Can A $4000+ Gaming Cube Still Deliver Value?
When we equate performance with money, our past build experiences lead us to expect roughly $.50 in gains for every $1 spent. But even that sounds like a pretty tall order for a system priced out to $4215. Or is it?
For 2.75 times the price, the Chronos only gains 17% over our own ASRock M8 build. But that’s not even in the same class! More appropriately, the Chronos provides 2.4% more overall performance than our $2550 System Builder Marathon machine, for 66% more money. Even if the warranty is worth 15% of its cost, that's just not right. And that’s because overall performance really isn’t a fair way to rate Origin PC’s machine.
Half of our game data, which we collected across several different machines at a variety of price points, is taken at either too low of a resolution or detail level to properly illustrate the difference between a mainstream graphics card and two of the highest-end boards you can buy in SLI. And the Chronos is a specialty gaming machine, not an overall performance pleaser like our Sandy Bridge-E-based $2550 build or the workstation-gone-Trekky machine delivered by Lenovo. High-end gaming is the only true measure of the machine’s worth.
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.
Performance-at-all-costs buyers who want a compact PC with as much graphics performance as possible need no further justification to spend their money on this exact system. Where else could one find a Core i7-4770K able to spin up to 4.7 GHz and two overclocked GeForce GTX 780 Ti graphics cards protected against failure for three years at any cost? Given the luck-of-the-draw associated with scalable Haswell-based CPUs, simply hitting those frequencies is reason enough to be impressed.