Origin PC Neuron Review: Immaculate Gaming Desktop With Muscle
Origin PC Neuron (2023) Review: A Premium, Hand-Built Luxury PC For Hardcore Gamers
Origin PC Neuron (starts at $2,200, as tested $4,625)
Origin's customizable gaming PC has lots of high-powered hardware, an attractive design, and a quiet cooling solution that's up to the challenge.
Plenty of enthusiasts love to build PCs, but many folks would rather just install their favorite games and productivity software and just use their shiny new PC, fresh out of the box. There's no shortage of vendors who will sell a high-end machine with all the latest components, including industry stalwart Origin PC. Acquired by Corsair in 2019, Origin has a long heritage of boutique PC building, customizing hardware and delivering exactly what customers want. And with the advent of Intel's 14th-generation Raptor Lake Refresh CPUs, the company has refreshed builds, one of which we'll be looking at today: the Origin PC Neuron.
The Neuron isn't a single model; it might be more helpful to think of it as a family of components from which a PC can be built, to fit anything from midrange to high-end budgets. It just so happens that this machine we're looking at today is built for some pretty rare air, with the highest-end components available on the market: the Intel Core i9-14900K and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090. Of course, there's a lot more to it than that, so let's dig in to the Origin PC Neuron. Up first, a video overview and tour of the system, complete with some in-game action...
Origin PC Neuron Features & Specifications
Find Origin PC Neuron Gaming Systems @ Amazon
As we mentioned above, the Neuron we're checking out is something of a "who's who" among the fastest PC components around. This one has one of the fastest gaming CPUs money can buy, the 24-core, 32-thread Intel Core i9-14900K. We just looked at this monster in depth, so we won't rehash all of that here. As far as the Neuron goes, CPU options reach all the way back to the 13th generation with the Core i5-13600K. There are also Ryzen 7000-series CPUs and motherboards available as well, including the Ryzen 7 7800X3D. Cooling starts with Corsair's H100i Elite RGB by default, but our review unit came with a 360mm all-in-one H150i LCD, which integrates a fun animated graphic into the combined block and pump assembly. We'll talk more about it in our cooling tests later on.
The RAM in our test unit is 32GB of Corsair Dominator Titanium DDR5-7200, rated for CL36 in dual-channel mode. For some reason, the 7200 MT/s memory isn't available in the configurator for our review unit's MSI motherboard. Instead it's an option only for a more advanced and pricier ASUS model. We've let Origin PC know about that issue.
Storage in our review unit comes by way of a Samsung 990 Pro 1 TB as the boot drive and a Samsung 870 QVO 2 TB for mass storage. With all the M.2 slots on the motherboard, we expect some buyers will want to go for some really fast M.2 2280 NVMe drives. The 870 QVO is a SATA drive and we can't think of a good reason to go with that over M.2 when there are plenty of M.2 slots and NVMe pricing has fallen so much in recent years. This is just a customized to order build, though, so buyers can get what they like.
Graphics are similarly configurable, and include Radeon RX 6700 XT or 7900 XTX options, or an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4000-series card, with the GeForce RTX 4060 being the default. Our review unit came with the enormous GeForce RTX 4090, which is the reigning champion of graphics cards. This system should be able to handle every game and CUDA-optimized compute load (like image generation with DALL-E machine learning models) without any issues. For display outputs, there are three DisplayPort 1.4 ports and an HDMI 2.1 port.
All of this hardware has to ride in a motherboard, and Origin offers three such boards sporting Intel's Z790 chipset. Our particular model has MSI's MPG Z790 EDGE WiFi, which has just about all the connectivity one could ask for in a desktop PC. There's four DDR5 DIMM slots, a PCI Express 5.0 x16 slot electrically connected to the CPU, an x1 and x4 slot from the chipset, and four PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots. And of course, there are AMD-based boards for AMD CPUs, which are equally robust.
This motherboard also has plenty of external USB connectivity, including a pair of USB 3.2 Gen 2 10 Gbps ports and a single 2x2 USB-C port that supplies 20 Gbps. And finally there's all kinds of other connectivity, including 802.11ax Wi-Fi, onboard audio and video outputs, and even some legacy SATA ports. As for power delivery, there's a mirrored 16 phase array.
Finally, the power supply is a Corsair RM1200x Shift, which has the modular power connectors on the side rather than the rear (or is it the front?) of the unit. Between the Core i9-14900K and GeForce RTX 4090, this system will be power thirsty, so going with a high-end unit only makes sense.
Origin PC Neuron Build QualityThe case used for our review unit is the Corsair 5000D Airflow in black. The case is big, but when it's stuffed full of components like this, it kind of needs to be. Nothing is cramped internally, which likely made it a joy to work in for Origin. Our test unit has a right side panel that's customized in orange and blue, and a big tinted tempered glass side to peer in at all the components.
And with all the RGB accoutrements, there's plenty to see. On top of the three 120mm fans on the H150i LCD's radiator, which is mounted on the top of the case, there are six more on the front panel and side panel to act as intake, and a lone 120mm fan exhaust on the rear. The cooler does exhaust air out the top, but there should be positive air pressure inside the case to keep dust out. Origin PC does include the option of LED-free fans in the configurator, so if you're not into all the lighting, it's not necessary.
The fans are Corsair QX RGB models that sport 34 RGB LEDs per unit. All of the lights are controlled by Corsair's iCUE software, by the way, meaning that Corsair peripherals like keyboards, mice, and headsets will integrate seamlessly. The fans use an iCUE Link System Hub, and iCUE can manage them as a single cluster when they're all daisy-chained together. iCUE also controls the H150i LCD's display and the Dominator Titanium memory's RGB LEDs. It all works as seamlessly as you'd hope, considering all of the lighting comes from the same manufacturer.
As far as build quality goes, Origin did everything that you'd expect from a boutique systems builder assembling a high-end PC from premium components. All of the RM1200x Shift's cables run along an access door wall behind the motherboard, peeking out of the grommets only when necessary. All of the extra cable leads are included with the unit in a separate box as well, so nothing is installed unless it needs to be. And the few cables that are installed are all secured with velcro. There's nothing loose or flopping around, and all the extra parts are included.
Origin PC Neuron Software & ConfigurationOur Neuron shipped with Windows 11 Home preinstalled with very little else out of the box besides drivers and control panels. We do include iCUE in all of that, since Corsair's software is necessary to control all of the lighting. Windows 11 was mostly set to defaults as well; other than iCUE having a special lighting profile preconfigured out of the box, it would be indistinguishable from a clean install.
Because the Neuron uses so many Corsair components, and those components all sport RGB LEDs, keeping color themes in sync is a snap. There's a plugin for iCUE that controls the addressable RGB LEDs on our review unit's MSI motherboard, too. And of course, it also handled our Corsair accessories, like the Harpoon mouse and Void Pro headset that have been a part of my office setup for the last several years.
We also took some time to dive into the UEFI. As it turns out, our system was not at all overclocked from the builder. The various knobs and sliders of our MSI MPG Z790 EDGE WiFi were pretty much stock out of the box, so the performance we see should be on par with what most builders would achieve at stock settings.
So this thing is big, powerful, and well-cooled. How does it perform? It's about time to find out...benchmarks up next...