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Falcon Northwest Talon (2021) Review: Alder Lake Takes Flight

falcon northwest talon alder side

It hasn’t been lengthy since we final took a take a look at the 2021 model of the Falcon Northwest Talon, and located it to be spectacular. However, it’s lastly time for Intel’s Alder Lake twelfth Gen Core processor launch and everyone knows what which means — a deluge of evaluations with tons of charts and opinions so that you can digest. Of course, we have you lined, too, with our in-depth evaluation of the Intel Core i9-12900K and the Core i5-12600K, for everybody eager to sink their tooth into the finer factors of Intel’s new platform.

However, this launch additionally marks an opportunity for OEM system builder refreshes, and that is what we’re digging into with this new gaming PC. The newest from Falcon Northwest is its newly-minted Talon system, and it is all about that Alder Lake platform. In reality, it actually screams Intel. Typically with these techniques, most builders both go jet black or choose a well-liked, flashy shade from just a few choices. However, with this incarnation of the Talon, Falcon has partnered with Intel for a {custom} aesthetic and Intel branding that’s something however delicate. The prime of the case is devoid of any air flow, however has one of many largest Intel logos we’ve ever seen on a pc chassis.

falcon northwest talon alder open

The entrance of the case is strong with a pleasant Falcon emblem that’s backlit and RGB controllable for these not fairly into Intel blue. The aspect panels are hinged on the rear and swing open like doorways, which makes accessing the inside very simple. Extra care was taken with the meeting of the system, with the inventory energy provide cables getting a pleasant improve with {custom} sleeving. Overall the case is compact, nicely laid out, and assembled with care. But everyone knows what makes a high-end gaming rig actually tick, and it’s not the case…

Beauty Is Skin Deep. This Falcon Was Raised On Alder Lake

The Talon we obtained got here filled with the Intel Core i9-12900K. That’s Intel’s newest flagship twelfth Gen Alder Lake CPU constructed on the Intel 7 course of node. What makes the i9-12900K so attention-grabbing is its hybrid structure, consisting of 16 cores with 24 logical threads for processing.

falcon nw alder lake specs
falcon northwest talon alder backside

twelfth Gen Core chips obtain this uneven core / thread depend by leveraging 8 Performance cores with HyperThreading help, along with an extra 8 smaller cores, referred to as Efficiency cores, which can be single-threaded. Paired up with Falcon’s semi-custom 280mm AIO cooling unit, the Core i9-12900K is ready to run at peak efficiency whereas preserving thermals in test. Unfortunately, regardless of the in any other case ultra-high finish nature of the system, full {custom} liquid or hardline cooling is just not provided.

falcon northwest talon alder memory

The new Talon’s motherboard is top quality as nicely, and we like that boutique builders like Falcon Northwest don’t lean in the direction of proprietary parts. The selection right here was the ASUS ROG Hero Z690. This board is feature-packed with loads of rear connectivity, together with two Thunderbolt ports. We ought to notice that we had been knowledgeable by Falcon Northwest that they may swap to utilizing the ROG Strix Z690 attributable to elevated availability. That board has an analogous characteristic set, however lower cost, which may lead to some financial savings for the client.

When it involves storage, this dangerous boy serves it up nicely. You’ll discover no spinning rust right here, however as an alternative a single Seagate Firecuda 530 4TB NVMe Gen 4 drive, which provides as much as 7,000 MB/s of sequential throughput at low latencies for a super-responsive really feel, it doesn’t matter what workload you throw at it.

falcon northwest talon alder rear io

With a 1000 Watt Seasonic power supply there’s loads of energy to feed the final essential piece of the puzzle, the EVGA GeForce RTX 3090. We additionally need to point out simply how glad we’re to see Falcon utilizing a rear graphics card help on this rig, so not solely is there no GPU sag to be discovered, it’s additionally a lot safer for transport. When we first took the Talon out of the field, we had been briefly involved, as a result of it did not seem to be there was something particular holding that beastly (costly) GPU in place. The field was packaged amazingly nicely with layers of soft-cell foam, but it surely appeared there was nothing contained in the case preserving the graphics card secure. But there it was; the rear of the graphics card was affixed to a bracket and durable rack, which held it secure. More of this please.

falcon northwest talon alder rtx 3090


Letting The Falcon Fly: How We Tested

So, what sort of efficiency did we get out of this totally loaded config? Overall, the FNW Talon, with its Intel Core i9-12900K and GeForce RTX 3090, did not disappoint. We must also notice that although our system shipped with Windows 10 Pro, which is not particularly optimized for Alder Lake, Falcon Northwest knowledgeable us that this was intentional. Falcon might be providing the system with each Windows 10 Pro and Windows 11, leaving the choice as much as the client. We went forward with testing because the system was delivered to us, on Windows 10 Pro. We will revisit this at a later date and see if Windows 11 makes a considerable influence on efficiency.

