Mid-Tower Might From Origin PC
If you’re looking to buy (or build) a performance-oriented gaming desktop, there are a few different directions you can take. The easiest route is to opt for today’s top-end parts and a gargantuan case big enough to house what you need now, plus whatever you might want to accommodate down the road.
Alternatively, if you don’t need multiple graphics cards and don’t plan on cramming additional components into your machine, you could go small and still keep things speedy with a microATX board, a powerful CPU, and a high-end graphics card. Several companies have headed down that route lately, including Alienware with its X51, Falcon Northwest and its granite-footed Tiki, and Digital Storm’s glossy Bolt.
Boutique system builder Origin PC offers something that’s a bit in-between those two extremes with its mid-tower Millennium system. Housed in a slightly tweaked BitFenix Shinobi case with red trim and a soft rubber-like finish, it’s smaller than a full-size tower at just 18.1" tall, but still roomy enough for a trio of powerful graphics cards.
Rather than going all out with two or three pricey Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 cards, Origin strapped a trio of GeForce GTX 660 Tis into the $3,073 test configuration it sent us. Complemented by an Intel Core i5-3570K CPU sporting an impressive 1.2 GHz overclock (to 4.6 GHz), and a pair of Intel SSD 520 drives in RAID 0, we already know from its specs that the Millennium is going to be an impressive performer. Enough so, we'd suspect, to drive a triple-monitor configuration with ease.
The downside to the three-way SLI setup is that upgrading isn’t going to be as easy as it would be with just one or two higher-end graphics cards. After all, you can’t just slap in another identical card a couple of years from now; this thing is completely maxed out already. The boot drive's RAID option also has a downside. While certainly speedy, a striped array is twice as likely to fail (if one drive goes out, your boot drive data is toast). Thankfully, Origin includes a roomy 1 TB hard drive as well, providing plenty of room for backup.