How We Test:
Just in case you're dying to know what it looks like.
Decibel levels were measured at the rear of the system at a distance of one foot using a standard decibel meter. Measurements were taken in a carpeted room in which the system sat equidistant from the walls or furniture. All external fans, including furnace blowers or air conditioners, were shut down for the duration of the test.
One of the limitations of decibel measurement is that it tells us very little about the characteristics (read: annoyance factor) of any particular sound. We've set aside this space in the acoustic section to discuss the non-quantitative aspects of a system.
Origin's Genesis isn't particularly quiet—no system this powerful can be without incurring huge additional expenses on customized cooling—but the noise the system does produce is pitched more towards a box fan than a dentist drill. When we raised the question of system noise to Origin, the company assured us that it evaluated system acoustics extensively before shipping a system, and was willing to work closely with any customer who had concerns about a system's acoustic profile.
All of the fans in the Origin rig, including those attached to the Koolance liquid cooling system are Cooler Master 120mm A12025-20RB-3BN-F1 models. This is the same fan CM uses on its well-regarded Hyper 212 (not the 212 Plus). Cooler Master rates these fans as 19dbA at 2000 RPM. In a nod to the fact that not even high-end enthusiasts enjoy banshee-like volumes, Origin included a foam pad between each fan and the case wall, which should reduce the chance of sympathetic vibration.
By The Numbers:
The categories below correspond to the power consumption categories we detailed on the previous page.
If the 66dB peak volume level has your eyes bugging out, keep in mind that's only after the system has been pulling 1.1kW of power for eight hours. Under load, the system's dB output is a manageable 55dB. While still higher than we personally prefer, we have to allow for the system's component load-out—there's always a trade-off between speed and sound at the highest point on the performance curve.