A Falcon’s Vital Signs – Power Consumption, Thermals And Acoustics

To measure idle energy consumption, we let the Falcon Northwest Talon boot to the Windows desktop and accept a couple of minutes. Once the worth on the Kill-A-Watt stabilized, we recorded that worth because the idle consumption. The loaded determine represents maybe a barely unrealistic state of affairs by which the system is tasked with working each Prime95’s Small FFT check and a 2560×1440 Furmark stress check concurrently. This desktop PC was plugged instantly into our Kill-A-Watt meter for all measurements, so solely its complete system energy draw is being measured right here.

power falcon alder lake

When resting at idle the system pulled round 83 watts which is not dangerous, contemplating the quantity of horsepower on faucet right here. Under full load, nevertheless, the system pulls nearly 620 watts from the wall. At first, that appears fairly excessive, however in it’s in step with different high-end gaming PCs.


While beneath load, we additionally tracked the system’s thermals. The cooling within the Talon encompass a {custom} 280mm AIO cooler with a pair of aRGB 140mm followers connected to the radiator, a single aRGB 140mm exhaust fan, and three axial followers on its graphics card. Our outcomes had been fairly strong, all issues thought-about…
 

Falcon NW Talon thermals

In this stress check, the Talon’s CPU temperature ticked as much as the 90°C mark, with its CPU clock velocity dropping to about 4.35-4.4GHz after about quarter-hour. The EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 sat between 84-85°C throughout this check. These are first rate thermals contemplating the considerably compact nature of the Falcon Northwest’s chassis.

Overall, it is a good exhibiting for the Talon and resting thermals are strong as nicely, with the CPU sitting close to ambient room temperature at 24°C and the GPU on the 37°C mark with its idle fan cease characteristic. In phrases of acoustics, beneath a full gaming workload we measured about 43db just a few inches from the aspect window of the case, which can be tame and respectable.

Storage Subsystem Benchmark Quick-Take

Running the ATTO Disk Benchmark permits us to gauge the velocity of the boot drive within the system. In this case, the boot drive is a quick and spacious 4TB Seagate Firecuda 530 NVMe (Gen 4) SSD. Unlike SATA-based SSDs, NVMe drives shuttle knowledge by the PCIe bus for doubtlessly a lot sooner throughput. This specific drive is rated to ship as much as 7GB/s of sequential reads and 6.3GB/s of sequential writes.

Falcon northwest talon atto

The Seagate Firecuda 530 PCIe Gen4 SSD is quick. It might not attain its most rated efficiency on this ATTO Disk Benchmark, however the numbers it does attain are spectacular. Over 6,000 MB/s in each reads and writes is loads of throughput and is among the many finest we have seen from a boot drive on any of the gaming techniques we have examined.

Cinebench R20 Benchmarks

With our disk velocity sanity try of the way in which, we are able to transfer on to assessing basic system efficiency. The first cease is Cinebench R20. This check is predicated on Maxon’s Cinema 4D modeling software program that’s utilized in film manufacturing studios.

cine falcon alder lake

The Alder Lake-powered Falcon Northwest Talon jumps to the highest of the chart in our Cinebench R20 checks. The mixture of excessive clocks and Intel’s newest Performance Cores within the twelfth Gen Core i9-12900K put up some spectacular single and multi-threaded numbers right here.

Speedometer 2.0 Benchmarks

BrowserBench.org’s Speedometer check takes a holistic take a look at internet utility efficiency. This check robotically masses and runs a number of pattern webapps from ToDoMVC.com utilizing the most well-liked internet growth frameworks round, together with React, Angular, Ember.js, and even vanilla JavaScript. This check is a greater instance of how techniques deal with actual internet purposes, versus a pure JavaScript compute check like JetStream. All checks had been carried out utilizing the newest model of Chrome.

speedometer falcon alder lake

The newest Falcon Northwest Talon additionally tops the charts in Speedometer. Alder Lake’s hybrid structure is especially nicely suited to evenly threaded, bursty workloads as nicely, and it exhibits on this check.

PCMark 10 System Benchmarks

UL Benchmarks’ suite of checks have been the go-to system benchmarks because the late ‘90s. We ran the Alienware Aurora R10 by PCMark 10, which is designed to gauge the system efficiency in on a regular basis use case situations with GPU acceleration-enabled.

pcmark10 falcon alder lake

The Falcon Northwest Talon put up the second finest total rating of the bunch in PCMark 10. While its efficiency is robust, it is not fairly as sturdy as what we noticed in our standalone Core i9-12900K evaluation. Windows 11 ought to assist this outcome, nevertheless. Once we have accomplished re-testing this rig post-update, we’ll revisit a few of these benchmark scores.

