Falcon Northwest Tiki: Haswell and Titan Team Up
The Tiki is small enough and light enough that it could be your next LAN-party rig, but it’s really meant for your desk. And although it’s much, much smaller than your old full- or mid-tower system, it’s going to draw a lot more attention, by virtue of its statuesque design. The Tiki has a clean, dark chassis with hard lines and a laser-cut, backlit logo that shines bright even when the room’s lights are on. But the most striking aspect of the system’s exterior is the granite base. The Tiki certainly makes a statement.
|Processor:||Intel Core i7-4770K Quad-Core 3.5GHz|
|Memory:||16GB G.Skill 1866MHz DDR3 (8GB x 2)|
|Graphics:|| EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan 6GB
|Motherboard:||Asus Z87 Maximus VI Impact Mini-ITX|
|Storage:|| Crucial M500 SSD 480GB (x2 in Striped/RAID-0 array)
3TB Western Digital Green HDD
|Optical:||Panasonic UJ-8C5 Sloat Load DVDRW|
|Power Supply:||SilverStone ST-45B Tiki 450W|
|Chassis:||Tiki 1.0 with Absolute Black Granite Base|
|Cooling System:|| Asetek 550LC 120MM Liquid Cooler
|Connectivity:||Gigabit LAN, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac)|
|Front Ports:||Power, Reset, USB 3.0 (x2), Mic/Heaphone|
|Rear Ports:||USB 2.0 (x4) USB 3.0 (x4), eSATA, HDMI, DisplayPort, SPDIF Out, Mic, Headphones|
|Operating System:||Windows 8 64-bit|
||Promo codes for Splinter Cell Blacklist, Grid2|
|Accessories:||Binder with System Check Log/Instructions/Troubleshooting/Support Contacts, Logo Mousepad, T-shirt, Coffee, Mug, USB Rescue Drive|
|Dimensions:||4 inches wide x 13 inches tall|
|Warranty:||Falcon Overnight Service (1 Year), Parts/Labor Warranty (3 Years)|
We’ll take a closer look at the Tiki’s design on the next page, but we’ll start with the most important part of any high-end system: its guts. The Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell processor, which launched in the second quarter of the year, features four cores at 3.5GHz, a 3.9GHz Turbo capabilities. The CPU is a solid choice for a high-end gamer and Falcon keeps it humming with a custom closed-loop cooling system.
Graphics come courtesy of a single EVGA GeForce GTX Titan card. Fitting such a powerhouse into a mini tower requires plenty of consideration for heat dissipation, not to mention decent spatial organization skills. We recently reviewed the AVADirect Mini Gaming PC, which also included a Titan and Core i7-4770K, so that system is likely to be the Tiki’s biggest competition among the SFFs in our benchmark charts on the following pages.
Falcon Northwest rounded out the major components in this system with two 8GB DDR3 DIMMs and three drives. The 3TB Western Digital hard drive gives the system plenty of storage, but the primary OS drives caught our attention: two 480GB Crucial M500 SSDs in RAID-0. Putting the drives in a striped array gives the Tiki and extra performance bump, which ought to help in the benchmarks.
Other components of note include the 450W Tiki-specific SilverStone power supply and the Asus Z87 Maximus VI Impact, which is a mini-ITX style motherboard that provides Gigabit LAN and plenty of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports. All this will run you $3,857 (if you configure an identical system to our review unit), so let’s take a look at the design features that make up some of that lofty price tag.