Falcon Northwest Talon Review: A 12-Core Ryzen Powered Battle Station

Falcon Northwest Talon 20th Anniversary Review: Performance Summary And Final Thoughts

Performance Summary: When it comes to performance, the Falcon Northwest Talon 20th Anniversary Edition computer is a heavy weight contender, in a compact body. With dual NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER graphics cards the Talon was able to run all the games in our benchmark suite well above 60FPS at 4K. Keep in mind we dial-up all the eye candy when benchmarking, making these results that much more impressive. The 12-core (24-threaded) Ryzen processor was also able to hold its own in our testing. In benchmark after benchmark the Talon finished at or near the top, making it one of the most powerful computers we have tested. However, it's also one of the more expensive computers we have tested as well, with its ultra high-end configuration. As configured, the Talon we were sent will set you back over $5000 USD. That's a lot of money to drop on a workstation or gaming dekstop, so it better have the performance to back that up.

falcon northwest talon main

Falcon Northwest 20th Anniversary @ Falconnw.com

The good news is Talon 20th Anniversary system has the chops to handle just about anything you can throw at it. This isn't a simple refresh from Falcon Northwest. The company opened its doors way back in 1992 and since then it flagship series; the Mach V has always been a full sized-tower. With the 20th Anniversary Talon, customers now also have the option to build a flagship-level system in a beautiful mid-tower. One of the reasons behind this is how far storage devices have come over the last few years. Rewind the clock back about five years and 3.5" standard mechanical hard drives were still the norm. Today you can get an high capacity M.2 SSD that fits directly onto the motherboard, eliminating the need for large bays dedicated solely to hard drives. This in-part allowed Falcon Northwest (an other system builders) to deliver their customers a computer with more powerful specs, in a more compact chassis.

falcon northwest talon side interior
The Talon system has always been a mid-sized system, but the 20th Anniversary iteration Falcon Northwest brings some firsts to the series. The most notable is the inclusion of RGB lighting but that's just flash and flare. Falcon Northwest was reluctant to jump into the RGB game, but after years of adoption we can say RGB isn't just a simple fad. It's here to stay, and still growing in popularity. All told, the AIO cooling head, memory, graphics card, Falcon Northwest logo and fans all have RGB lighting. Falcon went a long way to make sure all the hardware used synced together, so most of the lights can be set to the same color, or to a specific color...that is except for its NVIDIA graphics card options, which can only be set to green (or red for Team Radeon options). It would have been nice to change the color on the graphics cards, but we get it, NVIDIA doesn't want to mess with its branding. Finally, the new tempered glass panels included with the 20th Anniversary Talon were also great addition to the new case, as is the heavy duty metal exterior. 
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One of the aspects of the Talon that really impressed us was the cable management. All of the cable routing was extremely clean, and the cables were all individually braided, gathered and strapped. Falcon Northwest didn't opt for cheap zip-ties either. All the cables instead came with heavy-duty black cable ties, tie-downs and combs for a clean aesthetic as well as a secure fit.

The only real caveat of the 20th Anniversary Falcon Northwest Talon computer is the price. The AMD base model starts at just over $3,000 USD and only goes up from there. Once you start configuring the system with higher-end hardware, you could easily find yourself approaching a $6,000 USD price tag. The system we were sent is an absolute beast and the performance reflects that, but at $5,665 USD it's a bit of a budget buster. In fact most gamers in the world don't have pockets that deep. In other words, the new and improved Talon is a premium product. If you're living an Instagram influencer life, however, and can afford its component selection, build quality and killer design aesthetic, the Talon offers a ton of performance and is future-proof enough to make the investment worth it over time.

The Talon isn't designed exclusively for gamers with fat bank accounts though. There are plenty of options to make it a go-to system for creative professionals as well. When configuring the Talon you can also grab a NVIDIA Quadro graphics card, and up to 64GB of memory. There are also large capacity hard drives on hand for professions that require ample storage. Overall, the 20th Anniversary Talon is a worthy successor to the Mach V. It offers everything it's predecessor did, and then some. Not bad considering it's almost half the size of the Mach V.

Oh, and good news, since it's also HotHardware's 20th Anniversary this year, we're giving away an all-AMD powered Falcon Northwest Talon, with some amazing graphics and paint mojo rendered for the launch of The Outer Worlds. You owe it to yourself to enter to win, of course. 

  • Powerful system, top-end performance even with base configuration
  • Super-premium build quality and component selection 
  • Very clean cable management
  • Exceptionally quiet
  • Fantastic new case design
  • Sweet RGB lighting
  • Efficient footprint
  • Expensive
  • Can't change GPU card colors
  • Top-mounted IO panel may not be ideal for some

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