Falcon Northwest Talon review: The ultimate gaming machine

Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, Steam’s Gabe Newell, and Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney are keen about expertise. But these business titans additionally share one other frequent trait: They are all devoted purchasers of Falcon Northwest, a boutique PC producer in Oregon that singlehandedly created the customized, pre-built gaming desktop market in 1992. With such a storied historical past, we have been delighted to take a look at the corporate’s strongest desktop but: the Talon, an unstoppable gaming rig with out rival.The Talon is impeccably crafted, meticulously over-engineered, and very highly effective by design. Unlike some competing desktops, Falcon Northwest constructed the Talon from the bottom up with its customized sculpted all-aluminum case, elegant cable administration, and a thermal and cooling system that will make aviation geeks swoon. The Talon is a precision-engineered desktop designed to exude efficiency. The newest iteration of this desktop, which was launched initially as a beige field to tackle IBM’s desktops at launch, takes flight with a few of the strongest silicon available on the market in its extra fashionable matte sandblasted black steel end. Falcon Northwest Talon: Pricing and availability(Image credit score: Chuong Nguyen)Acquiring the Talon, nevertheless, will not be for the faint of coronary heart. Be ready to spend a minimum of $3,878 for an Intel configuration, and upgrading your construct with higher elements rapidly provides to the fee. An AMD Threadripper Pro configuration begins at greater than $8,000, however that mannequin comes with an insane 64-core processor.  Our totally configured Intel overview unit ships with customized UV-printed glass door panels, which provides $300 to the fee. And as a result of we wished each tinted glass and strong aluminum panels to swap between, we had so as to add $80 to the construct — which is nicely value it when you see the thickness of the extruded steel on these doorways. Creatives who do not look after RGB lighting will doubtless need to persist with the non-see-through aluminum panels, which provides a stealthier aesthetic to the Talon.  (Image credit score: Falcon Northwest)We’ve additionally upgraded to a greater motherboard, added extra RAM for a complete of 64GB, chosen a extra highly effective 1200W energy provide unit, and opted for one of the best Intel Core i9-12900KS and NVIDIA RTX 3090 Ti silicon obtainable. Our premium construct totaled just below $7,000 earlier than transport prices.

SpecificationsReview configurationOSWindows 11 Pro with USB restoration keyProcessor12th Gen Intel Core i7 to Core i9-12900KSGraphicsNVIDIA RTX 3090 Ti Founders EditionProcessor coolerFalcon Northwest Liquid Cooling 280mmMemoryG.SKILL Trident Z5 RGB 64GB System drive2TB Samsung 980 ProEnergy supplyEVGA SuperNova P2 1200W PSUMotherboardAsus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero WiFi

For a completely loaded construct, workstation customers and professional audiences may double our RAM alternative and add as much as three further SSDs, two 2.5-inch drives, and two 3.5-inch HDDs. You can configure all elements of the Talon utilizing Falcon Northwest’s PC builder instrument. Nvidia’s RTX A-series graphics can be an possibility in addition to dual-GPU configurations. With related upgrades to the facet panels as our overview configuration, a premium construct with AMD’s Threadripper Pro with a 1600W PSU, 64-core CPU, 512GB of Micron Server reminiscence, RTX 3090 Ti graphics, and a single 2TB SSD would value practically $17,500 earlier than including the price of a secondary information drive to the unit.