If you’ve got enough cash to spare for a high-end gaming rig—like, really high-end— you’ve got one of two options: Buy the best or buy the best of the best. The Origin Genesis (Core i7-3970X) ($7,760 direct as tested) is a system aimed at those who choose the latter, offering users an insanely souped-up system that jams an arsenal of cutting-edge technology into a suitably over-the-top chassis. Sure, its price tag is similar to a mortgage payment on a large home, and it takes up a lot of space, but such real-world concerns are rarely an issue in an arena where boutique vendors like Origin cater to gamers who’ll settle for nothing but the fastest and flashiest. So is the Genesis (Core i7-3970X) the best or the best of the best? Ultimately, it’s the former. Despite having an incredible feature set and the capacity to pump out triple-digit frame rates, its performance on the gaming grid nevertheless falls short of systems equipped with more robust Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan graphics cards. Despite all of its good aspects – and there are many – it’s not the absolute best choice for gamers who place raw power on the top of their priority lists.
Design and Features
All of the Genesis (Core i7-3970X)’s components are packed into a Corsair 800D chassis. Measuring a whopping 24 by 9 by 24 inches (HWD), it’s an enormous body that looms even larger than the behemoth Silverstone body we saw on the AVADirect X79 Gaming PC. In contrast, a smaller system like the Maingear F131 Super Stock (GTX Titan) is better suited to a studio apartment or dorm room dweller with limited space to spare.
Assuming you’ve actually got a place to hunker this system down, you’ll have plenty to admire about its look. Unlike the AVADirect X79′s minimalist aesthetic or the understated design of the Editors’ Choice-winning Falcon Northwest Mach V (Triple Titan), the Genesis (Core i7-3970X)’s two-tone “shredder green” custom paintjob looks as if claws have savagely ripped the system apart, creating a look presumably intended to convey ferocity. A large window on the right side of the body shows off the Genesis (Core i7-3970X)’s inner components, which look ridiculously cool bathed in the interior’s LED lighting. Even cooler, an included remote controls the LED lighting strip, letting users choose a color, its brightness, and toggle between flashing or fading effects. On a more practical level, the system’s Corsair 800D chassis allows three of the Genesis (Core i7-3970X)’s cooling fans to shoot air upwards and take advantage of heat’s natural tendency to rise.
There’s just as much activity on the front panel as there is on the inside. The very top houses a compartment that pops open to reveal two USB 3.0 ports, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port, and headphone and microphone jacks. Beneath that are four analog knobs for controlling four of the system’s six cooling fans, and each one sports a corresponding blue LED that glows when its respective fan is humming. Below that is an empty 5.25-inch bay that can accommodate an additional optical drive to complement the Genesis (Core i7-3970X)’s 14X Blu-ray burner directly underneath it. There’s a clear window under the Blu-ray burner that shows off the system’s Ice Dragon liquid coolant, and seeing the viscous, milky-white fluid percolate makes for a very cool visual flourish (a refill kit is also included). Further down still is a 40-in-1 card reader and a cabinet that opens to reveal four vacant 3.5-inch bays to accommodate any additional hard drives. These bays can conveniently be popped open from the front of the system, which bypasses the need to pop open the chassis when adding an additional internal hard drive.
A slew of additional ports are housed in the rear. There are four USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0 ports, a pair of Ethernet ports, another FireWire 800 port, and an optical connection for digital 7.1 surround sound. The Genesis (Core i7-3970X) also has multi-monitor support, and each of its 4GB Nvidia GTX 690 GPUs sport two VGA outputs and a micro-HDMI port.
Popping open the chassis can be done easily and without tools. Two push-buttons on the rear allow users to easily pop off the left and right sides of the chassis. Inside, there’s an impressive array of hardware that’s been arranged in a remarkably clutter-free manner that highlights the meticulous craftsmanship behind the Genesis (Core i7-3970X). As one can imagine, the system’s 1.2 Kilowatt Corsair AX1200i PSU generates plenty of heat, so it utilizes six fans to maintain an optimal temperature. Complementing the fans’ efforts are the thick green tubes pumping liquid coolant directly to the system’s GPUs, CPU, and its fans. The end result is a system running at breakneck speeds without risking overheating. At the same time, though, the six fans are very loud, even when the user disables four of them via the front-panel knobs. Throughout my testing, the incessant whirring of the Genesis (Core i7-3970X)’s fans was difficult to ignore. Ultimately, this isn’t a big deal, but if you’ve got roommates, be sure to expect some noise complaints. The Genesis (Core i7-3970X)’s 16GB RAM is distributed through four 4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 modules, which leaves four vacant sockets for additional RAM upgrades.
Calling the Genesis (Core i7-3970X)’s storage capacity “abundant” arguably qualifies as the understatement of the year. In addition to packing a pair of 240GB Corsair Neutron GTX SSD’s in RAID 0 configuration (to provide a quick platform for running your OS and programs), it also sports a 1TB 7,200rpm HDD. Since Origin is a boutique vendor, the Genesis (Core i7-3970X) doesn’t ship with any preloaded software except an OS (Windows 7 Home Premium) and CyberLink PowerDVD 12 Ultra for media playback.
