When Falcon Northwest turned 20 years old, the builders at the O.G. boutique PC reseller celebrated the company's anniversary in style. They custom-built the Tiki, an intriguing blend of power, looks and stealth-like silence.
Let's step back for a second. In the early '90s, no one – literally, no one – believed that a PC vendor could survive for five years, let alone twenty, with a business built around high-end systems for gamers and flight simulator nerds. Falcon NW proved to be ahead of the curve, and has carried on assembling custom, premium systems for geeks like us. This alone is worth celebrating.
With the Tiki, Falcon NW enters an interesting category. Thin, quiet, and loaded with the latest high-end silicon, this is a versatile gaming system that would fit right in the living room (or just about anywhere else). And the rig has one unique, signature touch that I've never seen before in any PC.
OK, this is beginning to sound a bit like a love letter. So, I'll stop with the googly eyes and get on with the review. (Sorry for that.)
Aesthetically, the Tiki is one of the more intriguing high-powered PCs you'll ever see. At first glance, that sleek, modern design will fill your eyes. That's thanks to a custom case that is a little bigger than an Xbox One, but with room for standard parts, including a mini-ITX motherboard and a 12.5-inch graphics card. Measuring 13 inches tall by 4 inches wide, this is an elegant little system – particularly considering how much muscle lies inside.
Not surprisingly, given Falcon Northwest's track record, the paint job stands out as top notch. TechRadar's system came in a stark candy blue, but other options, including a hand-painted flame kit and a pewter-looking Hematite paint job, are on offer.
Naturally, these custom paint jobs cost a pretty penny, with solid colors costing an extra $375 (about £222, AU$400), and the more exotic coatings running up to $900 (around £534, AU$961). Thankfully, the default black chassis – which is free – also looks sharp.
The highlight of the Tiki's chassis design is the smoothed granite block that the rig rests on, which gives the whole system a unique and classy vibe. Frankly, I've never seen anything like this before, and while it adds considerable weight to the system, I appreciate the extra stability it provides.
Because the Tiki is meant to stand upright, and because it is fairly narrow, our initial fears were that it would be easily knocked over in a living room environment. That is not going to happen, thanks to such a heavy base. The only downside is that the granite protrudes out in such a way that you can't lay the system on its side.