Falcon Northwest Tiki assessment 2022: Mini PC gaming, perfected

Falcon Northwest Tiki

MSRP $3,208.00

“The Falcon Northwest Tiki is an ultra-fast gaming PC that will get nearly the whole lot proper.”

Execs

  • Blazing 4K gaming efficiency
  • Incredible thermal design
  • Prime-notch construct high quality
  • Accessible upgrades
  • Normal three-year guarantee
  • Restricted fan noise

Cons

  • Restricted Intel configurations

Ten years in the past, Falcon Northwest launched the Tiki — a small kind issue PC that aimed to pack premium parts into the smallest case potential. A decade on, the Tiki is on the identical mission to be one of the best gaming PC for its measurement. However how does a case optimized for {hardware} that’s a number of generations outdated delay with the rising energy demand of contemporary parts?

Simply in addition to it did all these years in the past, it seems, as a result of some cleaver thermal redesigns on the case. Though the choices for Intel configurations are slim, the Tiki nonetheless stands out as among the best desktops you possibly can purchase as a result of its top-notch cooling potential, quiet operation, and incredible out-of-the-box efficiency. Costly because it is, the Tiki seems like a steal for a way a lot it has to supply.

Design

Falcon Northwest Tiki PC washed in LED lights.Jacob Roach / Digital Traits

The Tiki is remarkably small. It’s small general, completely, but it surely’s exceptional since it manages to really feel like a full-sized gaming PC with out taking on that quantity of area. In need of an Intel NUC, I’m not conscious of any smaller gaming PCs until you construct one your self.

For specifics, the Tiki is 4 inches large, 13 inches tall, and 13.6 inches deep — minus the hefty base plate. By comparability, the Tiki’s most direct competitor, the Corsair One i300, is sort of 8 inches large, 15 inches tall, and seven inches deep. The Tiki is even smaller than a PlayStation 5.

Regardless of being so small, nothing within the Tiki is proprietary. It nonetheless makes use of an SFX energy provide and a mini-ITX motherboard, so you possibly can improve in the long run. And in contrast to the Corsair One, opening the Tiki case gained’t void your guarantee.

Aesthetically, the Tiki strikes a pleasant steadiness. The Falcon Northwest emblem on the entrance lights up with vivid RGB, however the case is in any other case a black field. It’s an expertly designed black field, although. There may be a bevy of small touches, like captive thumbscrews which are leveled by a spring and a steel plate contained in the case that exhibits your title and manufacturing date, that make the Tiki really feel a step above different small kind issue choices.

falcon northwest tiki review 2022 02

Falcon Northwest Tiki PC showing the logo.

The inventory construct appears nice, however Falcon Northwest contains loads of customization choices in its configurator. You possibly can swap the RGB emblem out for a flat coloration — helpful for a piece setup — and also you get UV printing round all sides of the machine. Falcon Northwest has performed customized builds for Unreal, Jack Black, and a slew of video video games, and all of those self same customization choices can be found to you.

It’s little question the Tiki appears nice, however small kind issue builds dwell and die based mostly on their thermals and fan noise. Falcon Northwest clearly has each entrance of thoughts. Beginning with the GPU, I ran FurMark to place as a lot strain on it as potential. Whereas drawing the complete 350W the RTX 3080 Ti is able to and even boosting towards 1,900MHz, the GPU by no means went above 65 levels Celsius.

The Tiki manages to remain quieter than even numerous mid-towers.

The CPU was a bit hotter, going as much as 86 levels throughout an all-core Cinebench run. That’s extra on the processor, although. Even with a 240mm all-in-one liquid cooler on an open-air take a look at bench, I noticed the very same peak temperature with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D by itself.

The larger information is the fan noise. The Tiki actually ramps up beneath load, but it surely manages to remain quieter than even numerous mid-towers. The Asus ProArt PD5, for instance, is far louder than the Tiki regardless of utilizing much less highly effective {hardware} and a case that’s greater than double the dimensions. As I’ve stated, utilizing the Tiki seems like utilizing a full-sized desktop, and numerous that comes right down to its thermal efficiency.

What’s within the field?

Extras included with the Falcon Northwest Tiki.Jacob Roach / Digital Traits

I usually don’t cowl the extras included with gaming PCs, however the Tiki contains too many goodies to disregard. For fundamentals, you get the entire extras that might usually include the elements within the machine — further SATA cables, antennas for the Wi-Fi, and so forth. However once more, Falcon Northwest goes additional.

The machine comes with a folder filled with detailed assist documentation, from beginning and sustaining your PC to an in depth file of precisely how your PC was configured (even right down to the drivers Falcon Northwest put in). Falcon Northwest contains its personal USB restoration drive, too, with its personal magnetic case.

It’s a call-back to a time when being a system integrator meant greater than simply constructing a PC. The Tiki might have proven up on my doorstep with none context and I might have the entire supplies I want to start out, preserve, and perceive the machine with out ever touching a search bar. That’s a hell of so much greater than most gaming PCs can say.

Falcon Northwest additionally features a branded mug and bag of its very personal Falcon Gasoline with every order. I’m not contemplating that as a part of my assessment, after all, but it surely’s fairly good espresso regardless.

