Falcon Northwest Tiki 2018
"The Falcon Northwest Tiki continues the legacy of its predecessors in terms of quality, style and performance."
Exceptional build quality
Paint has temporary smell and scratches easily
Above misaligned USB ports
The original Falcon Northwest Tiki was one of our most popular gaming PCs ever. We liked the compact form factor, the powerful fixtures and the unique exterior design. That means the 2018 model has some big shoes to fill.
The latest version of the ultra-compact game from Falcon Northwest has an Intel Core i7-8700K processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card, 32 GB RAM and a 2 TB SSD. All for the not very low price of $ 3,500. Let us see how it can compete against the latest and greatest gaming PCs on the market – and above all, whether it deserves this price.
Slim, shiny and compact
If you just look at the Falcon Northwest Tiki, it immediately becomes clear that this is not your average gaming PC. Instead of a huge tower with a large open window that looks into a gaping gorge of cables and LED lighting, the Tiki offers a slim, compact silhouette. It is small, carefully constructed and incredibly well built. However, the visual design offers more than you might think.
The Falcon Northwest Tiki is not only a colorful PC, but also has a car paint that gives the whole exterior a unique feeling of depth. Up close and under bright light, the paint becomes bright and a little metallic and sparkles like a sports car on a summer trip. But be careful, the paint job behaves exactly like the paint job of an actual car. It can flake and scratch much more easily than cheap PC cases made of plastic or normal coated steel. And there is an unfortunate side effect: the smell.
The paint on the Tiki continues to harden and harden. This makes it smell unpleasant of chemicals.
The paint on the Tiki hardens immediately and continues to harden. This makes it smell unpleasant of chemicals – like in a body shop. You won't notice if the Tiki isn't in a closed room with poor ventilation, or if you're really getting close to it, but it's definitely there. During the time we had with the Tiki, the smell finally subsided so much that you could only smell it if you really approached it, but you should keep that in mind when deciding to paint your car. It looks good, but has one disadvantage.
The Falcon Northwest Tiki has all the ports you'd expect from a gaming PC, with a standard I / O panel on the back and some additional USB ports on the top next to the vertically oriented optical drive. Everything is easy to reach and exactly where you expect it to be. With one tiny exception.
This exception is probably just an oversight, not a big deal, but if you pay $ 3,500 for a PC, it's not inadequate to expect some level of perfection. The problem is the top USB ports. The I / O control panel here was not fully attached to the top plate of the chassis. So when you try to use one of the USB ports at the top, you're basically pushing the entire I / O panel into the computer. It does not look good.
That said, it's an easy fix. All we had to do was open it and screw the I / O panel to the top of the case. Still, as mentioned earlier, it was a little disappointing, but far from a deal breaker. This is still an exceptionally well-built computer in every way.
Compact but not tight
At Falcon Northwest Tiki, the first thing you'll probably notice is how clean and compact everything is. Remember, this is a very small PC with a slim form factor that basically fits into any of our other test PCs here in the office – with enough space. The fittings in the tiki are precisely arranged, everything is carefully coordinated, since there is not much space there. Despite the lack of additional space in the interior, it doesn't feel tight – just tight.
Pull the page off and you have instant access to the graphics card, motherboard, RAM and M.2 slot. There's an internal stabilizer bracket that shields some of the other internal components – like the wiring for the top USB panel – but for a reason. It keeps the case stable and keeps everything in place during shipping. If you pull it out for home cleaning or repair, be sure to put it back if you ever need to send your Falcon Northwest back for repair.
There is really not much to say about the internals here, which photos do not illustrate more clearly. Just look at how everything is arranged there. The processor's water cooling unit has just enough play to conveniently lower the cable management on the side panel. It is tight, efficient and functional.
Six core showdown
The Falcon Northwest Tiki features an overclocked 8th generation Intel Core i7-8700K, a processor you'll see often in high-end gaming PCs like this one. It's fast, powerful, and almost the best you can get in the i7 range. Unlike its 6th and 7th generation i7 predecessors, the i7-8700K is more of a six-core processor than a quad-core processor. This means that for this generation of processors, Intel decided to put more cores on the chip instead of just accelerating the existing cores. The final result? The thing is fast.
