. That’s nice, however prying the panel off is hard. It requires some power to unseat the panel. As soon as unfastened, 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 Tendencies

That’s not an unusual difficulty for a small PC, so we are able to’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 tough than regular, and also you received’t have the ability to squeeze in an aftermarket card with a cooler that’s bigger than inventory. Once more, although, it is a widespread sacrifice made by opponents just like the Digital Storm Bolt and Falcon Northwest Tiki.

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

These issues apart, the Chronos is straightforward and comparatively straightforward to work with. The RAM is instantly 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 boring design. It’s not a looker, but it surely minimizes the tips you will need to know to remodel the internals.

The Core i9-9900Okay flexes

An entry-level Origin Chronos will set you again at the least $1,500 in the event you go for an AMD Ryzen processor. Our upgraded overview unit got here with Intel’s Core i9-9900Okay, 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 strong state drive, driving the value as much as about $three,550.

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

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

It’s onerous to be disillusioned, although, as a result of the Chronos’ outcomes are nonetheless wonderful. 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 Could of 2018, even supposing system had the 18-core Intel Core i9-7980XE. Oh, and the Alienware is about practically 4 occasions bigger.

Certain, the identical processor in a bigger desktop could be faster. However, what’s extra necessary to you? A 5 p.c (or much less) enhance in processor pace 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 Tendencies

Our overview unit got here with a 512GB Samsung 970 Professional strong state drive. It carried out extraordinarily properly, hitting a most learn pace in extra of three gigabytes per second, and a most write pace of two.three gigabytes per second. These are the very best speeds we’ve witnessed so removed from a single strong state drive in a desktop laptop.

Load up your favourite recreation and be amazed

As with its processor, the Chronos packs extra graphics punch than you may count on. Our overview unit got here with Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti, the video card each PC gamer desires of. It’s extremely seen, mounted alongside a vent cut-out within the facet 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 regardless of the sport you throw at it.

3DMark’s Fireplace 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 strong 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. General, the Origin Chronos is the quickest single-GPU system we’ve examined up to now.

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 i9-9900Okay simply handles the duty. Beautiful pace is the end result. 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 immediately’s greatest 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 players desire. 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 Tendencies

All this results in a fairly easy conclusion. The Origin Chronos is quick. Actual quick. It’d be an amazing selection 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 solution to see higher efficiency. However don’t neglect – the Aventum X is over six occasions bigger than the Chronos, and weighs in at practically 100 kilos.

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

A notice about noise

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

Extra Gaming Desktop Evaluations

The Origin Chronos at the least sidesteps annoyance. Its sound is characterised as extra of a relentless, mild whirr, like an enormous storm blowing outdoors your property. But an enormous storm it stays, and we couldn’t assist however discover it each time we spun up a benchmark or loaded a recreation.

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

The Origin Chronos is a compact laptop that can make you query why something bigger is important. It’s not thrilling to have a look at it, but it surely’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 have 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 least $2,100.

Different opponents, just like the Digital Storm Bolt, can match the Chronos’ , however its dimension 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 , so we’re certain it could final at the least 5 years. Entry-level fashions will seemingly want a GPU improve after a couple of years of service. The Chronos’ dimension will restrict your choices, however changing the GPU isn’t too tough.

Each Chronos comes with a 1-year elements alternative guarantee. Nonetheless, transport is just lined for 45 days. We’d desire to see a 1-year transport guarantee as properly.

Do you have to 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 pace in minimal dimension is your aim, the Chronos is what you need.

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