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

Origin's Mini Cube With Big Hardware Specs

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.

  • 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