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Meet The Tiki: Core i7-3770K And GeForce GTX 680 In A Mini-ITX Box?

Meet The Tiki: Core i7-3770K And GeForce GTX 680 In A Mini-ITX Box?
By , Kelt Reeves
Falcon Northwest Gets Tom's Hardware's Attention

I already know what a Core i7-3770K can do. I’ve literally spent days benchmarking GeForce GTX 680s, and it’s safe to say I know how they perform, too. So, when a system builder wants to ship me a machine loaded down with the hardware I already have sitting on my test bench, there’s generally not a lot to get me excited.

But when I see those parts put together in a way that I, having built hundreds of machines, know I couldn’t equal, then I want to know more.

Kelt Reeves, president of Falcon Northwest, surprised us by sending the company’s new Tiki to the Tom’s Hardware office, even though we haven’t done system reviews in years. And yet, the Tiki’s size immediately impressed. They got a Core i7-3770K, a GeForce GTX 680, and 1 TB of solid-state storage in there?

Right away, I thought it’d be cool to step through how the Tiki came to be, and what it actually took to cram high-end hardware into a quiet mini-ITX-based chassis. I asked Kelt if he’d be willing to tell the story to our audience, and he agreed. What follows is from Kelt's perspective, and it should be quite the tale!

-Chris Angelini, Worldwide Editor-in-Chief

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  • 35 Hide
    freggo , August 3, 2012 5:13 AM
    I usually do not bother with these 30+ page click stories. They are a pain in the arse.
    But.. that story just was too interesting, almost like a crime novel...
    Just one more click and I stop.... ok, jut ONE more.

    Anyway, it was interesting to see the painful birth of what seems to be a very interesting product; also I don't even want to guess how much $$$ we are talking all things considered.

    Still, very interesting and impressive. Would love to see THG do a test, especially the noise part would interest me. I HATE noise and am willing to pay xtra for $ilence :-)

  • 19 Hide
    dakkon , August 3, 2012 6:31 AM
    Toms please do a bench on this thing... Please Please Please... and Mr Falcon CEO Kudos to you, now give the damed machine to Toms and let them Bench it. :) 
  • 18 Hide
    abhijitkalyane , August 3, 2012 6:31 AM
    Wow! Just WOW! This is awesome. This is a top of the line build but barely the size of an XBox. Amazing.
Other Comments
  • 35 Hide
    freggo , August 3, 2012 5:13 AM
    I usually do not bother with these 30+ page click stories. They are a pain in the arse.
    But.. that story just was too interesting, almost like a crime novel...
    Just one more click and I stop.... ok, jut ONE more.

    Anyway, it was interesting to see the painful birth of what seems to be a very interesting product; also I don't even want to guess how much $$$ we are talking all things considered.

    Still, very interesting and impressive. Would love to see THG do a test, especially the noise part would interest me. I HATE noise and am willing to pay xtra for $ilence :-)

  • 0 Hide
    Robert Pankiw , August 3, 2012 5:45 AM
    http://build.falcon-nw.com/

    I posted a really nice and long comment that magically got erased.. Basically, it is around 2500 USD for (what I assume) is the shown model (i7, 2 128GB SSDs + HDD, GTX 680 2GB) but for a nice system (i5, 1 256GB SSD, GTX 670) it is 2045 USD.
  • 13 Hide
    s3anister , August 3, 2012 6:29 AM
    Quote:
    Tiki is our first product that literally could not be built by anyone but an enthusiast.

    From reading your article I most definitely agree with you. Quite an amazing build.

    And if you still need to get rid of some fans and heatsinks I'd be more than happy to take a few off your hands :D 
  • 9 Hide
    xaed , August 3, 2012 6:31 AM
    Robert Pankiwhttp://build.falcon-nw.com/I posted a really nice and long comment that magically got erased.. Basically, it is around 2500 USD for (what I assume) is the shown model (i7, 2 128GB SSDs + HDD, GTX 680 2GB) but for a nice system (i5, 1 256GB SSD, GTX 670) it is 2045 USD.


