Origin PC Neuron Review: Immaculate Gaming Desktop With Muscle

Origin PC Neuron (2023) Review: CPU, System And Gaming Benchmarks

clean cable routing under glass origin pc neuron 2023

Because the Origin PC Neuron we received for review has both the latest Intel Core i9-14900K and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090, which potentially makes for the fastest pre-built gaming PC we've tested, it made sense to us to run all our gaming tests at 4K. And if you've already watched the video on the first page, you know how this turns out: the Neuron delivers. In order to better determine where newer PCs stand compared to similar-caliber hardware, we’ve put together an updated system test suite, pulling results from our recent CPU and GPU reviews. Thus, some benchmark results below are labeled “Test Bench.”

As always, we tested with the latest Windows updates and drivers installed. Each test was run a minimum of three times to make sure that our results are repeatable, and this will be important in some of our productivity tests where the Neuron didn't quite make the top of the charts like we'd expected. Our results always persist across multiple runs, however, so the data (as they say) is the data. 

ATTO Disk Benchmark

The ATTO disk benchmark is a fairly quick and simple test which measures read/write bandwidth and IOPS across a range of different data sizes. While we don't typically compare these results across multiple machines, it's useful to gauge whether a particular system’s storage subsystem is up to snuff.

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ATTO Benchmark results for the Samsung SSD 990 Pro primary operating system drive

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ATTO Benchmark for the Samsung SSD 870 QVO secondary SATA drive

As we mentioned earlier, the Neuron we're reviewing came with a pair a drives: a Samsung 990 Pro, and a Samsung 870 QVO. These are two very different drives, as the 990 Pro is a PCI Express drive on an M.2 2280 card, and the 870 QVO is limited by the SATA III bus. Neither drive disappointed in terms of performance, especially considering the form factor and connectivity they each sport. 

Speedometer 2.0 Benchmark

Here we have numbers from the Speedometer 2.0 tests available at browserbench.org. Scores in this benchmark are an indicator of the performance users would see when browsing the web and running advanced web apps using a large array of JavaScript frameworks. All of the systems were tested using the latest version of Microsoft's Edge browser, with default browser settings, on a clean, fully-updated install of Windows 11.

chart speedometer2 0 origin pc neuron 2023

At first we panicked thinking we'd run the newer Speedometer 2.1 on our test system, but that is not the case. The Core i9-14900K is just really, really fast in this benchmark. The fastest score we've ever recorded on a prebuilt desktop. 

Cinebench R23 Rendering Benchmark

Cinebench is a rendering performance test based on Maxon's Cinema 4D, which is a 3D rendering and animation tool suite used by animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others. It's very demanding on system processor resources, and it can utilize any number of threads, which make it an excellent gauge of computational throughput. This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders and animates 3D scenes and tracks the length of the entire process. The rate at which each test system was able to render the entire scene is represented in the graph below.

chart cinebench origin pc neuron 2023

The Origin PC Neuron lands in the third spot, behind the Ryzen 9 7950X and overclocked Alienware rig, with the Core i9-13900KF. That might seem strange, but keep in mind 13th Gen and 14th Gen Core i9s are essentially the same thing, so tweaking a 13900KF will yield additional performance.

Blender 3D Rendering Benchmark

Blender is a free and open source 3D creation suite that can handle everything from modeling, rigging, and animation to simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking. It has a purpose-built benchmarking tool that includes three pre-built scenes to render out while tracking the time it takes to completely render each scene.

chart blender 3 3 origin pc neuron 2023

The Maingear MG-1 leads the whole pack here, but the Neuron is not far behind. This is one of the tests that required "the data is the data" caveat, though. It seems like there's no way the 14th-gen Core i9-14900K should be trailing its predecessor, but here we are. And if we look at this test in our 14th-generation review, the same thing happened there, so this isn't Origin PC's fault. Performance is still really great, and as we'll see later we know it's not related to cooling. It's not all that far off the mark, but it does trail. 

Geekbench v5.4.1 System Benchmark

In the GeekBench tests, we're stressing only the CPU cores in a system (not the graphics card/GPU), with both single and multi-threaded workloads. The tests are comprised of encryption processing, image compression, HTML5 parsing, physics calculations and other general purpose compute processing workloads.

chart geekbench origin pc neuron 2023

Whatever was going on in Cinebench didn't affect Geekbench, except for a warning about timers on the device. The error wasn't any more specific than that, but we did see something similar on a PC running a Core i7-12700K that I used as a "control" system. The performance reported is right on par with what we'd expect, and the Neuron was stable through our testing, so we're not worried. It does manage to dethrone the MG-1, and leaves our 13th-gen testbed used for the Core i9-13900K in the dust. 

