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ORIGIN PC's The Big O

by The Review CrewJuly 19, 2011

Every serious gamer has had the same devastating lucid dream cyclically, perhaps as often as once a week. In this dream you sit down at your desktop set up and after soundly delivering the walloping of a lifetime to all online adversaries via your chosen desktop game you nonchalantly boot up the Xbox 360 that is housed within your PC to cross platforms seamlessly. Thereby effectively widening your sphere of game-ass-whipping by exponential degrees. Everyone has had that lucid dream, right? No? Apparently the good folks at Origin PC have an Inception agent in my mind, because when Origin PC shipped us their flagship unit dubbed eloquently, “The Big O.” I nearly fainted. Scratch that, I nearly made the “O face” from Office Space. Nay, I did make the “O Face” from Office Space.

Now that you are thoroughly engrossed in the story of luxury gaming which is the Big O we will explore the units innards with the tenacity of Miss Frizzle and her Magic School Bus. Encased within a glorious red, black, and translucent Custom DD 21 Double Wide Case, lay an Intel Core i5 2500K CPU that has been overclocked effectively to a range of 4.0 – 4.5GHz. For the overly ambitious electronics zealots who are anxiously reading this review and scribbling in a separate notepad any obvious flaws with the noted machinery, the entire beast is liquid cooled including the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme Motherboard, as well as the 8GBs of Kingston HyperX 1600Mhz Memory, and Dual NVIDIA GTX 580 in SLI cards. Albeit the only specifics we can find on the liquid cooling itself is that it derives from ORIGIN’s “High-Performance CPU & GPU Liquid Cooling” as well as Chipset Liquid Cooling.

The unit is outfitted with Dual 64GB Crucial RealSSD drives in RAID 0 as well as 2TB of Western Digital Black Caviar. (Delicious wording if I may say so). The power supply is a Silverstone 1500watt Strider. Which Silverstone touts as the boundary of a modern power supply unit. A 12x LiteOn Blu-Ray burner will agitate the already envious and infuriate the DVD aficionados without reserve. A Creative Fatal1ty Sound card is front mounted, as well as a traditionally mounted ASUS Xonar. The Big O runs on Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit with 1 USB 2.0 jack, 8 USB 3.0 jacks, 1 PS/2, 1 eSATA 3GB/s, 1 S/PDIF Out, and 6 audio ports. There is an FC3 fan controller and an LED strip light with remote control.

Throw a liquid cooled Xbox 360 Slim inside of the aforementioned case and you have the Big O. Throw all of that inside a massive wood crate that arrives to your doorstep on a humongous wooden pallet and you have ORIGIN PC’s flagship unit. Did I mention that the passed 400 some odd words were simply the stock configurations. Yes, this beast is entirely customizable down to the last microbe and node. Perhaps you would prefer an alternate gaming console to be included with the PC? You fancy more RAM? ORIGIN can oblige your most inane desires with panache. Which, to be honest, is really what this machine boils down to. Not to have a sentimental aside on American values but was the computer industry lacking something great prior to the creation of the Big O? No, not at all. But to entice the collective appetites of global gaming community by opening the floodgates with a project like the Big O announces ORIGIN PC’s sights are set high and they are travelling at warp speed. Certainly commendable aspirations are flowing forward from these fine folks.

Now this magnificent Unicorn of a unit was not without its quibbles.  We were let down because the unit is kind of unstable. This can be expected from such an overclocked PC, if an ambitious hobbyist went to work creating this in a basement, but to pay nearly $8,000 for a computer that froze 4 times over a two month daily test during gameplay of Crisis 2 and Bad Company 2 Vietnam is, as the kids would say, wack.

Tech Support at ORIGIN, while being either punch-drunk or overly confident, misdiagnosed an issue with the SSD controller and sent out expensive parts that did not pertain to the situation at all. In reality, the issue was one pertaining to drivers. It isn’t entirely clear whether this is a good or bad thing that the company is willing to graciously hand out equipment without confirmation that it is needed. It is clear that wasting two hours of time on the phone for one hour of time to actually fix the unit without parts is bad.

To be sure the Big O is ridiculous in size and scope. Under your desk or wherever your tower goes will be a miniature edifice, a modern tower of Babel purring for your satisfaction. All LAN parties will have to be appropriated to your den upon purchase of this unit as any mobility is out of the question.

There is also a paradox to the Big O and ORIGIN’s focused demographic. Those likely to fully understand the expansive capabilities of the Big O are also more likely to want to build their own unit and fashion out a truly one-of-a-kind model on their own time and turf. However, any serious gamer with a spare $7,669 will be tempted lustfully to make a hefty purchase on this PC.

The shortcomings of ORIGIN’s lofty attempt are fairly standard in the industry amongst gaming PC manufacturers, and for the massive monopoly the Big O now has on all that is awesome within desktop gaming there are bound to be some drawbacks. What seems like a minute detail that really needs to be mentioned is that the PC and the Xbox 360(or other console of your choice) are able to run concurrently like a bizarro world jail sentence. So you can game while you game a la Pimp My Ride, or handle business and pleasure without ever leaving your comfy computer chair. ORIGIN PC made a laudable, ambitious unit with the Big O. Chock full of pure USDA beef; there is nothing wimpy about this tower.

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The Review Crew
The Review Crew is a group of beat editors, writers, and consultants that have been working together for years. They know just about everything about everything collectively and have published their collective work under the Review Crew brand moniker for almost 20 years.