Interview: ORIGIN PC talks about their new Variable Mounting PC cases

Along with revealing their plans to launch Steam Machine PCs that will support Valve's SteamOS sometime later in 2014, ORGIN PC made some waves at last week's CES 2014 with the introduction of two new cases, MILLENNIUM and GENESIS, that support what the company calls Variable Mounting. In very basic terms, the motherboard and graphics cards inside those cases can be orientated in four different ways.

ORIGIN PC also announced that that its mid-tower MILLENNIUM case supports an expansion kit that can be placed on the bottom to turn it into a full tower GENESIS case, which will allow it to add two 360 radiators, up to 12 3.5 inch storage drives or up to 24 2.5 inch storage drives. We got the company's CEO Kevin Wasielewski to answer some of our questions about both of these new PC case product innovations.

How did the idea for Variable Mounting of motherboards inside ORIGIN PC's case come about?

When we first launched Origin PC we wanted to give the customer every option possible to configure their system the way they wanted and what would be the best fit for them. We learned in the past that cases play a big part in a custom build. Size, cooling, HD space, drive bays, where it’s going to be placed (left side or right side) and so on. The way we handled it in the beginning, was to give the option of building customer systems in any case they wanted. For the customers, it was great! But internally it wasn’t easy. With so many case builds every department had to deal with unique builds and challenges to deliver a quality product.

So when talks started about designing our own case, we still wanted to give our customers options. It was simple, let’s make a case that can do everything our customers have been asking for! This gave our customers the options they wanted and internally made our lives easier. Supply chain wouldn’t have to source or forecast multiple cases, manufacturing could work off one SOP, shipping had one set of packaging and so on. We also wanted to offer a quality case, it couldn’t just be a re-skin or a case made at our local sheet metal shop, it had to be a case that could compete with other system builders and case manufactures. A lot went into it, we have been working on it for 2 years, with the exception of the hot swap unit, we designed every part and made every tool for the 100+ parts needed. We’re extremely happy with the end result and excited for the launch.

The ability to expand a PC case from a mid-tower to a full tower is also fascinating. Again, how did this idea come about?

This falls in with (the previous question), having a case that could be both a mid or a full gives customers options at purchase as well as a case that can handle whatever type of upgrades they want in the future. You can start with a mid tower air cooled single card set up and upgrade it over time to a full liquid cooled multi card system, all in the same case you started with. For example, small form factors have been popular lately, we have small form factor customers that as time went on they would want to upgrade and will the small form factor they would be limited or have to start over in a new case. So having a case with the ability to expand as you want is a great option.

Everyone says the PC industry is slowing but PC gaming seems to be actually growing. Do you think that companies like ORIGIN PC will benefit more from the slow decline of the larger PC makers?

I don’t think we benefit or continue to grow because of the decline of any other PC makers, I think we are growing because we offer something unique. We strive to offer every customer the best possible PC experience: Personalized service, the most quality customization options, the highest performance, and lifetime 24/7 U.S based support.

Finally is there anything else you wish to say about ORIGIN PC's plans for 2014?

Thanks for your support John and to all of our fans. We are passionate PC gamers and enthusiasts. We wake up every day hungry to keep improving our high performance PCs and we look forward to providing each and every fan the best PC experience possible!

We would like to thank Kevin for answering our questions!

Image via ORIGIN PC

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12 Comments

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Looks like an old Alienware case. Kinda fugly.

Why do 99% of case makers think everyone wants a disco spaceship to house their pc.

Cyborg_X said,
Looks like an old Alienware case. Kinda fugly.

Why do 99% of case makers think everyone wants a disco spaceship to house their pc.

Exactly, and the few who DO make "Plain" cases that are quality charge an arm and a leg for them (at least the ones I used to look at did).

Give me a flat, plain, "Box" with decent space inside for all my stuff. I dont need lights, i dont need a clear side panel, I dont need lever action doors/panels/etc...

FOLLOWS IS A RIDICULOUS EXAMPLE FOR ARGUMENTS SAKE:
I mean seriously, when was the last time someone came into your house and was like "wow man, sweet case!" These ARE NOT LOW RIDER TRUCKS (OR whatever tricked out car you prefer). You are NOT taking them to "Shows" to be judged on how awesome they look or what kind of kick-ass paint job and lights you have on it.. there are no competitions for this or awards.. and if there were you would be laughed at for bringing a "Stock" unit.

In fact.. in there is a "custom case" competition out there were people bring in their "work" then they too would probably prefer to start with a basic flat case with lots of clean unmodified space to work with for tricking out purposes..

TLDR: Case manufacturers are on some special kind of crack...

Cyborg_X said,
Looks like an old Alienware case. Kinda fugly.

Why do 99% of case makers think everyone wants a disco spaceship to house their pc.

Indeed. I don't understand why there's such an abundance of cheesy cases that look more at home at a rave than at a desk. Especially in the lower end. That said, once you get beyond about £50-60, things start to get better as you go into the price range of Fractal Design, Bitfenix, Lian Li, etc, all of whom have some very nice understated cases.

I think it's a shame that people cheap out on cases when building a PC. My first two builds used the cheapest cases I could find that looked half decent, and I regretted it both times. My last PC used a slightly more expensive case, and it certainly showed. My current PC uses a £70 Bitfenix Mini-ITX case, and it looks the bomb.

So, mainly a solution to logistics and costs problem, but not those of customers. Then again, it's completely true that most (other) computer case designers and makers have their heads so far up their a that they can't be helped even with severe invasive treatment. So might as well go ahead...

NoClipMode said,
They dumped AMD because of poor drivers causing too many customer problems. And as a owner of AMD cards for years, i can see why.

Bull! Need I remind you whose bad drivers burned cards a while ago?

Edited by Luc2k, Jan 12 2014, 9:49pm :

Luc2k said,

Bull! Need I remind you whose bad drivers burned cards a while ago?

Exactly what came to mind for me. I've always owned AMD cards and have very few issues. IMHO, every piece of hardware has issues at some point.

Luc2k said,

Bull! Need I remind you whose bad drivers burned cards a while ago?

Really? Strange, I've had the following ATI cards fail on my: x1650 PRO, x1600 PRO, 9600 PRO, 9800.
Same problem every time. Fan just stops working, no warning, then suddenly there's permanent graphic glitches everywhere and it's unusable. So, what were you saying about cards burning up?

n_K said,

Really? Strange, I've had the following ATI cards fail on my: x1650 PRO, x1600 PRO, 9600 PRO, 9800.
Same problem every time. Fan just stops working, no warning, then suddenly there's permanent graphic glitches everywhere and it's unusable. So, what were you saying about cards burning up?

I think you need to upgrade your mentality because it's ancient. When I first made the post I was referring to drivers around around 2010, but looks like nV doesn't sit on their asses and have provided an even more recent example of stellar drivers that kill GPUs (bonus points for being WHQL):

2010: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hard...ill-your-graphics-card/7551
2013: http://modcrash.com/nvidia-display-driver-damaging-gpus/