Skip to main content

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

Getting To Know Our Chronos

Flexibility is main reason enthusiasts like to build their own machines. It's also the reason why enthusiasts who get tired of building start going with boutique shops like Origin PC. You're smart enough to pick the parts for what you want to do, but for one reason or another want someone else to take responsibility for the workmanship inside and out. For this trip around the track, we asked Origin PC to pick parts for us.

Page one showed the front view of Origin PC’s chosen BitFenix Phenom M case, complete with its power and reset buttons, twin USB 3.0 ports, and audio I/O on the edge of its left side panel. But a look around back shows a few more reasons Origin might have picked this case from its customer-specified configuration sheet.

By removing the power supply from the rear panel, BitFenix shrunk the height of this microATX case down to about the size of an ATX motherboard, while adding top-panel fans and a fifth slot. As you can imagine, the space freed up by that extra slot could have come in handy paired to a microATX motherboard with a x16 slot in its last position, since it would have freed up space for a dual-slot graphics card. The Asus Maximus VI Gene chosen for this configuration doesn’t have that issue.

In fact, the only problem Origin PC encounters in this case is that its upside-down design lends itself to an anti-convective flow path. The company uses the top fans as intakes rather than exhaust, feeding its graphics cards with cooler outside air.

BitFenix designed its Phenom M to hold a radiator under the top fans, but that doesn't work when the case is packed with high-end graphics. With only fans mounted up there, you barely get one slot of width between them and the second GeForce GTX 780 Ti.

Origin PC also had to block off one of the case’s other features to add a 2 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM hard drive with 64 MB cache. The mount supports either two 3.5” drives or two 120 mm fans, and builders who don't want to use either of those options will also find mounting holes for a single 200 mm or 230 mm fan. But where are the 2.5” bays?

Two 2.5” SSD bays are located behind the motherboard, on the left side panel. Origin PC packed a $600 Samsung 840 EVO 1 TB SSD into the middle bay.

Other noteworthy parts include the Origin Frostbyte 120 cooler, a custom component that makes it harder for cost-counting readers to calculate the cumulative worth of this machine's parts versus its final price. The pump cover looks strikingly familiar, though. Aside from fan selection, we’re sure the same cooler manufacturer supplies a retail version in this size.

  • envy14tpe
    But that price tag. Yikes!
    Reply
  • sbudbud
    Price is stupid, kill it with fire!!!
    Reply
  • Kingpin007
    great one would love to have one... if i had the money
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • bemused_fred
    21+73=94.That's a 94c peak CPU temp! Jay-soos! I'm pretty sure that's not a good thing.....
    Reply
  • Crashman
    12551434 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.

    12551444 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 :)
    Reply
  • outlw6669
    12551478 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 :)
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply