"Origin & # 39; s Millennium is the best custom gaming desktop you can buy."
Outstanding build quality
Easy to update
Strong performance in all benchmarks
Some competitors are faster
Video games have conquered the world. You can play on almost anything; a laptop, a $ 300 smartphone, and even a entry-level Chromebook. However, there remains a massive gap between the simplest games and those loved by "core" players. You won't be playing Metro: Exodus on a smartphone with 4K and maximum detail.
For that, you need a serious gaming battle station – like Origin & # 39; s Millennium. This full tower flagship desktop is massive in both size and price. It's 20 inches tall, weighs at least 30 pounds, and starts north of $ 2,000. The fully featured test device I tested with a Core i9-9900K and two Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards cost almost $ 5,750.
That's a lot of money, but not uncommon for a top-notch gaming desktop. And as it turns out, the millennium is money well spent.
Origin was one of the first custom PC manufacturers to switch their flagship desktop to a custom case. This case was updated to the second generation last year – and we were impressed. The massive millennium combines a sleek metal front that swings out to expose the optical drive (if any) and hot-swap hard drive bays, with hardened glass flanks that are secured by magnets. The result is a sleek, clean and imposing silhouette. It looks subtle compared to the insanity of Area-51 by Alienware or the monolithic Digital Storm Aventum X, but I think Origin & # 39; s Rig is the nicest of the three. It's reputable, confident, and even professional – depending on the color you buy.
The millennium chassis is made of steel and most surfaces are made of either glass or aluminum, which gives the case weight. Seriously. You could pick it up alone, but I recommend bringing a friend with you, as even a small drop could break these beautiful glass side walls. The forward-facing sub-bases remain the only weakness in the build quality. It consists of a thin piece of plastic that doesn't feel right on this otherwise powerful PC.
While the quality of the millennium can be seen at a glance, the case has another major advantage over most competitors. Adaptation. Origin has designed the case so that it can be configured in different ways. The motherboard can be located on either the right or left side of the chassis and oriented so that the motherboard connectors face back or up.
It's reputable, confident, and even professional – depending on the color you buy.
It's a nerdy detail, but there are practical advantages. You can order the Millennium in a configuration that best suits your gambling den or office. An enthusiast who tinkers with the system frequently and swaps peripherals may want the motherboard connectors to face up to facilitate access, while a video editor that creates a top-notch rig may steer to a more traditional setup.
The Origin Millennium offers a light show, but is thematically reserved. The glowing Origin logo on the front is the only custom element. It looks good, but many colleagues offer several custom lighting elements that are combined for more visual flair. The Millennium can even be ordered with two aluminum side walls instead of glass, which further reduces the wow factor.
Personally, I don't care. Insane lighting is not my thing. Keep this in mind, however, if you want a desktop with lights that flash in time with the frame rate of a game. What is important to me is a sense of quality and attractive, elegant design. This is where the millennium delivers.
Many ports, minus the thunder
The Millennium's forward-facing ports are covered with thin plastic, but are well located. A fold-down control panel hides the power switch, the idle button, two USB-A 3.1 ports, a USB-C 3.1 port and the headphone / microphone jacks. It's a standard setup, but the ports are exactly where they need to be.
Rich Shibley / Digital Trends
The rear-facing ports depend on the motherboard, but even the least expensive configuration includes multiple USB 3.1 ports with an additional rear-facing USB-C 3.1. You also get 7.1 audio.
However, Thunderbolt 3 is not available. None of the Millennium motherboards available support this. If you want to, you have to buy the Origin L-Class workstation. I would like to see Thunderbolt on a system that is as expensive as the Millennium, but to be fair, it is also missing from the competition.
Do you want to upgrade? No problem
Origin may use a custom case, but you will be familiar with the internals of the Millennium once you get used to them. Alternative configurations, such as the one with the motherboard connectors tilted upwards, can easily confuse new enthusiasts.
The case is of course large, so there is no lack of space for upgrades. In a basic configuration, only one PCI slot is used, which offers space for several graphics cards or other PCI add-on cards. There is also space for up to nine hard drives, with the m.2 and hard drive bays being counted together. You can increase this to ten if you also use the optional Intel Optane graphics.
I expect every flagship desktop to offer flawless internals, and the Millennium doesn't disappoint.
High configurations of course use all of these expansion options, but they are so expensive that most people do not choose them. Even our fully equipped test device had a lot of space for updating RAM, hard drives and PCIe cards.
Breaking open the case is easy because the side glass is secured by magnets. No tools are usually required for minor upgrades. A more serious change, like a new processor or motherboard, means breaking out a screwdriver and tweezers. Due to the size of the millennium and easy access to both sides of the rig, replacing these components is easier than doing the same on a smaller mass-produced desktop.
Rich Shibley / Digital Trends
You will only find one obstacle on your way – Origin & # 39; s own high standards. Our Millennium Test Unit was wrapped tightly with carefully arranged and secured cables that placed everything exactly where it should be to provide a clean presentation. You may have to move some cables, which means that you will ruin the careful cable routing you paid for. Good luck restoring Origin's high standards.
However, this is not a real complaint. I expect every flagship desktop to offer flawless internals, and the Millennium doesn't disappoint.
The Core i9-9900K drives to victory
Our Origin Millennium test device came with an Intel Core i9-9900K, which works with its standard base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and can be turbo up to 5 GHz. This is an extremely powerful eight-core chip with hyper-threading. We have now seen it in four different systems, and all of them give excellent results.
