Origin PC Chronos: Two GeForce GTX 780 Tis In A Mini Gaming Cube

Origin PC proves you can get two GeForce GTX 780 Tis and a heavily overclocked Core i7-4770K into a microATX form factor using BitFenix's popular Phenom M chassis. Yes, the combination is expensive, but it's also oh-so fast. We deconstruct it for you.

Even as mini-ITX cases appear to be getting bigger, microATX is getting smaller. The Rodney Dangerfield of form factors, microATX is often ridiculed by enthusiasts who just can't get enough room for high-end hardware and skipped over entirely by the crowd shopping for ever-shrinking form factors. The brief window of opportunity that microATX gaming cubes had to impress with their diminutive dimensions is all but forgotten, lost to the din made over slim little boxes housing GeForce GTX Titan cards.

But as anyone who built a PC using a cube-shaped enclosure will tell you, that probably shouldn’t have happened. The microATX form factor gives us four slots of expansion, enough room for at least four DIMMs, and space around the processor interface for an enthusiast-class voltage regulator. That’s because the ATX-sized upper portion of the motherboard remains, even after a microATX's platform's three bottom slots are trimmed off.

These days, the word compact seems to apply most specifically to mini-ITX-based boxes. But Origin PC finds a loophole in that theory by using BitFenix's Phenom M. Nearly an inch shorter in both length and height than the $2500 mini-ITX Performance Build we put together for our System Builder Marathon last year, the Phenom moves its power supply to the front, creating room for five expansion slots.

Origin PC took advantage of the Phenom's relatively roomy interior and stuffed its Chronos with two GeForce GTX 780 Ti graphics cards, the fastest gaming boards Nvidia sells.

Origin PC Chronos Custom PC
Configurable Components
CPUIntel Core i7-4770K: 3.5 - 3.9 GHz, Four Cores, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache
DRAMCorsair CMY16GX3M2A1866C9: DDR3-1866 C9, 16 GB ( 2 x 8 GB)
Graphics2 x Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti, SLI, 3 GB GDDR5
System DriveSamsung 840 EVO MZ-7TE1T0BW: 1 TB SATA 6Gb/s MLC SSD
Storage DriveSeagate Barracuda ST2000DM001: 2 TB, 7200 RPM Hard Drive
Optical DriveNone
MotherboardAsus Maximus VI Gene, LGA 1150, Z87 Express, microATX
ChassisBitFenix Phenom M Midnight Black Steel / Plastic MicroATX
CPU CoolerOrigin Frostbyte 120 Closed-loop liquid cooler
Power SupplyCorsair TX850M 80 PLUS Bronze Semi-Modular 850 W
Chassis Features
Expansion SlotsFive
Internal Bays2 x 3.5" (Base Panel), 2 x 2.5" (Left Side Panel)
Power BayPS/2, Front Mounted on Base Panel
External BayNone
Front Panel I/O2 x USB 3.0, Headphone, Microphone, all forward on left side panel
Fans2 x 120 mm Intake (top), 2 x 120 mm Exhaust (at rear radiator)
Motherboard Features
External Peripheral6 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0
External Audio6 x Analog, Digital Optical
External VideoHDMI
Internal Ports8 x SATA 6Gb/s, 2 x USB 3.0, 4 x USB 2.0
Internal Slots2 x PCIe 3.0 (16+0 or 8+8 pathways), 1 x PCIe x4, 1 x Mini PCIe
Maximum Memory4 x DDR3-1333 to DDR3-2933 (all standard capacities)
Gigabit EthernetIntel I217V PHY
Wireless NetworkNone
Audio ControllerRealtek ALC1150 DAC, 7.1 + 2 channels rear/front, DTS Connect
Other Features
Dimensions13.5" (H), 9.8" (W), 15.1" (D), 29.1 Pounds
WarrantyThree-Year Part Replacement/Shipping, Lifetime Labor/24x7 Support
SoftwareMicrosoft Windows 8.1 Pro OEM
Price$4215

Those cards by themselves sell for about $1400, so Origin has a bit of justification for pricing its diminutive box at $4215. The extended warranty adds $269 compared to the company's baseline one-year plan, but Origin wanted us to include it as part of the company's package. For enthusiasts who'd rather let someone else hold the screwdriver, this is an affordable insurance of sorts.

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  • envy14tpe
    But that price tag. Yikes!
    18
  • Other Comments
  • envy14tpe
    But that price tag. Yikes!
    18
  • sbudbud
    Price is stupid, kill it with fire!!!
    5
  • Kingpin007
    great one would love to have one... if i had the money
    0
  • outlw6669
    Ouch, that is expensive!
    Loving the small form factor and performance though.

    How loud does this system have to get to handle all that heat?
    I am guessing that it will be pretty noisy; probably the biggest downside to putting so much performance in such a small package.
    2
  • bemused_fred
    21+73=94.That's a 94c peak CPU temp! Jay-soos! I'm pretty sure that's not a good thing.....
    6
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    Ouch, that is expensive!
    Loving the small form factor and performance though.

