Boutique PC builders: When you want the very best


The site is a bit unconventional and can be confusing at first. For example, after you select an option, you have to follow up by accepting it manually -- an extra and unnecessary step. You get to select every detail about the PC you're buying, from case to mouse, in the process.

I had no trouble running up a $9,206 tab on a $1,300 base Genesis PC that I overclocked to 4 GHz, housed in a enclosure and stocked with 12GB of RAM and three 1.5GB GTX 480 graphics cards, to which I added a 23-in. monitor.

Origin PC sells three basic laptop units: EON15 ($1,651), EON17 ($2,499) and EON18 ($2,297); the numeric values indicate the screen size. I pushed the price of the EON18 to just over $6,000 with a processor upgrade, multiple hard-drive RAID storage, a Blu-ray drive, a 23-in. desktop monitor, and a three-year replacement warranty, among other options.

But if you really want to talk about being over the top, you need only look at one of Origin's latest desktop offerings: the Big O. The system features dual Intel Xeon X5680s overclocked to 4.3 GHz and Nvidia's Quad SLI EVGA GTX 480 FTW video cards -- all liquid-cooled. It also contains a fully functional liquid-cooled Xbox 360. The for the Big O, touted as a "one of a kind system, customized to its owner's desires," is $7,699. Origin has a dedicated sales team to handle system configurations at this level.

Origin offers personalized service that keeps you with the same support team that knows what your system specs are. The company has a lifetime phone and service guarantee that even includes free parts shipping if something needs to be replaced. There's also a lifetime labor guarantee that applies to systems returned to Origin for repair.