Falcon Northwest’s Tiki is the sleek sports car of VR PCs



Falcon Northwest is a small company, but small can mean focus
and care when it comes to device makers. Falcon’s business is
PCs, and specifically Windows machines capable of delivering
terrific gaming power in a package that won’t take up an entire
closet in your house. The Tiki is a compact gaming tower
that uses top quality materials inside and out, and if you’re
looking to jump on the VR bandwagon now that Mark Zuckerberg is
dead set on making our actual world pretty much mirror
Ready Player One
, it’s definitely worth a look.

Design

The Tiki’s best feature, or at least its distinguishing feature
vs. other gaming PCs you might choose to get, is arguably its
design. The all-metal case and marble stone base are unique
among gaming PC cases – and the whole thing is about half as
wide as your typical large, plastic, gaudy gaming rig case, and
probably about only three-quarters as tall. Its compact shape
is complemented by a reassuring weight, however, and a feeling
of solidity that again, you won’t find most other places
in the crowded world of gaming PCs and components.

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    The Tiki’s internal glow highlights its true power.

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Falcon Northwest also offers custom paint jobs – they had just
done one up in TC colors, hence the green with white racing
stripes you see above. These are done using high-quality
automotive paints, and though they add around $400 to your
build cost, they’re an impressive addition if you’re looking
for your Tiki to make even more of a visual statement. The
stock black finish is impressive, too, however, and could
work better for helping the PC fade into the background if
you’re creating a minimalist setup for your VR holodeck.

The Tiki has nice cutouts to show off the lighting effects on
your graphics card, which in this build is the Nvidia GTX 1080.
Nvidia’s released new cards since this was build, reducing the
price of this configuration to something that’s probably well
within range to VR aficionados looking to spend more than
entry-level prices. but who still doesn’t want to break the
bank – around $2,700, depending on options and minus the custom
paint.

Performance

You can potentially get more raw power for your money,
including even some dual graphics card rigs, but Falcon’s
component is all top-notch, and will likely last longer
than budget parts. The liquid cooling system helps ensure it’s
mostly silent while running, too, which is a very big upgrade
if you’re used to noisy fans. This is actually a big benefit
for VR use specifically, since it means you won’t be drawn out
of quiet, immersive in-game moments because your fan is kicking
into high gear and sounding like a jet turbine.

In-game, the Falcon Tiki as equipped, including an Intel Core
i7 quad-core Kaby Lake processor, the aforementioned Nvidia GTX
1080 graphics card and 32GB of RAM, makes easy work of any
virtual reality title I could throw at it, across both Steam
and Oculus titles available for the Rift. It’s an experience
that’s miles better than playing the same games on the budget
CyberPower PC I’ve used previously, and if you’ve only used VR
on base level system requirements, you likely don’t know how
good VR can actually be.

The Tiki’s internal glow highlights its true power.

Falcon’s system also held up to other general computing tasks
with ease – it’s a great graphics editing machine, and it can
easily output 4K resolution from the latest games, all while
again remaining calm, cool and collected. This seems like a
near-impossibility from a system this compact – the next
smallest gaming PC I’ve used is the Alienware Alpha, and that
can’t come close in terms of specs – but it consistently proves
itself a very capable performer, regardless of what you throw
at it.

Bottom Line

The Tiki can be custom configured to your needs and
specifications, and these are likely going to vary
dramatically. But Falcon is a small company made up of gamers,
and they’ve done a good job anticipating the needs of a range
of buyers, and providing configuration options to match. Their
love of gaming is also apparent in the fit and finish of the
Tiki – it bears more in common to fine Swiss watches than it
does to the plastic, corner cutting machines you’ll see lining
the aisles Best Buy.

Falcon’s premium finishes, components and attention to detail
come at a premium price, of course, and that’s not going to be
necessarily palatable to all those interested in VR, especially
considering that (while enjoying dropping prices) Oculus Rift
and HTC Vive still aren’t exactly budget-friendly items on
their own.

There are intangibles that help build on the value of Falcon’s
hardware itself, however. The company offers friendly and
helpful customer support, and your computer is made
specifically for you, when you order it. The customer welcome
kit it comes with is reminiscent of what you get when you buy a
pricey luxury automobile – you feel like you’re joining a club
of people who know the value of good things.

VR is still a nascent technology, but if you’re looking for a
gaming hardware company that has its finger on the pulse of
what’s important to making the most out of that tech right now,
Falcon is it. The Tiki is the Porsche of VR rigs –
small, powerful and attractive but understated compared to some
of its flashier peers – and it’s definitely worth a look if
you’re interested in spending a bit more to track VR’s leading
edge.


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Falcon Northwest’s Tiki is the sleek sports car of VR PCs

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