(Image credit score: Falcon Northwest)The elements you select are solely a part of the equation when constructing your individual PC via Falcon Northwest. Each PC comes with an in depth guidelines, and every rig is inspected, examined, and validated earlier than it even will get shipped to make sure you get the efficiency you’d count on. Falcon runs a number of benchmarks on every system, like 3DMark, PCMark, and FutureMark, earlier than cargo.Falcon Northwest Talon: What you’ll love(Image credit score: Falcon Northwest)The firm’s restrained method to design and meticulous consideration to element set the Talon other than different gaming PCs available on the market. If this stealthy black-clad desktop got here in a fairer gray hue or a silver end, you possibly can simply mistake this PC for a gaming Mac desktop. With its 4mm thick aluminum body and strong steel development — except you go for the glass facet doorways — the Talon stands as one of many few PCs that may rival the Mac Pro’s construct high quality. This makes the Talon a pure alternative for discerning players with an enormous price range and recreation designers working at studios like Epic Games and Oculus. Falcon Northwest says its buyer base is evenly cut up between customers and company purchasers. For customers, the great half about ordering from a small operation like Falcon is that the corporate is extraordinarily responsive. (Image credit score: Falcon Northwest)I had complained about paint chipping points due to the hinge mechanism on the doorways of the prior twentieth Anniversary Edition of the Talon just a few years in the past, and the corporate instantly invested $11,000 to retool its processes to repair the issue. This degree of service and responsiveness is virtually remarkable when coping with a bigger PC OEM, and Falcon’s consideration to element is second to none.Fit and end is prime notch, as anticipated from a $7,000 system. And whereas Falcon’s rivals could declare that their circumstances are additionally constructed from steel, they’re encased in sheet steel and none include the 4mm-thick panels of aluminum which can be current on the Talon. This heft and sturdiness take the Talon from digital battle station to feeling like a real-world tank. Every element is assumed out — together with a foam headliner on the within prime of the case to dampen noise — to make the Talon really feel like a luxurious automobile. This is the Bentley of gaming PCs.The Falcon is barely extra compact than Apple’s premium desktop in all dimensions at 8.75 x 15.5 x 17.25 inches (222.3mm x 393.7mm x 438.2mm). The Mac Pro, for comparability, measures 20.8 x 17.7 x 8.58 inches. And as a mid-sized tower, the Talon’s dimensions are nearer to that of Digital Storm’s Redux gaming PC. Both desktops share related measurements, however the Talon’s use of extruded steel within the development offers it a heftier really feel and a extra subtle aesthetic when in comparison with the Redux’s use of a plastic entrance plate with RGB-lit fan design.This present iteration of the Talon has grown barely larger in quantity over the prior twentieth Anniversary Edition. Falcon Northwest founder Kelt Reeves says this elevated house is used to accommodate bigger GPUs, just like the RTX 3090 Ti that’s loaded on our overview system, and bigger motherboards to help AMD’s Threadripper Pro.(Image credit score: Falcon Northwest)Given our RTX 3090 Ti GPU’s weight, Falcon did a terrific job securing the graphics card to the body whereas not utilizing increasing foam packs throughout cargo. The firm had inbuilt retention mechanisms that may accommodate bigger playing cards like our 3090 Ti to assist shield the GPU throughout cargo and in addition forestall GPU sag over time with out having to resort to gimmicky options, like EVGA’s string that hooks on to the highest of the case or ASUS’ use of a jack positioned on prime of the facility provide shroud to maintain the cardboard in place.And regardless of its compact stature, the Talon can deal with a dual-GPU setup, however with NVIDIA dropping help for NVLink on all however probably the most premium 3000-series playing cards, Falcon doesn’t suggest going with a multi-GPU configuration except you’re stepping as much as skilled workstation RTX A-series graphics.(Image credit score: Falcon Northwest)Another large change coming off of the prior twentieth Anniversary Edition is that this present iteration ships with a further fan on the rear close to the GPU. This offers the Talon a complete of 5 followers, successfully decreasing inner temperatures by 2 levels Celsius. In use, the added fan didn’t produce extra audible noise, and with the additional cooling, I used to be capable of squeeze as much as 10 further frames out of extra intense video games whereas the GPU was underneath heavy load.