Along with the remote control, there’s also an additional SLI connector, spare cables, and a USB flash drive loaded with system recovery data. Moreover, for an extra $49 you can get a Microsoft Xbox 360 wireless controller with an internal PC receiver. Our review unit is covered by a three-year warranty on parts. It also has lifetime coverage for both labor and 24/7 tech support, as well as Origin Nexus, which is free in-game technical support service.
Unsurprisingly, the Genesis (Core i7-3970X) blazed through our benchmark tests. At the same time, however, it belongs to a class that’s inhabited solely by benchmark blazers, so our amplified expectations must be calibrated accordingly. For the most part, it did quite well. It led the class with a PCMark7 score of 6,584, giving it a slight edge over the Maingear Shift Super Stock (Core i7-3930K) (6,501) and the Maingear F131 SS (GTX Titan) (6,522 points). Likewise, its Cinebench R11.5 score of 14.49 points topped the chart, with the Origin Genesis (i7-3930K) (14.23 points) and the Maingear Shift Super Stock (Core i7-3930K) (13.98 points) nipping at its heels.
The Genesis (Core i7-3970X) had no difficulty tearing through our multimedia tests. It completed our Handbrake video-encoding test in 20 seconds, which is six seconds faster than both the Maingear F131 SS (GTX Titan) and the Falcon Northwest Mach V (Triple Titan). Its slight advantage persisted in our Photoshop CS6 test (2 minutes 24 seconds), where it once again outpaced by the Maingear F131 SS (GTX Titan) (2:35) and the Falcon Northwest Mach V (Triple Titan) (2:41) by similarly thin margins. All said. classifying the Genesis (Core i7-3970X) as “gaming rig” is something of an oversimplification, as its impressive hardware is equally adept at ripping through even the most demanding of multimedia-creation tasks.
The Genesis (Core i7-3970X) ran through our 3D benchmark tests without breaking a sweat. Its performance in our 3DMark11 tests at Entry-level settings (27,617 points) led the entire pack, with the Falcon Northwest Mach V (Triple Titan) trailing close behind (27,196 points) while the Maingear Shift Super Stock (Core i7-3930K) scored 24,337 points. In Extreme settings, however, the Genesis (Core i7-3970X) (12,212 points) came second only to the Falcon Northwest Mach V (Triple Titan) (12,505).
The Genesis (Core i7-3970X) is clearly a powerful beast. But where didn’t beat the competition was in the most important are—our gaming tests. Objectively speaking, its ability to churn out triple-digit frame rates in even the most demanding of settings was impressive. However, the Genesis (Core i7-3970X)’s pair of 4GB Nvidia GTX 690 GPUs in SLI configuration was simply no match for the two and three Nvidia GeForce GTX Titans in SLI configuration found on the Maingear F131 SS (GTX Titan) and the Falcon Northwest Mach V (Triple Titan). respectively. Accordingly, the Genesis (Core i7-3970X)’s performance in our Aliens Vs. Predator test (238fps in medium quality at 1,366-by-768 resolution; 195fps with the settings maxed out at 1,920-by-1,080 resolution) fell short of the Maingear F131 SS (GTX Titan) (457fps and 182fps, respectively) and, to a greater extent, the Falcon Northwest Mach V (Triple Titan) (508fps and 222fps, respectively). The same goes for the Genesis (Core i7-3970X)’s performance on our Heaven benchmark tests (260fps in medium quality at 1,366-by-768 resolution; 186fps with the settings maxed out at 1,920-by-1,080 resolution), where it was bested by the Maingear F131 SS (GTX Titan) (288fps and 155fps, respectively) and the Falcon Northwest Mach V (Triple Titan) (336fps and 198fps, respectively). Ultimately, the Genesis (Core i7-3970X)’s frame rates are impressive in their own right, and you will get a smooth gaming experience with virtually any game you play today. However, if you’re shelling out over seven grand for a high-end gaming rig, you’ll want the ability to brag that you own the top dog.
The Origin Genesis (Core i7-3970X) is an all-around impressive system. Its killer design, cutting-edge components, and remarkable performance on nearly any task make it worthy of serious consideration. That said, though, the Falcon Northwest Mach V (Triple Titan) outguns it on the all-important gaming grid by virtue of its more potent GPU configuration while sporting a lower price tag, and for these reasons the Falcon NW system’s reign as our newest Editors’ Choice for high-end gaming desktops continues. Still, the Genesis (Core i7-3970X) has plenty of good going for it—especially its killer feature set—and is worth looking into if raw performance alone isn’t your modus operandi.
BENCHMARK TEST RESULTS:
Check out the test scores for the Origin Genesis (Core i7-3970X)
Compare the Origin Genesis (Core i7-3970X) with several other desktops side by side.
More desktop reviews:
|Primary Optical Drive||Blu-Ray Disc|
|Processor Family||Intel Core i7|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 SLI|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||1000 + 240 x 2 GB|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc