Origin PC Chronos Review: A Powerful Small Form Factor Desktop PC For 4K Gaming

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Origin PC Chronos: Software And BIOS

Every Chronos comes with a USB 3.0 flash drive containing a system image in case you need to recover your PC. You also get a free t-shirt. The rest of the bundle depends on what optional items you might have added to the cart, if any. In addition to gaming peripherals and software titles, Origin PC offers a small selection of themed gear, including a hoodie, beanie, poster, and a few other odds and ends.

Origin PC Chronos Desktop

What Origin PC does not include is a bunch of bloatware. Our system shipped in a pristine state with no unwanted trialware or other junk that can rob a PC of performance by hogging resources at startup. This is what we like to see when firing up a system for the first time—a clean desktop with custom wallpaper.

It is also worth mentioning that our Chronos started up without any trouble. Not that we were expecting any issues, but wires have a way of jiggling loose during transit, and sometimes critical components can wiggle out of their slots. If you're staring at an unresponsive system, it's a good idea to check for loose connections, none of which we found on the Chronos.

Origin PC Chronos BIOS

Intel's Core i7-7700K processor ships with an unlocked multiplier so that experienced users can overclock with minimal fuss. This is something you can do on your own, or you can pay Origin PC $75 to do it for you. Here are the overclocking ranges it guarantees for Z270 chipsets:
  • Intel Core i3-7320K: up to 4.7GHz
  • Intel Core i5-7600K: up to 5.1GHz
  • Intel Core i7-7700K: up to 5.1GHz
Origin PC settled on 4.8GHz for our review system, which it achieved by bumping the multiplier up to 48X. Whatever the end result, Origin PC guarantees stable operation while honoring its warranty, so there is some value to paying the boutique builder to do it for you. Origin PC will also overclock your graphics card, though that is an additional fee ($50).

Origin PC Chronos CPU-Z and GPU-Z

We did not encounter any stability issues related to the overclock, though that was not apparent at first. After applying Microsoft's Creators Update for Windows 10, we experienced a couple of random reboots. After doing some investigating, we discovered the culprit to be the wireless adapter. Updating to the latest wireless driver from Intel solved the issue. Normally we'd ding a system builder for not catching something like this before shipment, but since the Creators Update started rolling out after this system was already in the process of being sent to us, Origin PC gets a free pass here.

UPDATE

After going to press, we were informed by Origin PC that it had in fact aggressively overclocked the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card to around 1,900MHz prior to shipping the Chronos to us. So, how did we end up testing the system at stock GPU clockspeeds?

Prior to benchmarking, we always make sure that review systems are fully updated with the latest Windows patches and hardware drivers. In this case, the Chronos shipped to us just as Microsoft had started doling out the Creators Update. It seems that applying this update tripped up the startup routine from the EVGA Precision X overclock profile that Origin PC configured.

This is not uncommon. When that happens, you can correct the issue by following these steps:
  • Open up the Task Scheduler
  • Open the Properties for EVGA Precision X
  • Navigate to the Triggers tab and click Edit
  • Set "Delay task" for 30 seconds
Having the graphics card overclocked from Origin PC improves gaming performance by a few percentage points. Here is a look at the scores in 3DMark Fire Strike and Fire Strike Extreme with the GPU goosed to around 1900MHz:

Origin PC Chronos 3DMark Fire Strike

Origin PC Chronos Fire Strike Extreme

In Fire Strike Extreme, we're looking at about a 5-6 percent performance gain. That's not huge, but considering that Origin PC warranties its overclocks, we can see why some users would opt to shell out an extra $50 to have the boutique builder go through the trouble of overclocking and testing for stability. That is not always a quick process, so you're essentially paying both for the time saved and added performance.

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