Origin Chronos V3 review: big performance, small package

This console-like gaming PC offers power, style, and custom options, if you can afford it.

A Origin Chronos V3 gaming PC on a desk
(Image: © Future / John Loeffler)

TechRadar Verdict

Despite the small mid-tower design, the Origin Chronos V3 offers extremely powerful performance. Even when running at full throttle, the gaming desktop manages to maintain quietness. All of that does come at the cost of an expensive price tag regardless of configuration, port placement that won’t please everyone, and caveats when attempting to upgrade in the future.


  • +

    Small compact design that’s extremely customizable

  • +

    Fantastic performance power

  • +

    Quiet cooling even when under high performance pressure


  • -


  • -

    Not easy to upgrade

  • -

    Awkward port placement

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Origin Chronos V3: One-minute review

Going as far back as 2014, the Origin Chronos line of gaming desktops have earned a reputation by providing incredible performance in a relatively compact shell. Throughout the years, design has gotten smaller as chip sets get more and more powerful, and the same goes for the Origin Chronos V3. 

Featuring a mid-tower ITX case set-up that’s 11 inches tall and 7 inches wide, the gaming desktop is small enough to pack in dozens of combinations split between various CPUs, GPUs, motherboards, RAM and SSD storage. 

It doesn’t matter what side of the Intel, Nvidia and AMD side of the fence one stands on, the amount of personalized options are remarkable. There’s even plenty of ventilation through its steel mesh panels that also allow up to 6 120mm fans to be used as well. This allows high-end gaming performance doesn’t become uncomfortably noisy when pushed to the max. 

However, this impressive package does come with some issues. Regardless of which configuration one finds themselves choosing, the Chronos V3 is going to cost a pretty penny. Starting at $1,501 for a build with an AMD Ryzen 5 7600X CPU and no discrete graphics, you can customize your Chronos V3 to the tune of more than $5,500. Of course, the max configuration is a beast of a machine, so the price is absolutely in line with what you're getting.

Meanwhile, the smaller design means port access located at the top instead of the rear may be problematic. Most importantly, upgrading various parts over-time may be problematic due to its mini ITX case. These restrictions won’t make the Chronos V3 any less desirable but may be something potential buyers should take into consideration given how much money they're likely to drop on this bad boy. 

Origin Chronos V3: Price & availability

A Origin Chronos V3 gaming PC shipping crate

Yes, they ship this thing out in a crate like it's the Ark of the Covenant (if you're into that kind of thing) (Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • How much does it cost? Depending on the configuration, expect to spend between $1,785 and $5,695  
  •  When is it available? It is available now in the US only 
  •  Where can you get it? From Origin’s online store 

Currently only available stateside through Origin’s online store, the Chronos V3 gaming desktop can come in a variety of spec configurations that’s split between two white and black colorways. 

Our review setup runs about $3,050 (about £2,830/AU$4,560) and came packed with an Intel Core i7-13700K, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080, 32 GB of DDR5 RAM, and a 1TB SSD with an additional 2 TB SSD storage. 

The Chronos V3 is going to be an all around expensive purchase regardless of what options you go for, but it is still reasonable on the lower end and not out of step with the best gaming PCs from manufacturers like Dell or Lenovo

Still, if you're looking for something much more on this side of affordable, do check out our best budget gaming PC  page for more affordable alternatives.

Though the front case design comes with two USB-A and one USB-C ports alongside a 3.5 mm headset jack across all configurations, port selection may differ due to the amount of motherboards available as well. This review configuration was an MPG Z790I Edge Wifi that granted four USB-A ports, a singular USB-C, RealTek 7.1 Audio Out capabilities, 2.5 LAN Ethernet port in addition to Intel Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. 

At the cheaper end of the spectrum, users can get a viable build with an AMD Ryzen 5 7600X CPU, Nvidia RTX 4060 GPU, 32GB DDR5 RAM and a 500GB SSD. That’ll cost around $1,785 (about £1,425, AU$2,675). 

