Origin Genesis (Intel Core i7 2600K) review: Origin Genesis (Intel Core i7 2600K)

First, note the difference between the Sandy Bridge systems and the older Core i7-based PCs. On all of our application tests, the newer systems post dramatic performance wins. We can't pinpoint exactly which aspect of the new chips provides the advantage on each test. Among other things, the Sandy Bridge CPUs have different cache structures, and other granular tweaks compared with the older chips. In any case, the higher clock speeds likely play a large role in their advantage.

Among the three Sandy Bridge systems, we notice some intriguing similarities, notable given the price disparity. The $5,000 Falcon Northwest Mach V, for example, isn't any faster than the $2,500 Origin system. The $1,974 Maingear Vybe also manages to make a competitive showing as the least expensive PC in our comparison. The situation changes when we look at gaming performance, but at least in terms of application speed, the most expensive systems will need to look elsewhere to justify their higher costs. In short, the Origin Genesis looks like a truly great performance deal.

Crysis
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,600x1,200 (high, 4x aa)  
1,280x1,024 (medium, 4x aa)  
Origin Genesis (Intel Core i7 2600K)
76 
102 
Maingear Vybe (Intel Core i5 2500K)
60 
81 

Far Cry 2
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,920x1,200 (DirectX 10, 4x aa, very high)  
1,440x900 (DirectX 10, 4x aa, very high)  
Origin Genesis (Intel Core i7 2600K)
148 
189 
Maingear Vybe (Intel Core i5 2500K)
127 
173 

Metro 2033
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
2,560x,1,536 (DirectX 11, very high)  
1,920x1,080 (DirectX 11, very high)  
Origin Genesis (Intel Core i7 2600K)
14 
27 
Maingear Vybe (Intel Core i5 2500K)
6 
23 

The Origin fares well on our gaming tests, but the higher-end Falcon Northwest Mach V enjoys an edge here due to its second graphics card. The Falcon dominates our gaming tests, which makes sense, but the Origin system posts an interesting result on our lower-end Crysis test. We suspect that the high 102-frames-per-second score, the fastest in this grouping, comes from some combination of the Origin's overclocked graphics card and its 8GB of RAM. Otherwise, the Genesis scales as we expect given its single graphics card, including on the brutal Metro 2033 test, which gauges Nvidia GeForce-oriented DirectX 11 performance. We don't mind using that test given that all of these PCs have Nvidia cards in them, but as soon as Nvidia enables SLI support for Futuremark's 3DMark 11, we'll be switching over.

You can always add a second graphics card to the Origin Genesis if you want faster gaming performance, but you might want to configure it with a beefier power supply beyond the 750-watt model included here. The next step up from Origin is a 1,000-watt PSU for an extra $150, which should do the job. At least the spare PCI Express graphics card slot is free.

Other card expansion options in the system include a pair of standard PCI slots, a free 1x PCI Express slot, and an 8x PCI Express slot. You can also add two more memory sticks and a handful of additional hard drives via the secure drive cage and the free internal drive bays. For connectivity, highlights include FireWire, eSATA, and USB 3.0 ports, as well as optical and coaxial digital audio outputs. You also get a pair of DVI outputs and a Mini-HDMI output on the graphics card.

Juice box
Origin Genesis (Intel Core i7 2600K) Average watts per hour
Off (60 percent) 1.31
Sleep (10 percent) 3.97
Idle (25 percent) 125.31
Load (5 percent) 402.52
Raw kWh 689.97
Energy Star-compliant No
Annual energy cost $78.31

Annual power consumption cost
Maingear Vybe (Intel Core i5 2500K)
$56.34 
Origin Genesis (Core i7 2600K)
$78.31 

The power consumption on the three Sandy Bridge-equipped systems is nothing short of amazing. They not only outperform the older Core i7-based systems, they also use significantly less power. The Origin Genesis will still make its presence known on your power bill, running up $78.30 a year in annual power bills, or about $6.50 a month. That's only about 65 percent as much as the Maingear F131, though, and we expect anyone would be happy to pocket the difference.

Origin boasts lifetime in-house phone and online service for the Genesis, as well as lifetime labor coverage. The default parts warranty only covers you for a year, though. Falcon Northwest offers three years of parts coverage with every Mach V. Both vendors also offer discretionary shipping coverage if you send your PC in for repair; although Falcon explicitly states that it will pay for overnight shipping both ways should it be necessary to send the system in, Origin is less specific about the details of its shipping coverage.

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations:
Digital Storm Special Ops (Intel Core i7 950)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; 3.07GHz Intel Core i7 950; 6GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; (2) 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 graphics cards; 80GB Corsair Drive Force solid-state hard drive; 1TB 7,200rpm Western Digital Caviar Black hard drive

Falcon Northwest Mach V (Intel Core i7 2600K)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; 4.6GHz Intel Core i7 2600K (overclocked); 16GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; (2)1.5GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 graphics cards; 128GB solid-state hard drive; 1TB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive

Maingear F131 (Intel Core i7 950)
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit; 3.87GHz (overclocked) Intel Core i7 960; 6GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; (2) 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards; 80GB Intel X25-M solid-state hard drive; 1.5TB 5,400rpm Western Digital hard drive

Origin Genesis (Intel Core i7 2600K)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; 4.7GHz Intel Core i7 2600K (overclocked); 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1.5GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 graphics card (overclocked); 80GB solid-state hard drive; 1TB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive

Maingear Vybe (Intel Core i5 2500K)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; 4.6GHz Intel Core i5 2500K (overclocked); 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; (2) 1.5GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 graphics cards; 64GB solid-state hard drive; 1TB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

Origin Genesis (Intel Core i7 2600K)

Part Number: CNETOrigin GenesisCore i72600K Released: Jan. 4, 2011

MSRP: $2,499.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications

  • Release date Jan. 4, 2011
About The Author

Rich Brown is an executive editor for CNET Reviews. He has worked as a technology journalist since 1994.