18 Months Later: Origin's Genesis Desktop Revisited

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Warranty Support, Conclusion

The Support Experience:  Our Genesis testbed did suffer one significant hardware failure in the last 18 months—two of its three sticks of RAM went bad. We purposefully contacted Origin as any end user customer might, wanting to see if the company's warranty service proved as good as it claimed back when we originally reviewed the Genesis.

We're happy to report it did. Origin got back to us within 24 hours; we dealt with the same tech throughout our conversation. As it happened, Origin didn't have any of the same Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 our system used. Instead of telling us the memory would have to be specially ordered, the company promised to ship the RAM through a trusted third-party provider. Three days later a package arrived direct from Amazon. Cross-shipping was offered by default and the company never asked us to wait longer on the grounds that the system was still running on 2GB of RAM.

Pleased, we pushed a bit farther. We explored the PCI / Soundblaster issue—our tech had no record of the problem, but indicated it most likely wouldn't be an issue on a different sound card, which we agreed with. We also asked if there were new video card options we should consider. Our tech answered that there weren't at the moment, given the dual 5970s we presently had, but that faster cards would launch later in the spring that might offer features worth considering. Explicitly offered an opportunity to up-sell us, Origin didn't. That, and the company's warranty service, impressed us.

Performance Summary: No matter how fast a system is on the day it's purchased, there will be faster machines available a year later—at least, by some metrics. In this case, the Genesis' Core i7 CPU—a relative bargain, even when new—is now outpaced by other Core i7-equipped machines thanks to a mixture of additional cores and higher clock speeds depending on the system in question. Regardless, the chip's relatively low price, preserves a very good price/performance ratio in the long run.

GPU performance is also excellent, given how much time has passed. While they aren't the fastest solutions money can buy currently, the twin 5970s  are still near the top of the pack. Even when it comes to tessellation--a perceived weak spot in the 5000 series—the quad-GPU configuration inside the Genesis turns in very capable performance. Enthusiasts willing to overclock could well find additional performance to unlock within the configuration (we've seen the cards stable at up to 875MHz).

Nothing will change the fact that a high-end computer like the Genesis is an extremely expensive entertainment piece and workstation that only a small niche' within the market can afford, but it's one that's held its value exceptionally well. 18 months on, there's no need for a full system upgrade anywhere in sight and given relative performance, we expect it could be another 18 months before we start seeing games that give the quad-configuration pause.

The one system component that's aged a rather poorly is the SSD. While its performance is still well above the level of any hard drive, the mere 80GB requires strict monitoring. Large files, like email or download directories, have to be placed elsewhere or maintained carefully; SSDs require significantly more space to be free at any given time in order to keep optimal performance.

Overall, we remain impressed with the Origin Genesis. For those who could afford it, and who want the security of an OEM's backing, the Genesis remains an attractive option.

While our experience with the Origin Genesis was a positive one, we're sure some of you reading this may have had far different experiences with other OEMs or perhaps even Origin. If so, we'd love to hear from you in the comments section below...

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