    How loud does this system have to get to handle all that heat?
    I am guessing that it will be pretty noisy; probably the biggest downside to putting so much performance in such a small package.
    Nope, it's quiet. The reason it's quiet is that it uses GeForce 780 Ti's. They use what's probably the best GPU cooler ever devised.

    Anonymous said:
    21+73=94.That's a 94c peak CPU temp! Jay-soos! I'm pretty sure that's not a good thing.....
    Ah, but 17+73=90. It never reached max fan speed :)
    1
  • outlw6669
    Anonymous said:
    Nope, it's quiet. The reason it's quiet is that it uses GeForce 780 Ti's. They use what's probably the best GPU cooler ever devised.



    Quiet, powerful and a small footprint.
    That is a great combination in my book :)
    -1
  • Zeh
    I'd rather not have a 1 TB SSD. It's expensive as it is and 256gb is more than enough, at least for me. Heck, I have a 60gb and I'm fine with it.
    -1
  • quilciri
    I have a pair of 120gb ssd's in raid0, and it's nearly full with about 1/4 of my steam library, I'd like a 1tb ssd, but really don't want to shell out for one. the Hybrid drives are looking prety good, though. I'm suprised, with all the other money they dumped into this system that the storage drive wasn't a hybrid.
    0
  • larsoncc
    The internals are just amazing. Look at how beautifully compact it all is. I bet it's surprisingly heavy for its size; those 850W power supplies have some heft to them.
    -1
  • bemused_fred
    Anonymous said:


    Ah, but 17+73=90. It never reached max fan speed :)


    Did you post that the room temp is kept at 17, or did I just miss it?
    2
  • Iggledude
    Awesome Machine.The "perceived" heat in that cramped space would bug me to no end however. Still though... again, Awesome Machine.
    0
  • frannymaccy
    WTF? For 300 dollars cheaper, you could build:

    4930KRampage IV Black
    16GB 2400 CL10 Trident X
    GTX 780 Windforce OC in Sli
    840 Pro 512 GB
    2 x 1TB WD Caviar Blue
    Storm Trooper
    Seasonic 1250W 80+ Gold
    LG Blu Ray Writer
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    This is a vastly faster, more versatile, and more robust system... Literally every single component of this system will run better on stock, OC'able components will OC much better and with way more headroom, will be more reliable and stable, will last significantly longer as games use more hyperthreading and cores and faster RAM, and that's with 300 quid left over and splashing out easily 250 extra bucks on a super overkill PSU and Blu Ray Player and shipping costs... !

    The remaining money of 300-550 would probably cover a switch of components to the next gen of 5930K processors, Rampage V, DDR4 memory and sli GTX 880s before the year's out!
    0
  • Immaculate
    OR! you could do this same setup with the EVGA dual bios classified 780Tis with a custom water loop cooling nearly every component. Cheaper than the Chronos and well you don't really have to worry about warranty with your parts being so frosty.

    EDIT

    mATX: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2JekD

    ATX: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2JdJl
    -1
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:


    Ah, but 17+73=90. It never reached max fan speed :)


    Did you post that the room temp is kept at 17, or did I just miss it?
    Sorry, I thought I mentioned it was cold without stating the temp. Measured temp was 17 when that CPU temperature was recorded.

    Anonymous said:


    Quote:
    Compared to our $2550 build, that same 66% price increase gets the Chronos a 29% gaming performance lead. We’ve come to expect a 2:1 cost-to-benefit relationship in high-end hardware comparisons, so we might have expected a 29% performance gain to cost 58% more or so. Yet, Origin PC’s build quality and warranty are easily worth the 8% difference between expected and actual price differences.


    Really? Anyone can throw components in a PC case and use zip ties. What did Origin do that makes this computer so special that build quality is a feature? I don't see anything custom nor special here. This comment is suspect at best....
    Your analysis of the statement is questionable, since the article statement is a consideration of labor and shipping cost involved with assembly and warranty support.
    0
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    Any 12 year old kid could assemble this computer. There is absolutely nothing special or proprietary about it. Most of the individual parts have a 3+ year warranty on them, so your warranty claim doesn't really hold weight.
    Great! If you want to pay a 12-year old kid who lives across the country $15 an hour to build your PC, then pay him up front for 3 years of back-and-forth shipping, go for it. But that only implies that my warranty claim does hold weight.
    0
  • Junit151
    There is an error. The TX850M is semi-modular, not full modular.
    0
  • HeyyScott
    Looks beautiful and insane spec but I'm not rich.
    0
  • Doug Lord
    You guys need to do a better job of fitting your review to the tasks that a person that might buy a product is likely to perform. You do not buy 2x780ti to play Battlefield 3 at 1080p with medium settings. If you are going to buy 2x780ti you are ONLY interested in 3x1080p or 4k with the highest possible settings that will still generate a 30fps minimum. Why is it you have no 4k???
    1
  • cinnamon cider
    I wonder how this would cost if I'll just build it on my own with the same parts.
    0