“The precise PCBs on the Ampere era of NVIDIA playing cards are actually fairly brief,” Reeves defined. “And in order that fan close to the again is definitely form of the first fan, but it surely’s the furthest from the followers on the entrance the place many of the recent air is coming in on most programs. So we simply determined to form of play with it. And usually in case design, you do not ever need to level followers at one another as a result of they are going to simply mainly create useless air. So you may discover that fan within the again has a very low RPM and is tremendous quiet for just a bit little bit of added consumption. And usually we vent all these slots within the again finish in any case, so the [graphics] card will be capable to pull from its personal fan, however that little rear fan offers that an additional little kick as nicely. But, we have been designing our circumstances to consumption from the again for some time now.”(Image credit score: Falcon Northwest)The fan is optionally available, nevertheless, and the system will carry out tremendous with out it. With the fan put in, you will not be capable to set up further playing cards contained in the Talon, like a devoted sound card.Reeves confirmed me prototypes of Talon case designs prior to now, some with cutouts on prime, which in concept can be a good suggestion for added air flow. However, in follow, these further prime vents produced the other impact, which implies that specific prototype by no means made it to manufacturing. Reeves used his pilot background and his aeronautics engineer diploma to design airflow within the Talon and permit this desktop to soar over the competitors.One factor that’s carried over from the earlier main Talon redesign is the choice to have strong aluminum doorways or glass doorways, that are mounted on rear hinges that enable the panels to open from the entrance and swing outwards. If you go for each forms of doorways, swapping out is extraordinarily simple — you simply must elevate the door up and off the hinge.Befitting the desktop’s identify, the Talon appears like a fowl able to take flight when the doorways on each side are open. For added customization, Falcon additionally affords UV-printing choices on both or each doorways and the entrance panel for an added value, and we selected to have the Windows Central brand on our tinted glass doorways whereas conserving the entrance clear. We can pop on the steel door for a extra discrete workstation if we would like a extra subdued desk-side aesthetic.(Image credit score: Chuong Nguyen)In battle station mode, nevertheless, the glass door is the higher possibility, permitting Falcon’s current embrace of RGB lighting to shine via. Unlike competing programs, the implementation of RGB lighting is extra restrained, and the considerate execution offers the Talon a extra subtle and refined look. RGB might be haphazardly utilized on cheaper rigs, and the outcome can seem garish.Keeping consistent with the Talon’s premium aesthetics, all of the ports are neatly organized to keep up the desktop’s minimalist design. Quick entry ports are aligned on the prime in the direction of the entrance of the unit, and right here you’ll discover two USB-A ports, a USB-C port, and a headphone jack together with an influence button. On the rear, you’ll discover further audio, USB-A, and USB-C ports, two Thunderbolt ports, a 2.5G Ethernet jack, and video ports for connecting to shows.Given the wide-swinging doorways and the massive case measurement, there’s loads of house to make upgrades sooner or later. Accessing the internals doesn’t require instruments, and the door is held shut when closed through magnets. Like the case, cables are additionally stealthily wrapped in black braided material. All the cables are nicely organized to maintain issues tidy, and also you’ll be capable to respect the considerate cable administration work via the appropriate door.