PCMark 10 System Productivity And Content Creation Benchmark

PCMark 10 uses a mix of real-world applications and simulated workloads to establish how well a given system performs productivity tasks, including image and video editing, web browsing, and OpenOffice document editing. These scores appear to be more neatly clustered than some comparison sets, but we should still note that the systems are sorted by their overall PCMark score, which is the fourth (gray) bar in each cluster.

chart pcmark origin pc neuron 2023

PCMark is the another test where the Neuron didn't quite perform where we expected. It falls behind the last-generation Alienware Aurora R15 and its Core i9-13900K, and trails that system on each subtest. Performance isn't bad or anything; it's still just as fast as our Ryzen 7 7700X testbed, after all, but the result is puzzling and again seems to be an issue with Raptor Lake Refresh. Maybe all those E-cores are getting more tasks scheduled than they should be. Hopefully Intel and Microsoft will figure it out. 

3DMark Time Spy DirectX 12 Benchmark

As usual, we'll start off our 3D benchmarking with 3DMark. If you're somehow unfamiliar, 3DMark is a synthetic game-like benchmark for assessing gaming graphics (GPU) and physics (CPU) performance. This tool has a wide variety of tests and demos that target various types of graphics workloads, to give a better picture of how a system will handle real games. We used the Time Spy benchmark, 3DMark's DirectX 12 test. This test has multiple presets, but the standard Time Spy test is plenty taxing.

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Time Spy shakes out about how we'd expect, considering the Neuron's configuration. It has the highest 3DMark and Graphics scores, and unsurprisingly the highest frame rates in the graphics tests. The GeForce RTX 4090 is a beast, and the Origin PC bears that out here. 

3DMark Port Royal DirectX Raytracing Benchmark

Port Royal was released as an update to UL’s popular 3DMark suite. It is designed to test real-time ray tracing performance of graphics cards that support Microsoft DirectX Raytracing, or DXR. Although DXR is technically compatible with all DX12-class GPUs, the graphics card must have drivers that enable support for the feature.

chart 3dm pr fps origin pc neuron 2023

chart 3dm dxr origin pc neuron 2023

The Neuron's GeForce RTX 4090 again comes to the rescue, essentially tying for the top spot among our competitors today. It's a little jarring to see a 50% performance increase compared to the next-slowest card, NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 4080

Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker Benchmark

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker launched at the end of 2021, and as usual, Square-Enix updated its free character creator and benchmark tool. The free utility checks in at approximately a 2.21GB download. It will test your PC's ability to run the game at various settings, and presents a final result with an overall rating upon its conclusion. We tested Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker in 4K UHD, with maximum image quality settings.

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In the first of our actual games, the Neuron is right up towards the top of the charts, just a tick behind our GeForce RTX 4090 testbed. If you've got a high-resolution 4K display that can do high refresh rates, Final Fantasy XIV will pretty much never look better than it does on this Origin PC. 

Forza Horizon 5 Benchmark

Forza Horizon 5 is currently the latest edition of Microsoft and Playground Games' popular open-world racing franchise. This title leverages the proprietary ForzaTech engine and DirectX 12 Ultimate to deliver much larger maps than its predecessors, with more detailed models and higher graphics fidelity in general including some ray-traced reflection effects. We tested the game in 4K with the "Extreme" graphics preset.

chart fh5 origin pc neuron 2023

This is another case where the Alienware Aurora R15 is just a tick faster, but displays that can truly show the difference don't seem to exist just yet. The low frame rate of 159 is faster than, for example, our Gigabyte M28U with its 144 Hz 4K panel can display. It's curious to see the system not leading everything outright, but this game is pretty much GPU-limited and it's up close to the top of the pack. 

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Benchmark

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is an action-adventure game where you play as Star-Lord and lead the rest of the Guardians from mission to mission. The game’s minimum requirements call for a Radeon RX 570 or GeForce GTX 1060-class GPU, but it also supports some of the latest graphics technologies, including DXR and DLSS.

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With DXR cranked to the max at 4K, the Neuron is the fastest result on our chart in both average and low FPS. Ray tracing for just shadows and reflections is so compute intensive that the frame rate is nearly halved from our previous games, but at nearly 100 fps, Guardians is still silky smooth. 

F1 22 Formula 1 Racing Benchmark

F1 2022 is Codemasters' recent Formula One racing simulation, and like previous version of the game, it sports impressive visuals. This latest addition to the franchise supports DirectX 12 with ray tracing, and it incorporates support for a number of AMD and NVIDIA technologies (like FSR 2.2 and DLSS Frame Generation). We tested the game with its Ultra High graphics preset, with ray-tracing and TAA enabled.

chart f1 2022 origin pc neuron 2023

F1 2022 is a photocopy image of our Guardians benchmark. The Neuron is at the top of the pack, and the game is pretty GPU limited at this extreme resolution and quality setting. It's pretty hard to argue with 100 fps at 4K.

These aren't the only titles we ran on the Neuron, though. Check out the video on the first page to see more new titles, including Cyberpunk 2077's RT Overdrive update and Alan Wake 2, which was incredibly punishing on lower-tier cards. 

Let's wrap things up with power, thermal, and acoustic stress testing before we render our final verdict...

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