If you look at how it works with the same processor on another computer, it's clear that the Intel Core i7-8700K is fast on its feet in terms of single-core and multi-core performance. It easily outperforms the AMD Ryzen 1800X in the Velocity Micro Raptor M60, and it shows significant advantages over previous generation processors.
The Falcon Northwest Tiki managed to create 4K video encoding in just over three minutes.
For most games, the Core i7-8700K won't do much of the heavy lifting, but you'll find when around a million browser tabs are open and Excel and Word are running in the background. The i7-8700K does an excellent job of keeping up with you on everyday productivity tasks.
An example of the speed at which we left the i7-8700K is only the handbrake benchmark. The Falcon Northwest Tiki managed to crack 4K video encoding in just over three minutes, placing it in front of the same processor in the Origin Millennium and a full minute in front of the AMD Ryzen 1800X.
Fast and faster
The Falcon Northwest Tiki comes with a huge 2TB SSD in its M.2 slot – which is suitable for SSDs the size of a chewing gum stick. Given the Tiki's high-end family tree, it only makes sense that it is equipped with a luxuriously large and lightning-fast SSD, and the included Intel 760P M.2 SSD doesn't disappoint.
If you look at the performance of the 2 TB SSD against some of its colleagues, one thing is completely clear: SSDs have become incredibly fast. At the reading speed, all three PCs managed to achieve more than 2,500 megabytes per second. The Velocity Micro is in first place with 2,876 MB / s, just before the 2,867 MB / s of the Tiki.
Given the Tiki's high-end family tree, it only makes sense that it is equipped with a luxuriously large and lightning-fast SSD.
In terms of write speed, things slow down a bit since the Tiki reaches 1,504 MB / s – which is still incredibly fast, especially considering that the Intel 760P quadruples the size of the SSDs in the Velocity Micro M60 and the Origin Millennium. Speaking of which, the Velocity Micro Raptor M60 took the lead at 2,042 MB / s to the equally impressive 1,972 MB / s of the Origin Millennium.
In practice, however, the Falcon Northwest Tiki is very fast – fast enough not to slow you down in daily use. Its large storage space and incredible performance make it an excellent choice for a compact gaming PC like the Tiki.
1080 Ti Battle Royale
The nice thing about the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is that it is almost always an impressive graphics card. No matter what system it is in, this little thing runs almost every game with maximum settings and almost any resolution – in 4K, 1440p or 1080p. To be fair, it should be going so well, it is currently the top-notch gaming graphics card – unless you step into Nvidia's professional line of GPUs designed for 3D animation or the like. But for games, it's hard to do better than a 1080 Ti, and the Falcon Northwest Tiki does a great job of showing that.
If you look at 3DMark, you can see how the 1080 Ti beats against similar builds in this machine. The Origin Millennium, one of our most popular gaming desktops, has not just one, but two GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards that run in SLI. The Velocity Micro Raptor M60 has a single GTX 1080 Ti. In our 3DMark results, the Falcon Northwest Tiki landed exactly in the middle, directly in front of the Raptor M60 and directly behind the Origin Millennium dual GPU.
It's about what we would expect from the GTX 1080 Ti. Due to the natural differences you get from card to card, the performance of the Raptor M60 is likely to be slightly better than that of the card in the Raptor M60, even if they are of the same brand and model.
If we move on to our first practical results, some interesting things happen under the hood at Falcon Northwest Tiki. If you look at Civilization VI, you will first find that despite its dual GPU configuration, the Falcon Northwest was only a few frames per second from the Origin Millennium. There are a couple of reasons that could be. First, it's likely that Civilization VI won't really need to take advantage of the performance of a two-GPU setup, and second, the slightly faster processor in the Falcon Northwest (again, due to natural differences between processors of the same type) likely advanced it. Civilization VI is a CPU intense game.
If you look at the rest of our test suite, it is clear that you will have no problems with all the games running at 1080p on the Falcon Northwest. It sailed through Battlefield 1 with ultra settings and reached an average of 185 FPS, just behind the Origin Millennium and a bit ahead of the Velocity Micro Raptor M60.
The 1080p results form the basis for what we see above at 1440p. At this resolution, the games looked great and continued to do well on the Falcon Northwest. In Battlefield 1, for example, we achieved an average of 143 FPS at ultra-high settings. Even in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided we saw 70 FPS with all maximum settings. This is impressive when you consider that Deus Ex has a bad habit of bringing high-performance systems to their knees with higher resolutions.
