Origin’s Neuron desktops target the high-end of the boutique gaming computer market. These deceptive systems have a fairly plain appearance, but they come packed with the fastest CPUs and GPUs available and compete with the likes of MSI’s Trident X and Corsair’s One i160 gaming desktops. Although the Neuron is well made and offers excellent performance, its may tag may be a bit more than you bargained for.
Case Design and Features
As mentioned in the intro, the Origin Neuron isn’t particularly impressive-looking. Shown in this review is the white case, but the system is available in several other colors including blue, purple, pink, green, and black. A tempered glass side panel mounted on hinges improves the overall aesthetics by giving you a view of your internal components, which are illuminated by two dim white LEDs. There is also a prominent Origin logo on the case’s front panel, but nothing else really stands out. You can pay an extra $249 to have the glass UV-etched to add a little something extra to the case, though.
What this case lacks in looks, however, it makes up for in airflow. The rear and top sides are riddled with ventilation holes, and there are obvious locations around the front panel that permit air to flow freely. This is far more important than appearance, as it means the system is less likely to suffer from heat-related issues. But a bit more flair aesthetically would have been nice.
A key selling point that Origin PC is pushing with this system is its overall size, which comes in at 16 x 6.75 x 15.25-inches (L x W x H). In general, this is a little smaller than the average ATX case and its the smallest of the cases we will discuss in this article by roughly 25 percent, but it’s still a mid-tower design with full support for ATX motherboards. This smaller size makes it easier to fit in a compact office or gaming room, and the system has movable rubber feet that will allow you to set the system in either a horizontal or vertical layout.
System Build and Testing
Our sister site PCMag received one of these systems for review. It came configured with a MicroATX MSI B450M Bazooka motherboard, a Ryzen 7 2700X CPU, and 16GB of RAM. It also featured one of Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 2080 graphics cards. As configured, this system retails for $2,399.
PCMag ran this system through a series of benchmarks and compared the results against the systems listed in the chart above. Before diving into the results, we should note that these tests need to be taken with a grain of salt as all of the systems feature different hardware configurations. This gives the Corsair One i160 a clear advantage in GPU performance, as it features the more powerful Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card.
PCMark’s productivity and storage tests place the Origin Neuron in fourth, but it almost ties the similarly equipped Corsair Vengeance Gaming PC 5180.
Testing with Cinebench R15 sees the Origin Neuron pull into third place, but it then falls into last when running Photoshop.
Turning our attention to gaming-oriented benchmarks, we see the Origin Neuron start to really struggle against the competition. It almost ties with the Corsair Vengeance Gaming PC 5180 when tested with 3DMark, and it turns in admirable results when put through Unigine’s Superposition 1.0 test with high graphics presets. Its low graphics preset results on the Unigine benchmark were far behind, though.
We see similar results when looking at real-world graphics tests. PCMag tested the system with both Far Cry 5 and Rise of the Tomb Raider, at three different resolutions. At 1080p and 2560×1440 resolutions the Neuron lags far behind the other four systems, but it pulls ahead when the resolution is cranked up to 3840×2160.
As I mentioned before, these test results need to be considered carefully. You can order all of these PCs, except the Overpowered gaming desktop, configured with various hardware components to fit your budget and performance needs. This data is best used to compare each system exactly as configured against each other, which shows in terms of performance that the Origin Neuron is competitive against all of these systems except the Corsair One i160, which came in first in almost every test.
Limiting our focus to these systems, however, the situation for Origin’s Neuron is still rather mixed. MSI’s Trident X beats the Neuron in many of these tests and the configuration tested sells for $2,499. The Overpowered DTW3 system that was tested trades places with the Neuron and it frequently appears on our deals page for $1,499. The Neuron does feature a water-cooled CPU, which the DTW3 lacks, and its smaller size and ability to lay horizontal is a useful feature the other systems lack.