On the high end, for around $5,521 (about £4,420/AU$8,280), individuals can blow up their specs to a 24-core Intel i9-13900KS, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080, 64GB DDR5 RAM, 8GB PCIe SSD storage alongside an extra 8GB SATA SSD and a bay-mounted, low-profile Blu-Ray writer because why the hell not? 

  • Value score: 3.5 / 5

Origin Chronos V3: Specs

A Origin Chronos V3 gaming PC on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The Origin Chronos V3 currently comes in any number of configurations, letting the number of potential builds run well over 100. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Origin Chronos V3 specs
Row 0 - Cell 0 Review configurationBase configurationHigh-end
CPUIntel Core i7-13700KAMD Ryzen 5 7600XIntel Core i9-13900KS
GraphicsNvidia GeForce RTX 4080Integrated GraphicsNvidia GeForce RTX 4080
Ports2.5G LAN Ethernet Port / 2X 3.2 Gen USB-C / RealTek 7.1 Audio Out / 8X USB-A / 3.5m headset jack / 2.5G LAN Ethernet Port / 2X 3.2 Gen USB-C / RealTek 7.1 Audio Out / 8X USB-A / 3.5m headset jack / 2.5G LAN Ethernet Port / 2X 3.2 Gen USB-C / RealTek 7.1 Audio Out / 8X USB-A / 3.5m headset jack /
WirelessIntel Wi-Fi 6E / Bluetooth 5.3Intel Wi-Fi 6E / Bluetooth 5.3Intel Wi-Fi 6E / Bluetooth 5.3
Weight5 lbs (Case)5 lbs (Case)5 lbs (Case)
Dimensions 11”(H) x 7”(W) x 15.5”(D)11”(H) x 7”(W) x 15.5”(D)11”(H) x 7”(W) x 15.5”(D)

Origin Chronos V3 : Design

A Origin Chronos V3 gaming PC on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Has a very small footprint  
  • Ports are arranged at the top of the unit near a ventilation fan  
  • Design isn’t completely future proof

The Origin Chronos V3’s design is rather svelte, meaning it won’t take up much space and may remind many of the Xbox Series X. The case alone is around 5 lbs as additional components shouldn’t make the gaming desktop a heavy lift. Moving the Chronos V3 around didn’t take much effort at all. 

When it comes to aesthetics, the desktop looks great while offering a premium design. It doesn’t matter if buyers go with the white or black colorway either as the customizable RGB lighting makes it visually pop. Despite the small design and power it contains, there’s plenty of ventilation through the steel mesh panels that can easily be removed for cleaning eventual dust build-up. 

Due to the design of the Chronos V3, ports are placed at the top instead of the rear. To keep things cleaner, they are accessible through a removable panel with an opening at rear for cable management. 

Some may have an issue with ports being placed at the top instead of the back, as well as the ports being so close to a ventilation fan. As mentioned previously, there are various motherboard options which will lead to different port configurations, but our review set up had enough ports at the top alongside the two additional USB-A and single USB-C near the power bottom at the front panel’s lower portion.

By default, the biggest issue with the design will be upgradability. Replacing CPU, RAM and Storage won’t be much of an issue but the cramped space is going to make upgrading GPUs and motherboards in the future a problem. At the very least, Origin does offer options to send the gaming desktop back to have them upgraded if it becomes too much of a hassle.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Origin Chronos V3 : Performance

A Origin Chronos V3 gaming PC on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Our review configuration provided respectable 1440p gaming at max settings  
  • Quiet fans despite the performance specs and small design
  • Lack of flagship GPU options limiting native 4K performance  

 3DMark Night Raid: 88,846; Fire Strike: 49,263 ; Time Spy: 26,154
Cinebench R23: 26,254 (multi-core)
GeekBench 6: 2,673 (single-core); 17,850 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Home Test):
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra): 204 fps; (1080p, Low): 449 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra):  175 fps; (1080p, Low): 183fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Ultra): 217 fps; (1080p, Low): 292 fps

Considering the smaller case design of the Origin Chronos V3, there’s some serious horsepower packed in. During testing, our Intel Core i7-13700K and RTX 4080 combo provided great native 1440p performance at high frame rates. Games ranging from Cyberpunk 2077, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Need For Speed Unbound and Diablo IV ran buttery smooth without issue. 