Which brings us to 4K. The Falcon Northwest Tiki is a very expensive gaming rig, so running 4K games shouldn't be a problem, should it? That is actually correct. The GTX 1080 Ti and all other hardware in the Falcon Northwest managed to keep up with fluid, playable frame rates in all our test games.
Looking at Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the Falcon Northwest averaged 74 FPS, with all settings being maximum. When he stepped on high, he reached 48 FPS. In either case, it was barely behind the Origin Millennium's dual GPU setup, showing how far you can go with a single GTX 1080 Ti with the right supporting hardware.
This is an extraordinary machine.
In a less demanding but slightly better looking game, Battlefield 1, the Falcon achieved impressive 74 FPS at Ultra Detail in 4K. As long as you don't need ultra-high FPS for a 144 Hz monitor, the Falcon Northwest Tiki can keep up with 4K games quite well.
With such a powerful PC about to launch the new HTC Vive Pro, you may be wondering how well it can handle VR games. This question is easy to answer as we used this test model to power the HTC Vive Pro during our test for this product and the Falcon Northwest Tiki was more than up to the challenge. With the GTX 1080 Ti and powerful Core i7 processor, we've never experienced stuttering, delays or frame rates below 90 FPS while running brand new VR games like Mage & # 39; s Tale.
The latest Falcon Northwest Tiki lives up to the legacy of its predecessors and offers high-end performance, design and build quality at a premium price. Apart from the small problems we encountered, there is not much to complain about here. This is an extraordinary machine. Still, let's break it down and make sure it really deserves that $ 3,500 price.
Is there a better alternative?
There are certainly cheaper alternatives on the market. Buying a gaming desktop with these specs wholesale or from another retailer is likely to save you some money. However, it would be difficult for you to find a gaming desktop that is as well built, powerful, and technically as comprehensive as the Falcon Northwest Tiki.
The best alternative to a Falcon Northwest Tiki may be a slightly different Falcon Northwest Tiki.
The Origin Millennium, which we used in our test comparisons, is more powerful with two GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards that run in SLI, but is also about a thousand dollars more expensive. The Velocity Micro Raptor M60 can come with almost identical specs for about the same price, but you'll end up missing out on the killer engineering and build quality you get with the Falcon Northwest.
The nice thing about buying from a custom PC maker like Falcon Northwest is that you have a lot of options available. The Falcon Northwest Tiki is available in dozens of different hardware configurations. Using the same 8th generation chipset as our test model, the Tiki starts with a GTX 1060 at just $ 2,437.
You can also purchase the Tiki with an X99 chipset if you're interested in one of Intel's high-end 18-core i9 processors. The point is that the Falcon Northwest Tiki can be customized down to the smallest detail depending on your budget. So the best alternative to a Falcon Northwest Tiki might be a slightly different Falcon Northwest Tiki.
How long it will take?
It's fairly rare for a gaming PC's warranty to be remarkable in any way, but the Falcon Northwest Tiki is an exception. Our Falcon Northwest Tiki comes with a three-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects, parts, and labor.
You also get a year of Falcon Overnight Service. If at any time your system develops a serious hardware problem that cannot be resolved through technical support, Falcon will pay for your computer to be returned to Falcon repair facilities overnight to return it to you on time. This is pretty impressive and definitely goes beyond what you would expect from a larger manufacturer like Dell or HP.
The Falcon Northwest Tiki is likely to last much longer than your average gaming PC, thanks in part to the Falcon overnight service mentioned above. Second, the Tiki comes with high-performance hardware that is currently at the forefront of gaming PCs. It will take a while for the 1080 Ti to show its age, even when the next series of Nvidia graphics cards hit the shelves. Just look at how long the 980 Ti remained relevant.
And third, this thing is built like a tank. It may be small, but it is tight. The housing is made of solid metal and durable. There is a chance that your Falcon Northwest Tiki will survive most of the other electronics in your life.
Should you buy it
This is always the most difficult question for luxury computers, and the Falcon Northwest TIki definitely falls into this category. It's hard not to recommend the Tiki, and that's why we definitely think you should buy it when you're in the market to invest in a high-end gaming rig. This thing is going to take a long time and it's one of the best built gaming desktops we've gotten in our offices lately – even though it has a few minor drawbacks.