Specs and pricing

CPUAMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D
GPUNvidia RTX 3080 Ti Founder’s Version
MotherboardAsus ROG Strix B550-I Gaming
CaseFalcon Northwest Tiki micro tower
Reminiscence32GB G.Ability Trident Z DDR4-3200
StorageEssential P2 1TB NVMe SSD
Energy provideSilverStone SX SFX-L 80+ Titanium 800W
USB portsEntrance: 2x USB 3.2, 1x USB-C / Again: 4x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 1x USB-C
Networking2.5G Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6

Falcon Northwest makes the fee value it, however there’s no denying that the Tiki is dear. The most cost effective configuration obtainable runs simply over $3,200 for a Ryzen 7 5800X3D, RTX 3060 Ti, and 32GB of DDR4-3200 reminiscence. You can spend properly over $5,000 for a top-spec machine, although, and much more if you happen to dive into Falcon’s customized case choices.

My configuration would run you about $4,230. That’s about $700 greater than the mid-tower Maingear Vybe however not far more than different small kind issue choices. The Corsair One i300, for instance, is barely round $300 cheaper with the same configuration.

The distinction, for me, is that the Tiki is greater than a seize bag of the most affordable elements. You don’t get an OEM-only PSU; you get a SilverStone 80+ Titanium energy provide. The RAM modules aren’t the most affordable choices for a rated velocity; they’re the sought-after TridentZ RGB DIMMs. And issues like a three-year guarantee that firms like MainGear cost $200 for are included as commonplace.

Back panel ports on the Falcon Northwest Tiki.

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There’s no denying that the Tiki is dear, however Falcon Northwest makes it really feel like each greenback goes additional. You don’t must look additional than the HP Omen 45L to see that even one of the best gaming desktops reduce corners to hit a lower cost. However not Falcon Northwest, and contemplating how a lot further you’re getting for a comparatively low premium, the Tiki is past value it.

On the flip aspect, the Tiki’s deal with a premium construct limits the choices obtainable, notably for CPUs. On the Intel platform, for instance, you simply have entry to a Core i9-12900. The AMD choices are a bit extra forgiving, however Falcon Northwest nonetheless restricts the choice to the highest elements within the Ryzen 5000 vary. The upside is that you may have entry to issues like Nvidia’s Founder Version playing cards, that are extraordinarily onerous to search out in prebuilt PCs, not to mention on their very own.

Internals and upgradability

Falcon Northwest Tiki with the side panel off.Jacob Roach / Digital Traits

Small kind issue builds should sacrifice operate for kind, however the Tiki once more impresses by sacrificing little or no. There are some concessions, resembling the AIO cooler sitting instantly on high of the CPU and a separate chamber in the highest to accommodate the GPU. However you possibly can nonetheless entry the whole lot within the Tiki and carry out upgrades with minimal effort.

The case solely opens from one aspect, and you possibly can see most of what you wish from there. You can swap the GPU, RAM, storage, and CPU with out dismantling the complete construct — and that’s not frequent for machines as small because the Tiki. The one hurdle is the cooler, which is mounted to the aspect panel you may have to take off. In case you’re servicing the machine, I’d suggest dismounting the cooler to keep away from tugging on the strains.

Falcon Northwest units you up for achievement for upgrades with the Tiki.

Trying contained in the machine exhibits how Falcon Northwest is reaching such glorious thermal efficiency. A part of it’s the vents scattered across the case, offering clear airflow. Two 120mm followers mounted subsequent to the GPU assist push the air alongside, guiding it out of the case as a substitute of simply drawing extra air in.

It’s onerous to improve any small PC, and the Tiki isn’t any completely different. Falcon Northwest units you up for achievement, although, with clear entry to the whole lot you wish and an inner structure that promotes airflow. We often get one or the opposite, however the Tiki does each.

Efficiency

Components lit up inside the Falcon Northwest Tiki.Jacob Roach / Digital Traits

The Tiki is a gaming PC first, and that’s clear from my processor testing. Earlier than attending to my outcomes, be mindful that the Ryzen 7 5800X3D isn’t notably well-suited for CPU-intensive duties — it’s one of the best gaming processor, not one of the best processor general. Configuring the Tiki with a Ryzen 9 5900X or 5950X would end in a lot greater productiveness efficiency.

Falcon Northwest Tiki (Ryzen 7 5800X3D)Maingear Vybe (Ryzen 9 5900X)HP Omen 45L (Core i9-12900K)
Cinebench R23 multi-core14,06720,80223,068
Cinebench R23 single-core1,4501,5971,893
Geekbench 5 multi-core10,63312,72415,685
Geekbench 5 single-core1,5991,7181,910
PugetBench for Premiere Professional8809561,025
Handbrake (Seconds, decrease is best)70N/A51
Blender Monster2,8092,630N/A
Blender Junkshop1,6001,283N/A
Blender Classroom1,3751,476N/A

In CPU benchmarks like Cinebench and Geekbench, the upper core counts on the Ryzen 9 5900X and Core i9-12900K are clear winners. The excellent news for the Tiki is that it’s not thermally limiting the Ryzen 7 5800X3D. My outcomes with the Tiki are almost an identical (properly throughout the margin of error) to the outcomes I recorded with this CPU and a 240mm AIO liquid cooler.

