I guess the polished granite stand must be really expensive to produce, the rest of it certainly isn't value for money.
If you're after a powerful gaming PC in a small form factor, you should seriously consider the Tiki from Falcon Northwest.
The slim gaming PC entered puberty earlier this year with Alienware's diminutive X51, which for all its accomplishments in the size department, demonstrated lackluster performance. Now, there's a new kid on the block: Falcon Northwest's Tiki--a boutique, micro-desktop, that doesn't need to sacrifice power in order to maintain a small footprint. The tradeoff is the price tag; the Tiki starts at $1,545, though a typically above average config hovers just over $2,000. This may be more than most gamers are willing to spend. If form factor and good-looks aren't critical requirements, you could build a PC with off the shelf parts that's cheaper and more powerful than the best Tiki config. but it's not meant to be compared to such builds. When good-looks and performance outweigh trivial considerations, like a budget, the Tiki stands atop its pedestal of granite (not an exaggeration), looking down upon the relative big-uglies of the competition.
Falcon Northwest supplied GameSpot with a slightly better than average review build that clocks in at $2,046. It doesn't pack the company's best available CPU or GPU, but it's still a powerhouse of a gaming PC that features an NVIDIA 670 GTX, 3rd generation Intel Core i5 clocked at 3.40 GHz, 8 GB of 1866MHz RAM, liquid cooling, and a 256 GB SSD. An internal 450w PSU supplies the juice, seriously one-upping the X51's external power brick. For all the sacrifices Alienware made for the X51, it's doubly impressive Falcon Northwest was able to wrangle the PSU within the already stuffed chassis, leaving plenty of room for a full, dual-slot, graphics card.
The Tiki is small, no doubt, measuring just a hair larger than the X51. Measurements for the two are as follows:
Such minor differences are largely negligible. In terms of raw power, the Tiki smokes Alienware's beefiest kit, but again, it comes with a higher price tag. Like all manufacturers, prices fluctuate with the market, integrating price drops and increasing their selection of available parts as they become available.
|Tiki: Cheapest Gaming Config||Intel Core i5 3450K 3.1GHz||NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 (2GB)||Tactical 1866MHz 8GB (2x4GB)||Caviar Green 2TB||Slot-Load DVD Writer||$1,545|
|Tiki: Review Config||Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 (2GB)||Tactical 1866MHz 8GB (2x4GB)||m4 SSD 256GB||Slot-Load DVD Writer||$2,045|
|Tiki: High-End Gaming Config||Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (4GB)||Tactical 1866MHz 16GB (2x8GB)||m4 SSD 128GB + Caviar Green 2TB||Slot-Load Blu-ray Reader||$2,753|
The Tiki is quite heavy, but more accurately, compact and sturdy. The case is comprised primarily of steel, and in case you haven't noticed, the base is a solid block of granite. At first glance, it's an odd marriage of materials, but it ultimately works. In addition to completing the showpiece aesthetic, it prevents the top heavy case from tipping over. Of course, should you find it not to your liking, four Phillips-head screws are all that stand in your way from removing it completely.
With so many beefy components under the hood and so little room for airflow, water-cooling is a crucial component to the Tiki's technical success. While NVIDIA graced us with a cooler GPU solution this generation, Intel's Ivybridge chips produce noticeably higher temps than its predecessors. This is even more so when the machine is overclocked, a service Falcon offers for free, and one you should take advantage of. At full load, overclocked to 4.3 GHz (during Turbo boosts), the CPU temps topped out at a respectable 56 Celsius. Running the Far Cry 2 benchmarking tool topped the GPU out at 73 Celsius, which is well within the realm of viability. Under full load, the radiator fan spun up to an audible level. Still, in most circumstances, the Tiki is practically silent, only occasionally emitting the near-silent gurgle of the water pump.
GameSpot's review unit came with a solo SSD hard drive and a slot-loading optical drive. Amazingly, there's room for one additional 2.5" and 3.5" drive, respectively. The 3.5" bay is readily accessible; when you open the case, the bay and screw mounts are front and (more or less) center. It'll take a little extra leg work to mount a second 2.5" drive; you need to undo five screws, disconnect SATA and power cables from all present drives (including optical), and finally, dettach the large mounting plate. Once removed, simply secure the new drive with the appropriate mounting screws and reverse the disassembly procedure.