At those settings, there wasn’t a game the Chronos V3 couldn’t handle even with the addition of ray-tracing. Our standard test from Total War: Warhammer III and Dirt 5 provided frame rates that all went above 200 when using Ultra settings. If 1440p gameplay is all one is concerned about, this gaming desktop is more than enough. 

Just be mindful that the case will limit which GPUs the Chronos V3 can hold, and there aren't any options to preconfigure the PC with AMD and Nvidia's flagship GPUs, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090. This means that native 4K performance will be a problem depending on the game, but thankfully, upscaling measures like Nvidia DLSS or AMD FSR can deliver 4K resolutions at high frame rates with some of the GPU options for the build. Those can come with issues like loss of visual details and input delay, though, so it's not a perfect substitute.

Individuals who want native 4K or even 8K performance may want to stay clear of this particular gaming desktop as the case understandably prevents bigger GPU sizes. One thing that is consistent is that fan cooling doesn’t get very loud during intense performance.

We also found the Chronos V3 to be a great workstation for creative tasks. Our PugetBench test for Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro delivered fantastic performance as well. Running Photoshop with high resolution photo files and multiple layers wasn't a problem at all while 4K video exports could be considered relatively snappy.

  • Performance score: 4.5/ 5

Should you buy the Origin Chronos V3?

A Origin Chronos V3 gaming PC on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Origin Chronos V3
ValueThe form factor of the Origin Chronos V3 and all the performance packed in comes at an expensive price that may turn off those without deep pockets.3.5 / 5
DesignProviding a smaller footprint while being available in two colorways makes the gaming desktop something that should be admired. Just understand that port placement and lack of upgradeability may be a turn off. 4 / 5
PerformanceThere’s plenty of power available with the small design of the gaming desktop and the fans stay quiet during high performance. Though 1080p and 1440p gaming is fine, 4K may be an issue. 4.5 / 5
TotalThe Origin Chronos V3 should be considered for PC gamers in need of a small gaming desktop with plenty of power packed in. Someone looking for easier upgradability and affordability may want to look elsewhere4 / 5

Buy it if...

You want a small gaming desktop that doesn’t take much space
With a relatively small footprint, the Origin Chronos V3 is perfect for individuals who want a gaming desktop that doesn’t take up too much space. 

You need strong 1080p and 1440p performance 

If FHD and QHD gaming performance is the target, the gaming desktop can easily hit high native frame rates without much issue, but you'll need upscaling to really hit that 4K sweet spot.

You’d like a quiet gaming desktop experience
Not only does the Chronos V3 pack a lot of power in its small size, but does so without making much noise. 

Don't buy it if...

You need something a bit more affordable
The lowest "viable" out-of-the-box gaming system is going to run you close to $1,800, so this PC starts expensive and only gets more so once you start loading up on specs.

You want something a bit more future proof
With the Origin Chronos V3 being small, it’s going to be an issue for upgrades in the future; especially in the GPU department.

You require better port access
It’s not easy to get to ports on the gaming desktop as they’re not only accessible on the top but near a ventilation fan. 

How I tested the Origin Chronos V3

I spent two weeks with the Origin Chronos V3, playing the latest PC games, used it for general computing tasks, and using various creative apps like Adobe Photoshop. 

Pushing the compact gaming desktop to its limits, I played games including Cyberpunk 2077, Need For Speed Unbound, Forza Horizon 5, and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

More general computing use included using Google Chrome for various tasks ranging from Google Docs to utilizing various social media platforms. Outside of PugetBench tests, we also used Adobe Photoshop and Premier as well. 

Read more about how we test

First reviewed July 2023

Ural Garrett

Ural Garrett is an Inglewood, CA-based journalist and content curator. His byline has been featured in outlets including CNN, MTVNews, Complex, TechRadar, BET, The Hollywood Reporter and more.