A Console-Like Experience

Obviously a big selling point of NVIDIA's GeForce Titan is the ability to deliver a ton of performance in a single card configuration. While we can't get to performance specifics until Thursday, I can talk about the experience a bit.

The Tiki's form factor really did a great job approximating a gaming console, while offering the performance, quality and flexibility you get with a gaming PC. I used this little experiment as an opportunity to play around with Steam's Big Picture mode, a 10-foot-UI designed to be navigated via a wireless controller while your PC is connected to a TV. When combined with the Tiki's small form factor, the experience was actually pretty striking. There are really two elements to Steam's Big Picture mode enabling a console-like PC gaming experience. The first is simply the user interface. Big Picture is extremely quick, and just so much better than the sluggish mess that is the Xbox 360's UI today. It doesn't hurt that it's being driven by a 4.6GHz Core i7 in this case, which brings me to the next point. The combination of Intel's Core i7 with NVIDIA's GeForce Titan, in the Tiki's console-like chassis, resulted in a system that could run pretty much anything I threw at it without flinching.

With the exception of games like Far Cry 3, everything ran so very fast and smooth on the system with every setting cranked all the way up (sometimes set unreasonably high). In these cases the setup might as well have been a console, everything just worked, ran smoothly and loaded quickly. It's the FC3s and Crysis 3s of the world that will still require that you be reasonable with your quality settings, at least if you're running at 1080p or 2560 x 1440 (mostly by keeping AA disabled, you can leave the quality settings turned way up). Even taking into account the titles that can stress a single 7.1B transistor GPU, the overall experience is still very good.

While Steam's Big Picture mode does still have some rough edges, it really does enable a very console-like experience. It's obvious to me that Valve has a real path towards building an open console platform around PC hardware. I can't stress how much the Tiki's small form factor really added to the illusion of gaming on a console. It's all really well done.

Power Consumption & Noise

My perspective on what's considered quiet has been sort of warped by the fact that for the past two months I've been using a 27-inch iMac as my primary system. While the upgraded 27-inch iMac is a surprisingly potent gaming system for an all-in-one, the Tiki is in a completely different class of performance. The Titan equipped Tiki idled at 40.5dB(A), measured a foot in front of the chassis. Under heavy GPU load, I measured 42.6dB(A) at the same spot (with the system off I measured 33.0dB(A)). The system isn't silent by any means, but it's not loud either. You hear a lot of air movement (as well as the Asetek cooler pumping its liquid around from time to time), but not much else. The days of a high end gaming rig being obnoxiously loud are thankfully over.

At idle the Tiki benefits from tons of power gating on the two big consumers in the system (Intel's Core i7 and NVIDIA's GF Titan), my test system only drew 50.5W at the wall - that's actually less power than a slim Xbox 360 at idle. Under load it's a different story however. The Titan equipped Tiki pulled a peak of 323.5W, but sustained power consumption with a GPU heavy workload was 286.5W.

 

Inside the Tiki Price and Final Words
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  • c4fusion - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    Well it shouldn't be a problem with this system, it's slot loaded. ;) Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    The granite base is not detachable. It's quite attached, and it's quite heavy (I'd assume to keep the Tiki upright). Reply
  • tonyou - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    According to another review, the granite base is actually removable:

    <a href="http://www.destructoid.com/review-falcon-northwest...
    Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Wow this is an impressive system but at what price?!?! Last November I built a HT gaming system based on i3 3225 (3.3Ghz), 8 GB RAM, 120BG Samsung 840 SSD + 1TB HDD and 7850 2GB OC and slimline Sony Blu-Ray for just €650, taxes and postage included. I can run Battlefiled 3 and anything else I've thrown at it at 1080p resolution and good quality settings without a hitch. The price of this Tiki ($3200) is a total waste of money and sooo over-engineered!! Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    You're making a pretty ludicrous comparison here. Obviously if you can spend less and it still does everything you need it to do then do that but there are things a high-end system will be capable of doing that your system can't. If you want to do one of those things then your system isn't worth it at any price. On top of that you've ignored the entire premise of the article: that for some users the extra cost of having someone build for you is well worth the time savings. In short not everyone's needs are your needs and not everyone's time is worth the same amount. Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Building the PC is the easy part, figuring out what bits should go in it is the hard part, but given the price difference it's well worth the investment.

    If they could build something closer to my spec in this form factor for a bit more money then I paid, I'd be all over it, but at this price point I'm flabbergasted as to who will want to pay this much for a glorified HTPC.
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    i3+840+HD7850?

    Apples and oranges are too similar to be a valid description of the different universes your system and this Tiki occupy. How about a mosquito vs. a T-Rex?
    Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Well how about asking yourself what this is actually USED for? If you like running benchmarks all day on your HTPC(!) and brag about it on forums then then sure it's no comparison, but Battlefield 3, Far Cry 3 at 1080p resolution (as high as 99.99% of TVs will go at the moment) run smoooooth as silk on my config. Why would I wonna pay a $2.5k premium for something I don't need?!?! Plus it's ugly! They spend all this time and effort in designing a square box. Wow, seriously?!? That granite base is like a fallen headstone. Well at least it's gonna come in handy when they have to bury this thing. I reckon this is gonna tank big time. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    You are going by your own taste and likes and saying this product is bad because it doesn't meet those. All the others are simply stating that it isn't a bad product because you don't like it. You can say you find it a useless and overprice product for your own use cases. That is fine and hardly worth a rebuttal. But you are arguing in absolutes while providing subjective points. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    ...one damn well hopes the consoles aren't as smooth. ;) Reply

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