Principally, you’ll get the complete efficiency of the processor of your selection contained in the Tiki. The issue is selection. Falcon Northwest provides the Intel Core i9-12900 as an choice, however you possibly can’t configure it with a 120mm AIO like you possibly can with AMD’s chips. As a substitute, you’re restricted to Intel’s inventory Laminar RH1 cooler.

Though I haven’t had the prospect to check this configuration, I even have examined the Core i9-12900K. And I can inform you, even at inventory frequencies, it would get a lot hotter than any of AMD’s competing chips. Mixed with much less highly effective cooling, an Intel-configured Tiki is certain to run hotter. Briefly, stick to AMD if you should decide up a Tiki.

In GPU-bound productiveness apps like Blender, although, the Tiki shines. It was capable of exceed the identical card contained in the Maingear Vybe in two of the three renders, in actual fact. Though the Ryzen 7 5800X3D isn’t an excellent selection for productiveness, the Tiki provides sufficient bandwidth and energy to assist lengthy render occasions and intense non-gaming functions.

Gaming efficiency

An enormous ache level for small kind issue builds is constrained efficiency as a result of thermals, however the Tiki constantly bolstered that it could possibly go toe-to-toe with machines greater than quadruple its measurement in my testing. Even the HP Omen 45L’s devoted Cryo Chamber cooling doesn’t give it an edge over the Tiki in gaming efficiency.

Synthetic gaming performance for the Falcon Northwest Tiki.

Beginning with artificial efficiency in 3DMark, the Tiki exhibits off the facility of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D. Even with the identical GPU because the Maingear Vybe, the Tiki is capable of outpace the older 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X. The Core i9-12900K and RTX 3090 contained in the HP Omen 45L present some competitors in Time Spy, however the Tiki took the crown in Hearth Strike.

In actual video games, the Tiki nonetheless impresses. The thermal design permits it to compete with a lot bigger machines, displaying the complete energy of the {hardware} inside. Though the outcomes aren’t thrilling — the overwhelming majority of my checks have been inside a body or two of the others — they showcase that the Tiki is capable of reap the benefits of what you set inside it.

Gaming performance in the Falcon Northwest Tiki.

Forza Horizon 4 and Cyberpunk 2077 present the clearest variations, with the additional cache on the Ryzen 7 5800X3D permitting the Tiki to hit greater body charges even when constrained by the GPU. It’s necessary to be mindful that the Omen 45L isn’t obtainable with this chip, and you possibly can pack an RTX 3090 into the Tiki to match HP’s machine.

The Tiki is an superior gaming machine, matching machines which are a lot bigger with out getting louder or hotter. I’d suggest sticking with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D configuration if you happen to’re primarily all in favour of gaming — it’s cheaper, and it blows AMD’s different choices out of the water.

Software program

The Falcon Northwest Tiki set up next to a gaming monitor.Jacob Roach / Digital Traits

There’s nothing to report right here. Falcon Northwest clearly respects its clients greater than giant manufacturers like Asus and HP, and it doesn’t embrace any bloatware. It doesn’t embrace any software program in any respect, in actual fact. Even the Nvidia driver is a stand-alone set up aside from GeForce Expertise.

It doesn’t sound like an enormous deal, however the Tiki runs a lot quicker because of this. Boot occasions are virtually fast as a result of there aren’t any startup apps outdoors of those included with Home windows, and also you don’t should always monitor your activity supervisor to see what’s sucking down energy within the background. The Tiki seems like a machine you constructed your self, and that’s onerous to come back by.

Past the software program inside Home windows, Flacon Northwest has the entire optimizations you may want enabled — XMP is turned on, ReBAR is enabled, and the entire drivers and Home windows updates are essentially the most latest (assuming a recent one doesn’t come out throughout the transport course of, after all). The one factor Falcon Northwest messes with on the software program aspect is setting a background and your default browser web page to its web site.

Our take

The Tiki is an costly mini PC that earns each greenback Falcon Northwest asks for. You possibly can decide up a less expensive choice with the identical parts and get comparable efficiency, but it surely’s Falcon Northwest’s consideration to element, glorious part choice, and thorough construct course of that make it stand out.

Are there any options?

Sure, however none as well-built because the Tiki. Essentially the most direct competitor is the Corsair One i300. Maingear provides its Turbo and Origin PC provides the Chronos as small kind issue choices, although neither of them is sort of as small because the Tiki.

How lengthy will it final?

With premium {hardware} inside, the Tiki will final a number of years. Falcon Northwest provides a regular three-year guarantee, as properly, and assuming you possibly can match the parts inside, you possibly can improve the Tiki down the road if you happen to need.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. There isn’t one other small kind issue PC that walks the tight rope just like the Tiki does, providing flagship energy, an excellent small footprint, and thermal efficiency that rivals desktops two or 3 times its measurement.

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