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Origin Genesis Variable Mounting review: An ultraluxury gaming machine in an innovative enclosure

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | March 25, 2014
Maximum cooling or maximum coolness factor? This boutique gaming PC lets you orient the motherboard to suit your preference. And for this price, it'd better.

There are plenty of reasons to build your own gaming rig: It's economical, it's fun, you'll feel super-accomplished when you're finished, and you can customize it down to the smallest detail--and that's naming just a few reasons to DIY. But not everyone has the time, skill, or patience to put together an epic PC, which is why boutique custom PC makers such as Origin remain in business.

Boutique shops will not only build you a PC from the ground up, they'll overclock some of its components to boost the computer's performance, trick out the machine with flashy accessories, and provide custom components and design features that you'll never find in a factory-built computer. Origin is one of the best, and the company has upped its game with the new Variable Mounting technology for its Genesis full-tower PCs.

What the heck is Variable Mounting? When you order your machine, you can choose to have its Asus Maximum VI Extreme ATX motherboard oriented one of four ways, depending on how you want to cool the system and which of its components you want to show off.

There's the good ol' conventional mount, of course. But if you prefer liquid cooling, inverting the motherboard enables you to showcase the water blocks on the CPU and video cards (which are hidden when the motherboard is mounted conventionally). If air cooling is your penchant, rotating the motherboard 90 degrees orients the system's video cards vertically, so the warm air exhausted by their fans can waft out of the top of the case. Lastly, Origin's 90-degree inverted scheme allows the motherboard to be positioned so the case's transparent side panel can be installed on the right side, instead of the left.

Variable mounting applies to the enclosure's front door, too; it can swing open to either the left or the right. And here's another great feature: There's a five-slot, 3.5-inch hard-drive bay with a SATA backplane. There's no need to wrangle power and data cables, just mount a drive onto a tray and push it into the bay to make its SATA connections. The drives are even hot-swappable. Our eval system boots from a massive 1TB Samsung 840 EVO SSD, and it has a single 4TB WD Black hard drive that spins its platters at 7200 rpm.

The rest of its components don't reside at the absolute top end of their performance class, but when a PC can deliver a game like BioShock Infinite at a resolution of 2560 by 1600 pixels (with visual quality set to Ultra) at more than 160 frames per second, packing even more horsepower would be gilding the lily--and driving up the price tag. As configured, this system is already priced at $8,365.


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