At first glance, it is clear that the Origin Neuron means business, and when I say business, I mean serious game business. Eye-catching RGB lighting, premium components and clear aesthetics make it one of the best looking buildings I've ever seen. This is not a pre-built standard desktop with cheaper or proprietary generic hardware that you cannot update later. With the exception of the standard 360mm water cooling, the Neuron uses fully standard equipment inside.
With Origin's online configuration tool, almost every component of the neuron can be customized. You can build an entry-level system, a powerful gaming rig, an all-out workstation beast, and everything in between. The specifications of the animal unit we checked are as follows:
- Case: Phantek's Enthoo Evolv
- Processor: Intel Core i7 7700K Quad-Core 4.2 GHz (4.5 GHz TurboBoost)
- Motherboard: Asus Strix Z270G
- Memory: 32 GB G.Skill TridentZ RGB 3000 MHz (4 x 8 GB)
- System cooling: Origin Frostbyte 360 Sealed Liquid Cooling System for 1151 sockets
- Graphics cards: Dual 11 GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition
- Power supply: 850 watt EVGA SuperNOVA G3
- Cable with power supply sleeve color: white cable with single sleeve EVGA
- Hard drive one (OS): Samsung 960 Evo 250 GB M.2 SSD
- Hard Drive Two: 2 TB Seagate 2.5 "FireCuda Flash accelerated hard drive
- Hard drive three: 2 TB Seagate 2.5 "FireCuda flash accelerated hard drive
- Operating system: Windows 10 Home
- Price as configured: $ 3799
The look of the rig is as impressive as the internal components. The Phanteks Evolv case is a good choice for this mATX build. I like the large glass sidewalls that bring Origin's cable management to good use. There is a foam inside the housing that protects the neuron well during shipping. With two GTX 1080 Ti inside there is a lot of weight that you don't want to move. I am glad to see this considering the price of the system.
As you can see, this is a serious gaming rig. There's really a lot of room for improvement if you don't choose a Core i9, and even then you wouldn't get more gaming performance out of more cores. The system can also be delivered overclocked at the factory, but your results depend on binning. The CPU in our device runs at 5.2 GHz and the GPU also has a 120 MHz boost.
If you ever need to upgrade a component, it's as easy as if you built the rig yourself. Everything inside is a brand and easily accessible. I would not really change anything here when choosing components. The system should work flawlessly many years later. The internal components are easily accessible thanks to the large, swiveling side walls. They open almost like a bird flaping its wings. It's a really cool design on the case, but I only wish they were secured a little more. The corners have rubber covers, but they fall off easily and don't hold the doors well. I think a magnet system could work well here.
Inside you will find lots of Asus Aura Sync RGB products that suit your taste. The rest of the building is very clean. With a power supply cellar and limited I / O on the front, all non-essential cables are not visible. This highlights the completely white power supply cabling. Although it looks great, I'm not sure about the cable ties on the cables. If you bother wrapping your cables one by one, why should you ruin the look by tying them all together? However, if this is the only little thing I can complain about, you can say how much I like this build.
As with all SLI builds, especially founders or other reference cards, the inside of the neuron can get quite roasted and noisy. The top GPU was consistently 20 degrees hotter than the bottom, but that's to be expected. Instead of a 360 mm cooler at the front, Origin could possibly have installed smaller spotlights for the graphics cards, since this is the only area where the neuron is missing. Overall, however, the temperatures for construction are fine. However, I was surprised that there are no fans on top of the case. The Neuron has 3 inlet fans, but only 1 outlet fan. I think an extra fan or two above could help with convection. You could even turn them into RGB.
On the back we find a better cable management. Everything is tied into position with a zipper and stowed in the corners as far as possible. This is where the two 2.5-inch 2 TB drives are located. In the future, they can be easily exchanged for SSDs. The back also has a small cutout directly above the drives. I think it works best to showcase your SSDs rather than the back of standard HDDs, but that's not really a problem.