BenchmarkRedux PC (Core i7, RTX 3080)Falcon Talon (Core i9, RTX 3090 Ti)Geekbench 51,9352,23014,58621,502CPU-Z7978829,29611,993Cinebench R231,9452,25422,96729,145PCMark 108,5769,5033DMark Time Spy21,23623,4123DMark Fire Strike35,21343,2013DMark Port Royal13,00815,002

With a twelfth Gen Intel Core i9-12900KS with 16 cores of processing energy and NVIDIA’s top-of-the-line GeForce RTX 3090 Ti graphics, the Talon delivers insane efficiency ranges. Gamers who need higher bang for the price range can step right down to an RTX 3080, which usually sits about 10 to twenty p.c slower than the beefy 3090 Ti however shaves off practically $1,500 off the construct value.At the best recreation settings and with 4K decision enabled, even graphics-intensive video games like Battlefield V pulled in 140 frames per second (fps) on common. Assassin’s Creed notched in at simply shy of 115fps in our take a look at, whereas Fortnite Battle Royale carried out at 132fps. Even Borderlands 3 carried out at 72fps in UHD.Scaling down the decision to 1080p FHD or 2K yields even higher outcomes, particularly amongst non-graphics intensive titles. Apex Legends, as an illustration, clocked in over 220 frames per second at 2K, whereas Metro Exodus nonetheless carried out at greater than 120fps on common. Even Battlefield V managed to carry out at 230fps in 2K. The Intel-NVIDIA silicon combo on the Talon is solely unstoppable.We did not take a look at the Talon’s 8K gaming efficiency with the RTX 3090 Ti, as we did not have a monitor able to that decision readily available. If you are an fanatic gamer, maybe the most important draw back to the Talon’s energy is discovering the appropriate peripherals to maintain up along with your recreation, together with a quick refresh charge monitor, responsive keyboard, and click-ready mouse to remain on prime of the motion. Whereas the prior Turing structure on the RTX 20-series struggled to maintain up with raytracing enabled, this definitely was not the case with the brand new Ampere era RTX 3090 Ti. Even with raytracing enabled, video games seem very clean and playable.The solely factor that is really conserving the RTX 3090 and the beefier RTX 3090 Ti on our overview unit out of the attain of mainstream players is the worth of those playing cards. Whereas the RTX 3080 Founders Edition begins at simply $699, stepping as much as the RTX 3090 greater than doubles the worth to $1,499. Given that the greater than 100% value improve yields simply on common a 20% efficiency achieve, it will not be value it for many PC customers to leap into flagship GPU territory. The RTX 3090 Ti begins at $1,999 when bought individually. Still, when you want the easiest, nothing available on the market beats the RTX 3090 Ti, and Falcon Northwest’s thermal administration helps increase body charges by 5-20fps when the extra rear fan is enabled. For inventive professionals trying on the Talon as a workstation relatively than a battle station, Falcon Northwest additionally affords configurations with NVIDIA’s RTX A-series skilled graphics. Dual-GPU is supported with RTX A-series playing cards, making this technique a dream for picture and video modifying studios. Falcon Northwest Talon: What you received’t love(Image credit score: Chuong Nguyen)Besides the premium value – for which you get premium high quality – there’s little to not like in regards to the Talon. This desktop is made to carry out and designed to outlast you. If there’s such a factor as an heirloom PC, it will be the Talon, given the desktop’s unbreakable construct and high quality craftsmanship. We solely discovered one main gripe and one minor quibble with this desktop.The largest situation with the Talon is that the pipes for the radiator tubings for the liquid cooler come out on prime relatively than on the underside, which is a matter that plagues many of the gaming desktop market and isn’t restricted to Falcon Northwest. Though this provides the Talon a cleaner aesthetic, the position of the tubes imply that air bubbles may get caught within the cooler, leading to extra system noise and doubtlessly a shortened lifespan for the radiator.(Image credit score: Falcon Northwest)In our take a look at of the Talon, there was an occasional trace of whining from the cooling system. It would have been higher if the radiator was mounted on prime with the hoses coming down, or if Falcon had flipped the radiator the wrong way up in its present front-mounted location in order that the pipes would come out from the underside as a substitute. Though we didn’t try to reverse this positioning on our overview unit, this needs to be a straightforward repair for tinkerers at dwelling given how a lot house is inside this tower.And since we now have had expertise with Falcon’s programs through the years, we bought used to the “extras” that include these premium rigs. Inside the equipment field, you’ll discover further cables, brackets for mounting