    All things considered, that extra $500 (I'm thinking it's more assuming they get their parts at OEM rates) isn't THAT bad.
  • 18 Hide
    abhijitkalyane , August 3, 2012 6:31 AM
    Wow! Just WOW! This is awesome. This is a top of the line build but barely the size of an XBox. Amazing.
  • 19 Hide
    dakkon , August 3, 2012 6:31 AM
    Toms please do a bench on this thing... Please Please Please... and Mr Falcon CEO Kudos to you, now give the damed machine to Toms and let them Bench it. :) 
  • 10 Hide
    Darkerson , August 3, 2012 6:46 AM
    Very interesting, both the article and the end result product. Would love to see some benchmarks when it is released.
  • 5 Hide
    peroludiarom , August 3, 2012 6:50 AM
    I like your work man! Very nice :) 
  • -8 Hide
    Menigmand , August 3, 2012 7:22 AM
    I love a small, quiet pc, but the biggest problem is not the actual size. The main aesthetic problem is that a pc setup will still include a monitor and plenty of wires, a keyboard and a mouse. Having a pc in a small livingroom tends to "take over" the space and make it seem a bit like an office.

    That's why I like to game on a laptop, even though I get less graphics performance, the kit can always be folded up and put in the cupboard when I have guests over and need the dining table.
  • 7 Hide
    tastyface , August 3, 2012 7:57 AM
    This is a thing of beauty
  • 12 Hide
    dakkon , August 3, 2012 8:00 AM
    menigmandI love a small, quiet pc, but the biggest problem is not the actual size. The main aesthetic problem is that a pc setup will still include a monitor and plenty of wires, a keyboard and a mouse. Having a pc in a small livingroom tends to "take over" the space and make it seem a bit like an office. That's why I like to game on a laptop, even though I get less graphics performance, the kit can always be folded up and put in the cupboard when I have guests over and need the dining table.



    incorporate the thing in your media center/TV rack, connect it to your 50in LED TV or HD projector "run the cable through the walls if using projector" in the future displays with 4k/8k capabilities . and use wireless keyboards and mice, and or use a wireless gaming controller, game from the couch.. its a gaming PC not a work PC..
  • 3 Hide
    NAG3LT , August 3, 2012 8:13 AM
    Quite amazing to fit such performance in such small case. Expected price premium to be in Alienware range after reading the part about granite, but the price looks very reasonable.
  • 3 Hide
    Dragh0n , August 3, 2012 8:50 AM
    Even though I love me some tower cases I can appreciate this build. Well done and a good read.
  • 3 Hide
    Super_Nova , August 3, 2012 8:59 AM
    Good things comes indeed in small packages.
  • 3 Hide
    Menigmand , August 3, 2012 9:13 AM
    dakkonincorporate the thing in your media center/TV rack, connect it to your 50in LED TV or HD projector "run the cable through the walls if using projector" in the future displays with 4k/8k capabilities . and use wireless keyboards and mice, and or use a wireless gaming controller, game from the couch.. its a gaming PC not a work PC..


    Yes I thought about this solution, but mouse/keyboard gaming doesn't work so well from the couch..
  • 2 Hide
    Menigmand , August 3, 2012 9:14 AM
    Oh, and if you have a media centre/tv rack, no need for a small case either, just hide it in the rack under the tv.
  • 0 Hide
    cobra5000 , August 3, 2012 9:55 AM
    NAG3LTQuite amazing to fit such performance in such small case. Expected price premium to be in Alienware range after reading the part about granite, but the price looks very reasonable.

    Falcon Northwest is so far above Alienware, they do not deserve to be in the same sentence. Noob.
  • 3 Hide
    jrharbort , August 3, 2012 10:52 AM
    yobobjmI may be way off here, but isn't a 450w PSU (which is the only one that comes with the tiki) a little to little to power an i7, a gtx 680, 2 ssds, and a hard drive?

    I did the math, and it would be passable as long as the PSU has really good rails and no overclocking involved.
  • 5 Hide
    mcschneid , August 3, 2012 12:28 PM
    A really awesome system - is there any possibility to get it as a barebone system?
  • -1 Hide
    A Bad Day , August 3, 2012 1:11 PM
    External PSU. It would potentially allow a 690 or 7990 packed in that little case. All you need to do is feed it refrigerated air...
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