In the lower left corner we find the two GTX 1080 Ti in the SLI and the PSU cellar. I really like the new high bandwidth SLI bridges in contrast to the old strips. There is also a small cutout in the basement cover to demonstrate the power supply and its specifications.
The front panel is easily removable and shows a dust filter and the triple cooler at the front. The fans are protected with a very large dust filter that covers the entire front panel. It can be easily peeled off for cleaning. In addition, there are two USB 3.0 ports as well as headphone and microphone ports. If you are not using any of the front connectors, there is a flap on the front of the case that can be folded down to cover it.
On the back we find all I / Os for the Asus Strix Z270G. These include connections for the Wi-Fi antennas, a USB 3.1 Type-C connection, a USB 3.1 Type-A connection, an HDMI output, DisplayPort, two USB 2.0 connections, 4 USB 3.0 connections, a PS / 2 port and a Gigabit Ethernet port, and finally the standard 6-port audio configuration. Below that are the video outputs of the two standard GTX 1080 Ti. Next to it is the 120mm exhaust fan. If desired, it can be upgraded to a 140 mm fan and, depending on the CPU cooling configuration, can also be positioned up and down. The last thing to note on the back is Eco mode on the power supply. This keeps the fan off for low to medium loads.
I've talked a lot about fitting with the neuron, but you really don't have to do anything for a long time. As soon as you have received the PC, all you need is a keyboard, a mouse and a monitor and you are ready to go.
As expected, the Origin Neuron has massive performance figures. However, if you paid almost $ 4,000 for a PC, anything else would be a disappointment. The Neuron is the fastest pre-built PC we've ever tested and one of the most powerful gaming systems you can get right now. It achieves more than 99% of all results in 3DMark and is thus among the top 1% of game systems worldwide (Firestrike: 30267 total points, 54763 for graphics – Time Spy: 15096 overall, 20097 for graphics).
The rest of the benchmarks come from our standard test suite. We usually test these powerful systems when we build them ourselves for our PC buying guide or when we test the latest GPU / CPU versions. Therefore, the neuron dominates over previous pre-built systems that we have reviewed.
The Chronos is a Mini-ITX-SFF system from Origin that we tested this year and that contains a single GTX 1080 Ti. The MSI Trident 3 Arctic is a small form factor PC with a GTX 1070. After all, the Lenovo Y910 is an all-in-one gaming PC with a GTX 1080. It's not a fair fight between the other systems, but it should be give you a good feeling for the power that is in the neuron.
The only test in which the neuron was not completely ahead was the x264 encoding benchmark. This is a very CPU intensive test and doesn't really benefit from the additional graphics performance. There are numbers similar to the Chronos because they both share an overclocked Core i7-7700K.
For most players, the Origin Neuron is the pinnacle of a high performance system. Two graphics cards, an overclocked CPU, flawless cable management and lighting, and easy upgradeability. The configuration checked today costs $ 3,799 on the Origin website.
If you don't need this level of performance, you can always choose different components for a cheaper build. For example, if you lose a single graphics card, you save $ 800. If you're on the other end and somehow need more power, the Neuron can hold up to i7-6950X, 64 GB RAM, and two Titan Xp GPUs.
If you build the same system yourself, the build at the time of writing to PCpartpicker is around $ 3,200. Prices will of course fluctuate, especially with current GPU prices, but the 20% markup is pretty standard. For that additional $ 600, you get RGB lighting installed and set up, the individually jacketed and managed cables, guaranteed overclocking, and Origin support and warranty. For those who are already looking in this price range, this is probably not important.
The included Windows installation doesn't contain much bloatware. The only additional software really installed is EVGA Precision X and some Asus motherboard and caching utilities.
If you have the money you can spend on a computer of this class, the Origin Neuron is a good choice. It's visually stunning and has the internal specs to back it up. Since all components inside are standard off-the-shelf components, you can upgrade them as technology advances.
Advantages: Breathtaking appearance. Excellent build quality and cable management. Ultra high performance components.
Disadvantage: Big surcharge for DIY. No upper fans.