Unlike an AMD Ryzen chip or the more expensive processors from Intel's X series, the Intel Core i9-9900K offers a balanced mix of single-core and multi-core performance. It outperforms every previously tested chip in both single-core and multi-core performance. We haven't tested a rig with Intel's latest 9th generation X-Series chips and we know they would win in the multi-core test (the i9-9980XE has 18 cores!). Still, there is no doubt that the Core i9 -9900K is a sweet spot for most tasks.
The Origin Millennium does not seem to offer any advantage over the competition with the same chip. It is only a hit with the Asus Strix GL12X and is slightly behind the Digital Storm Aventum X.
If you want to play at 4K without rejecting details, the Millennium is for you.
However, the gaps between all of the Core i9-9900K systems we tested are too small to make sense in real use. This became clear in our handbrake benchmark, which transcodes a 4K video clip from h.264 to h.265. All four desktops tested came apart within a few seconds. Without a stopwatch, you wouldn't notice a difference.
While the millennium's processor performance can keep up with the competition, hard drive performance is in a different league. The test device arrived with a Samsung 970 Pro m.2 drive, which easily conquered our benchmark.
I saw read speeds in excess of three gigabytes per second and write speeds in excess of two gigabytes per second. These are not records, but they are still excellent. Note, however, that competing rigs may offer disk upgrades that put them in a similar league.
Let's get to the game
The Millennium is capable of many things, but playing is its best purpose. Our verification system was fully exploited with two Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards in SLI, the currently most powerful configuration. How was it fair Let's start with 3DMark.
The 3DMark Time Spy benchmark runs great on the Origin Millennium, but the results are not cheap. The Origin Rig does not correspond to the Digital Storm Aventum X, which tested digital trends and simultaneously equipped with two Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards. This advantage is likely due to the fact that Aventum uses a liquid cooling circuit for both graphics cards.
However, this is only a yardstick. Does this result mean real gaming? Let's start at 1080p.
A double RTX 2080 Ti rig like the Origin Millennium I tested is overkill for 1080p gaming. Mostly. Like its rivals, the Millennium frequently fell off the engine's frame rate caps during our tests. However, there are some games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided that require so much power if you play on a 1080p screen with a refresh rate of 120 Hz or 144 Hz and want to take full advantage of this feature.
Millennium retailers are struggling with Digital Storm Aventum X, a major competitor, during these tests. Neither has a definite advantage over the other. It's time to raise the heat.
This is a more realistic resolution for a high-end rig like the Origin Millennium, although you may be confused by the numbers. Many are hardly different from the 1080p results. As mentioned earlier, the Millennium is so fast that it often encounters engine frame rate caps or, if not, a CPU bottleneck. Even at 1440p, it still encounters these obstacles.
However, you can find signs that the millennium has limits. Battlefield 1 achieves an average of 177 frames per second at extreme details instead of hitting the engine cover. Deux Ex: Mankind Divided achieves an average of 113 frames per second, which is not enough to satisfy a 1440p monitor with a refresh rate of 120 Hz.
The Origin Millennium and Digital Storm Aventum X continue to trade punches at this resolution without a clear winner. That can only mean one thing. It's time to go to 4K.
4K games are probably what a player who buys the Origin Millennium wants to achieve. The results prove that it is an achievable dream. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided still achieves an average of 70 frames per second with extreme details. This is not possible with a single RTX 2080 Ti. Civilization VI exceeds 90 FPS and Battlefield 1 averages 140 FPS.
While the exchange of blows between Millennium and Aventum X continues here, the latter takes the lead in most games. The Millennium wins in Battlefield 1 only with medium and extreme details. The Aventum X otherwise takes the lead, if not always by a significant amount.
I also tried two newer games. Battlefield V and Assassins Creed: Odyssey. The latest Battlefield title averaged an impressive 75 frames per second at 4KB and maximum detail (note, however, that we haven't enabled the ray tracing feature). The notoriously demanding Odyssey achieved an average of 50 frames per second with 4K resolution and maximum detail.
Rich Shibley / Digital Trends
The Origin Millennium is a gaming powerhouse. There is no doubt about that. That is exactly what we would expect. The Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti is the fastest graphics card currently available to gamers. Of course, two of them are even better because they increase the average frame rate in the games we tested by another 40 percent. This is an overkill for most players – but if you want to play at 4K without declining details, the Millennium is for you.
The Origin Millennium is the best custom desktop you can buy today.
You have to pay for the quality. Base models start north of $ 2,000. Our test with an Intel Core i9-9900K, two Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards, 16 GB 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM and 512 GB Samsung 970 Pro M.2. Hard drive, rang up to $ 5,750.
A flagship desktop should make a statement both for itself and for itself. The Millennium does it. This is a beautiful piece of hardware that looks good at first glance and becomes more impressive the closer it is examined.
Is there a better alternative?
Not in this category. The Origin Millennium is a standout product among custom gaming desktops.
A cheaper system could give you better service if raw performance is your goal, but the Millennium can compete with other custom PC manufacturers. The Digital Storm Aventum X with similar hardware costs over $ 7,000. Even CyberpowerPC, a company known for its value, can get a similar price if you want to use the hardware from the millennium we've tested.
The Falcon Northwest Mach V is another eye-catcher, but could use a chassis update. The Alienware Area-51 offers an even more unique case, but its processor options are poor.
How long it will take?
The robust casing of the Origin Millennium and the excellent build quality give me the confidence that this desktop can help you for years. Internal hardware is out of date, but the Millennium case remains useful as long as desktop PCs continue to play a role.
I wish Origin would improve its warranty, however. By default, shipping is only covered for the first 45 days. This is a fine print that can serve as "Gotcha!"
Should you buy it
Yes. The Origin Millennium is an outstanding desktop that every PC player can be proud of.