drives, a flash drive for re-installing Windows 11, a mouse pad, the construct guidelines, in addition to bonuses like a espresso mug and a few espresso bean to get you as amped up because the system you’re receiving. Missing this 12 months is a picket valet field – earlier fashions even shipped with a leather-based folio. Touches like that add to the premium expertise, like shopping for a luxurious automobile, and we’re not sure if Falcon did away with its valet field as a result of cost-cutting measures or if it was a casualty of pandemic-borne provide chain points.Falcon Northwest Talon: The competitors(Image credit score: Windows Central)As a pre-built system, the Talon competes in opposition to rigs from high-end boutiques like Origin PC, Digital Storm, and others. It additionally competes with mainstream gaming desktops, like Alienware’s Aurora R13, Lenovo’s Legion Tower 7i, HP’s Omen Desktop, and gaming PCs from Asus, Acer, and MSI. For comparability, HP’s Intel-powered Omen 45L Desktop begins at $1,749, however upgrading to 64GB of RAM, an Intel 12900K (not KS processor), and RTX 3090 (not 3090 Ti) would deliver the worth as much as $3,859. Admittedly, that is nearly half the price of our Talon overview configuration for some barely much less highly effective silicon, and it will be a greater worth for many players. However, when you demand the highest processor and graphics, these elements can nonetheless be just a little exhausting to come back by on pre-built programs. (Image credit score: Dell)Corsair-owned Origin PC’s Neuron is maybe the closest competitor to the Talon with its tower measurement, UV-printing choices for customizations, and configuration selections. Built to match our Talon’s specs, the Neuron comes to simply over $6,000, nearly $1,000 much less. This remains to be a big value distinction for related efficiency, particularly for individuals who don’t care about extruded steel panels or total construct high quality of a stationary case. Finally, Apple’s Mac Pro is one other doubtless challenger nipping at Falcon’s throne for workstation customers and artistic professionals. Apple’s desktop begins at $6,000, and the worth solely goes up. Throw in casters to roll this workstation across the workplace, and also you’re already at $6,400 earlier than any significant tech upgrades are made.  But for all these Talon rivals, even when you can configure the elements to match our overview system, you wouldn’t have a rig with the design, thermal administration, efficiency, and craftsmanship. Falcon Northwest’s desktop builds are second to none, and no producer – not even Apple – can match the corporate’s consideration to element. It all comes right down to how a lot you worth the Falcon expertise. And when you’re making an attempt to price range, you’ll be able to at all times step right down to barely much less highly effective processor and graphics. A typical three-year restricted guarantee is included with the desktop.Falcon Northwest: Should you purchase(Image credit score: Falcon Northwest)You can purchase this if …You need a premium and highly effective PC with out investing your individual effort into researching one of the best elements to your constructYou demand one of the best silicon from Intel, AMD, and NVIDIAYou need a meticulously designed tower with strong all-metal development and sufficient house for future upgradesYou nerd out over thermals and airflowYou worth good design and don’t need aggressive RGB lightingYou should not purchase this if …You’re on a price range and need a system that offers you probably the most bang for the buckYou do not care a few extra muted case aesthetic and like extra aggressive stylingYou want a starter system to get you goingYou do not care in regards to the capacity to make future upgradesFalcon Northwest’s Talon is the ultimate gaming machine that does not make any compromises, delivering a few of the finest efficiency on any system we have ever encountered. Meticulous craftsmanship and Falcon Northwest’s unwavering dedication to driving one of the best efficiency out of any silicon that comes its method make the Talon stand out. After redefining the non-public pc house by inventing the gaming PC market within the ’90s, Falcon Northwest is once more reshaping the gaming narrative with a luxurious PC formed by efficiency, design, and particulars. If you are after a quick battle station, you will discover one from any producer. But if you’d like the ultimate gaming machine, you may have to show to Falcon Northwest. 

Falcon Northwest Talon gaming PC

Falcon Northwest’s Talon is an unmatched gaming desktop when it comes to construct high quality, efficiency, and craftsmanship. Meticulously designed and engineered by a pilot, the Talon’s optimized thermals will allow you to extract as a lot efficiency as potential from the Intel Core i9 CPU and NVIDIA RTX 3090 Ti graphics. 
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