Origin Unveils Omega HTPCs, But Don't Call Them Consoles (Updated)

At CES 2015, Origin teased a new line of home theater PCs called Omega. Details were slim at the time, but what Origin told us indicated that this line of HTPCs would be different than others, making gaming a top priority. Today, Origin launched the Omega HTPCs (opens in new tab) and gave us some more information about its latest product.

Omega comes in five different models, with the base model starting at $999. It houses an Intel Pentium Anniversary Edition Dual-Core processor that's overclocked to 4.5 GHz and placed on an ASUS H97 Mini-ITX motherboard. The HTPCs' graphics are handled by NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 960 (2 GB), and there's 8 GB of Origin-branded 1600 MHz RAM. Storage is limited to only a 500 GB HDD. As for the operating system, the base model runs on Windows 8.1 Home.

If the base model isn't powerful enough for your needs, especially with the CPU bottlenecking the full power of the new 960, the company assures customers that there is more than enough room for expansion, with support for 4K gaming at 60 fps. Omega supports 3-way SLI with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980s, and it also supports Crossfire.

In the case of the operating system, Origin plans to support the upcoming Windows 10 as well as Steam OS, which gives you the option of turning your Omega into your own Steam Machine when the platform officially launches. At the very least, you can boot to Steam's Big Picture Mode for now.

Storage capabilities are not exclusive to HDDs, with SSDs added as an option, and the maximum storage capacity is a whopping 14 TB. If you don't want to use the keyboard and mouse combination, Origin will install "Mouse Emulation Software" that allows you to utilize an Xbox 360 controller to act as both mouse and keyboard. While the processors offered are all factory overclocked, Origin said users can still tinker around with the overclock speeds but doesn't recommend it.

Depending on your preferences, the Omega could eat a sizable chunk out of your wallet. The base model starts at $999, and at press time, it's still unclear as to how much the highest-end model will cost. Origin believes $999 is the right starting price point for what it considers a "high-performance HTPC." Depending on the options provided for each model, Origin might blow typical HTPCs out of the water, or it could just be another brand trying to bring PC gaming to the living room.

One item of note is that Origin was clear that the Omega line is not supposed to be consoles, despite the fact that they will eventually run Steam OS as well as Windows; they're designed to be HTPCs.

UPDATE (2/23, 12 pm PT): Origin revealed more details about the Omega line, specifically the available cases and parts (opens in new tab). The cases are from Silverstone, and there are five options: the SG06, the GD05, the GD09, the RVZ01, and the SGQ8. With the low-end model priced at $999, we attempted to put a price on the high-end model. We chose the most expensive case, the SGQ8, which comes with a 600W PSU. Unfortunately, you can't change the power supply that comes with the SGQ8, which does cripple the options for components.

The motherboard is a mini-ITX EVGA Z97 Stinger and houses Intel's Core i7-4790K at 4.0 GHz (4.4 GHz TurboBoost). For memory, we chose Corsair's 16 GB (2x 8 GB) Dominator Platinum at 2133 MHz. Even though Origin claimed that certain configurations allow for three-way SLI, the SGQ8's power supply limits that option to just one graphics card. With that in mind, the most powerful graphics for our configuration was Nvidia's GTX Titan Black (6 GB). For storage, we chose three 1 TB Samsung 850 EVO SSDs in a RAID 5 configuration. For cooling options, we chose Origin's Frostbyte 120 Sealed Liquid Cooling System along with Origin's own high-performance, silent fans.

For optical drives, you might need two since one drive doesn't do it all. We chose an internal CD/DVD drive with read/write capabilities while the external drive handles Blu-ray read/write. In terms of audio, Origin's top component was Sound Blaster's X-Fi Surround 5.1 USB card. For game capture, there was only one option available, which was the Avermedia Live Gamer Portable. Since there is no room for expansion cards, we had to get an external wireless adapter for networking, so we chose the Asus USB-AC56 Dual-band Wireless-AC1300 connected by USB 3.0. The only things we didn't change were the one-year warranty, upgrade service, and the offered operating system (Windows 8.1 64-bit). If you want an overclocked CPU and GPU, Origin can offer both services free of charge.

If you thought the low-end model was expensive, the high-end PC is bound to give you quite a shock at $4,814. Most people can easily make the case to build a powerful gaming PC at a fraction of the cost, which is the reasonable option. For those with money to spend, it's probably better to save another few thousand dollars for Digital Storm's Aventum 3 which starts at around $4,600 for the low-end model. Its top-tier option will set you back at almost $8,000.

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  • JoeMomma
    $999 seems expensive for that base model.
  • Grognak
    One thousand dollars for a Pentium based rig? That's preposterous.
  • CaedenV
    Wow, that is insanely overpriced. Essentially a $5-600 PC for the low low price of only $1000+. Hope not too many people get suckered into these deals.

    Also, Tom's: It would be in your bed interest to call companies out on the carpet when they release this kind of crap. Over-priced junk is the single most damaging thing to the overall PC industry. Calling a few companies out on the carpet like you did with the power strip series of articles would only be good for you. I have no issue paying a premium for premium equipment, but an 80%+ markup is crazy.
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    If that picture is actually correct, then apparently Origin is using Silverstone as the OEM for their cases. The two models on the ends are the SUGO, and the ones in the middle look like Raven series.

    As a SUGO owner myself, I think that's a great case to use!
  • Goldengoose
    Ridiculous price.

    Here: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/BCPtRB
    Full computer with similar case, same GPU, same CPU, more ram, more storage, a quality PSU for $300 less. And you're not locked in with what ever crappy software origin would install.
  • SirGCal
    Why would anyone want to overclock their HTPC? I build them and I have 3 myself right now. They are all designed to run with minimal power and can easily host blu-ray, etc content from my servers, live TV, etc. And all of them can even game to a moderate level. Although I also don't see a need for an external GPU on the HTPC either. One of the niche that APUs are very good at. If you're making a console replacement, that would be another story, but for an HTPC, no....
  • warmon6
    Yep... that's a Silverstone raven RVZ01 in the middle..... Just with the raven logo taken off.

    And $1k for base model..... what are they smoking with that hardware setup?

    I mean, yea.... you need a little bit of money for assembling, paying wages and all that, but for that much of a markup? I could see maybe $600 to $750 for a pc that cost $500 to $600 to build but $1k?

    Just what I'm currently building in the rvz01 (which is not there base model case btw) for about the $1.1k budget, (well about $700-800 for now, dedicated gpu will be added later which I plan for the $300 to $350 gpu range.)


    (microcenter is being used for cpu/motherboard and no OS as I will be using the windows 10 preview on it for now and will probably buy that once it launches).

    And that's hardly being conservative for the parts being chosen where I could of made the build a bit cheaper....

    Dropping to a 450W sfx pu instead of 600W (which is well known the 450W can power a GTX 780ti and core i7 4770k just fine),
    core i5 instead of i7 (could be core i3 or the overclocking Pentium for further reduction),
    having a H97 instead of Z97,
    use stock cooling instead of a AIO liquid cooler,
    gtx 960 or r9 280x/290 instead of a GTX 970 or R9 290x,
    and many more...

    Just those i've listed alone will shave off close to $300+ and it would still be overall more powerful than the base unit......
  • schusarge
    That is alot of money for alot of nothing
  • burmese_dude
    Good. I hope Lenovo gets every penny stripped for pulling a stunt like that. First thing they should've done was to apologize and let the public know the clown/executive who thought this was a good idea has been fired with a kick in the behind.
  • turkey3_scratch
    Not even an i3 or i5 for that price? I know its overcloocked but still.