Origin PC Millennium (2016) review: A full-size, full-power, VR-ready desktop tower

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MSRP: $6,049.00

The Good There's plenty of room for two of Nvidia's latest GeForce 1080 graphics cards in this smartly designed custom case. Configuration options are vast, and customer support is excellent.

The Bad While many gaming desktops are getting smaller, this is still a huge tower that will eat up a ton of space. Building a rig like the one we tested is very, very expensive.

The Bottom Line This expensive build of the Origin PC Millennium is overkill for even most VR gamers, but the component selection, tuning and hands-on support are top-of-the-line.

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8.5 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8.5
  • Performance 10

Review Sections

The last time we looked at the Origin PC Millennium was a couple of years ago, just when the idea of 4K gaming was starting to take hold. Driven by higher-end graphics cards, in that case the then-new Nvidia GeForce GTX 980, desktops were still a much better way to play high-end PC games at high resolutions, and by a fairly wide margin.

Since then, gaming laptops have closed the gap considerably, with decent mobile GPUs playing games easily in full HD and even in many cases, at higher resolutions like 4K. It looked as if the traditional gaming desktop was on its way to being an anachronism, until virtual reality came along and dropped a shocking high-end list of required specs (including desktop-only components) in our laps.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Gaming notebooks are again starting to catch up, and a small handful of bulky models have desktop GPUs crammed inside (including the excellent Origin PC Eon17-SLX), and there's a generation of laptops coming soon with the new mobile Nvidia 1070 and 1080 chips that promise VR compatibility in slim packages.

Still, for the time being the best VR and high-end PC game experiences come from a desktop, and among the most flexible, most powerful (and in the case of this no-limits configuration, most expensive) is the Origin PC Millennium. (You can also compare the Millennium with other Nvidia 1080 VR-ready desktops in this roundup.)

The custom desktop case hasn't changed since we last tested a Millennium, but that's because it was a rare beast to begin with -- a desktop PC case designed from scratch for a boutique PC builder. Most desktop and laptop gaming systems built by smaller, boutique companies are essentially high-end parts inside generic off-the-shelf cases, which is a shame in some ways, as these designs often don't reflect the high prices and attention to detail found inside.

But, the Millennium is built into a custom midtower desktop chassis, designed by Origin PC, and its unique configuration allows it to work in both ATX and inverted ATX positions, plus you can rotate its motherboard and components by 90 degrees, giving you a total of four starting shapes, which is useful for tweaking heat management and fitting in extra components.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Configuring a Millennium from scratch starts at around $1,900 in the US, but adding high-end parts, such as the Intel Core i7-6950X processor used here, or a couple of Nvidia GeForce 1080 graphics cards, can drive up the price quickly. Our test system also included overclocked components, a big 512GB solid-state drive (SSD) and 3TB of hard-drive space, which added up to $6,050. Note that component prices and availability can shift, so the exact price may be different depending on when you look.

Origin PC has an Australian site, and the closest available configuration there comes out to AU$9,049. For the UK, the company can provide a custom quote (the US price converts to about £4,570, but the UK price may differ), which may include a hefty shipping fee.

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