Upgrading or switching out RAM sticks is finicky and, frankly, a potentially stressful experience. The ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe ITX board utilizes a single retention mechanism for its DIMM slots and while it's easy to release the retainer, sticks don't simply slide out. The nearby components and cramped space surrounding the RAM make it difficult to get a firm grip on the non-retained end of the stick, and since it doesn't just pop right out, we refrained from pursuing its removal any further.
The front of the case is void of any inputs, simply featuring a rear-illuminated cut-out of Falcon Northwest's logo. On top of the case are two USB 3.0 ports, headphone and mic ports, the slot-loading optical drive, and the power and reset buttons. Towards the back is a passive vent, situated above the GPU, complimenting additional vents on each side.
There are a total of eight USB ports on the back, half of which are USB 3.0, and 2 eSATA ports, rounding out storage connectivity. Network and wireless communications are handled via ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth. The motherboard' s onboard video supports HDMI, Display Port, and DVI-I, while audio is carried over stereo TRS (3.5mm) line-out, or via SPDIF (optical), capable of 5.1 channel surround sound. The GTX 670, obviously, comes with its own array of video-out ports: HDMI, Display Port, DVI-I, and a DVI-D port.
In the case that you ever run into software issues and wish to reset back to factory settings, Falcon Northwest kindly includes a USB stick that will wipe and restore your boot drive back to factory settings. Other pack-ins include a leather case chock full of useful, although obligatory, goodies: a power cable, two SATA data cables, two wireless antennas, a DVI to VGA adapter, a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium, and documentation detailing your individual rig, including test results, parts lists, and the motherboard handbook.
Don't buy this kiddies. You can build a better system by hand thats more powerful for far cheaper. If you buy this then you're one of those people who have more money than brains.
Something to note is that this only has a 450w power supply and it's probably holding back the system. The benchmarks are much lower than what they should be with that setup. I have a feeling that under full load with the Turbo boosts overclocking the CPU, 450w just can't cut it. Also the higher end system with the i7 and the GTX 680 uses the same power supply.One point on value for money. With such a fine line on the PSU, after one year of capacitor ageing these systems would be seriously underpowered.
seriously, this is still a joke.
Alien Ware will never be a good deal. my computer has twice as much quality and look then this. Your paying a lot for an old image.I built a way better computer for 1/3 of the price and has an ssd! seriously dumb!
@SolidSnake9000 It's not Alienware, it's a Falcon from the Northwest! Way to expensive, to be sure, but insult it for what it is, not what it's not.
(copy the whole link to go the exact address)
You can see the difference between these two cards
I paid nearly 800$ for my laptop which is far better than the cheapest model above
(i7 2630qm - 6770M 2gb DDR5 - 8gb ddr3 - 1.5 tb hdd - 17" screen 1600x900 - bluray - beats audio - fingerprint sensor etc.)
Id rather just have a normal slightly bigger case where theres more room so its less of a nightmare to do anything to the parts inside.
@iluvOP and not to mention better airflow so shit isn't heating everything else up. If I wanted that, I'd pick myself up a gaming laptop :P
Its pretty overpriced compared to Alienware x51. I paid $950 for my x51 and the cheapest Tiki with a worse graphics card is $1500.
It certainly looks good but that it true of all of Falcons minimalist cases. Well unless you go for one of their custom paint jobs anyway. I recently built a mini itx system for my mum (well built in the sense that a shuttle kit is like Ikea funiture) and lets be honest unless you are gaming even the low powered intel chips are way more powerful than most of us will ever use. It was a stark comparison against the Cooler Master Haf case my own system is in.
Falcon Northwest makes good products but are way overpriced......
If you can afford it and it's not going to break the bank for you splurge but I'd say if you have the cash just get an alienware or build a DIY system,. you'll save a lot of money in the end.....