18 Months Later: Origin's Genesis Desktop Revisited

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(Re)Introduction

One of the downsides to system reviews is that it's usually impossible to evaluate system reliability or performance over an extended period of time. Since boutique builders typically assemble rigs with a focus on solid warranties or top-level components, not being able to properly grade long-term reliability is an area of product coverage that some of you might find lacking.

Fortunately, we're currently in a position to investigate this sort of question with one particular product and perhaps on a higher level as well. About 18 months ago, we reviewed Origin's then-new Genesis system. The Genesis we looked at was a Core i7-920 overclocked to 3.8GHz with a Koolance water cooling system, 6GB of DDR3 RAM, and a brace of Radeon HD 5970s. In this article we'll discuss how well our original testbed has weathered the past 18 months, how we solved the few problems that arose, and compare its performance today with its previous results and a few newer systems. We're particularly curious to see how well the system's dual Radeon 5970 configuration (4 GPUs total) compares to current solutions. With "just" 1GB of RAM per GPU, it's possible we'll see the cards bottlenecking at ultra-high resolutions—but we honestly don't expect that to be an issue.

             
The Genesis, as originally tested. Dual Radeon 5970s, 6GB of DDR3-1600, Koolance water cooler, and 1200W PSU

Origin PC Genesis Desktop Gaming System (As Originally Tested)
System Specifications

Processor
Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz (base, 3.8GHz Factory OC)

Motherboard

EVGA X58 Classified

Operating System
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

Memory
6GB Corsair Dominator DDR3
DDR3-1600MHz

Graphics Cards

2x ATI Radeon HD 5970 

CPU Cooling

Koolance High Performance Liquid Cooling

Audio

Onboard

Hard Drive
Intel 80GB MLC SDD
2x RAID 0 (1TB Western Digital 7200 RPM)

Optical Drive
12X Blu-ray Burner

Accessories
Logitech G9X Laser Mouse
Logitech Gaming Keyboard G110

Case
Corsair Obsidian Series 800D
Width: 9.0" (229mm)
Depth: 24"" (609mm)

Height: 24" (609mm)

Power Supply
1200W ThermalTake Toughpower

Available Expansion Slots
1x PCIe x16

1x PCI

1x PCIe (SATA)


Front Panel I/O Ports

4 USB 2.0
1 FireWire 1394A

1 Headset
1 Mic


Rear Panel I/O Ports
1 PS/2 keyboard

1x SPDIF Input

1 CMOS Reset

8 USB 2.0
2 RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet
1 IEEE 1394A
1 eSATA
8-channel audio I/O
1 SPDIF Digital/Optical Output

Warranty and Support

1 year limited parts

(2-3 year options available)

Lifetime free online/phone support

Lifetime free labor


 
Our review unit, in the flesh
Price: $4,999.00 USD (as tested)


The Origin Genesis has been evaluated in two distinct ways. For the first nine months, we kept the system on hand as a testbed and used it to generate additional data for various reviews. This allowed us to test the exact same GPU configuration with updated drivers and gave us a high-end overclocking platform for certain motherboard reviews, but it wasn't representative of real-world daily usage.

Beginning in October 2010, we put the Genesis to use as a main system. Since then, it's served as the primary system of yours truly. We've compiled our opinion on the system's longevity this far out as well as our experience with various components. Performance comparisons follow as well.

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