3DMark Time Spy Graphics Benchmarks

3DMark is an artificial GPU benchmark for assessing graphics (GPU) and physics (CPU) efficiency. 3DMark helps each DX11 and DX12, relying on the actual check being run, which makes it useful for testing GPUs of assorted efficiency ranges. We used the Time Spy benchmark, 3DMark’s DirectX 12 check, to push the Falcon Northwest Talon. This check has a number of presets, however the usual Time Spy check is pretty taxing and we have now a plethora of reference knowledge, so that is what we caught with.

3dmark falcon alder lake

3DMark Time Spy additionally had the most recent Falcon Northwest Talon ending on the prime of the heap. The EVGA RTX 3090 and Core i9-12900K make for a potent mixture, that ought to supply killer efficiency in gaming and graphics workloads.

Middle Earth: Shadow Of War Game Benchmarks

Middle Earth: Shadow of War is a enjoyable and exquisite title set in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings universe. To check the sport’s efficiency relative to different techniques, we set the decision to 2560×1440 and turned the visuals as much as the Ultra preset.

sow1 falcon alder lake

This is a strong exhibiting from the brand new Talon with a pleasant uplift over the earlier era.

sow falcon alder lake

Gaming at 4K is much extra GPU sure, so the deltas separating the system are smaller right here. Still, the brand new Core i9-12900K and {custom} EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 have sufficient horsepower to push the Talon to the highest of the chart.

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider Benchmarks

The finale within the rebooted Tomb Raider trilogy, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is well the best-looking of the bunch. It’s the newest installment within the collection for heroin Lara Croft, pushed with a revamped DX12 recreation engine. SotTR additionally helps visible results like Ambient Occlusion, Depth of Field, Dynamic Foliage, Bloom shaders, Tessellation and extra.

tomb raider1 falcon alder lake

tomb raider2 falcon alder lake

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider advantages each from Alder Lake’s newer, higher-performing CPU core structure and its elevated core counts. Couple the Core i9-12900K to an RTX 3090, and its no shock this newest Talon outruns the entire previous-gen techniques we have examined.

Metro Exodus Benchmarks

Metro Exodus is predicated on writer Dmitry Glukhovsky’s collection of Metro novels that began with Metro 2033 again in 2005. That first installment within the collection was adopted by Metro Last Light and later, Last Light Redux. Like different video games within the collection, Metro Exodus follows a post-apocalyptic story line that takes place within the former Russian Federation. The recreation options superior graphics and visuals and in addition helps NVIDIA’s RTX and DLSS applied sciences.



metro1 falcon alder lake

When run utilizing its Ultra Quality preset at a excessive decision, Metro Exodus is totally GPU sure, therefore the same efficiency from the entire RTX 3090-powered rigs right here.

metro2 falcon alder lake

The similar maintain true when enabling Ray Tracing and DLSS. Though the visuals are enhanced with extra practical lighting, and DLSS boosts efficiency, finally the sport continues to be GPU sure. Though, the Falcon Northwest Talon nonetheless technically lands on the prime of the chart.

Falcon Northwest Intel twelfth Gen Core-Themed Talon Final Thoughts & Conclusion

Falcon Northwest was excited to get the brand new and up to date model of the Talon to the market, and for good motive. The earlier model of this gaming desktop was very well-received for most of the similar causes we like this replace — it is a high-performing, enticing, nicely thought out package deal. From its tried and true EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 GPU to its model new top-of-the-line Intel Core i9-12900K — and all of the platform enhancements that include it like PCIe Gen 5, DDR5 and WIFI-6E — Falcon Northwest left no stone unturned. The inclusion of its large and snappy 4TB Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD was a welcomed addition as nicely.

falcon northwest talon alder final desk
Find The New Falcon Northwest Talon At Falcon-NW.com

While the entire highly effective gear on this rig clearly instructions a premium, understand that Falcon Northwest additionally provides a big selection of customization choices. Our evaluation system is about as high-end as they get, and it is bought a personalized chassis as well. Opt for some decrease finish {hardware} and one of many commonplace chassis choices, and the worth will drop significantly. But we digress…

Overall, our expertise with this method was very satisfying proper from the get to — from the opening of the double boxed packaging, to the a number of layers of soft-cell protecting foam, to the clear, concise set directions for newcomers. The Talon’s immaculate {custom} cabling job and bracket-secured graphics card are extra of these little touches that actually add to the premium expertise. In reality, the Talon’s chassis is so well-constructed it makes many aftermarket choices really feel low cost as compared. Yes, the internals consist largely off-the-shelf components, however they’re assembled and cable managed with such care that every part looks like an ideal match.

falcon northwest talon alder front quarter

The solely concern with this method goes to echo our earlier complaints from our protection of the previous-gen  Talon, and that is its lack of {custom} water cooling choices. The included 280MM AIO is sweet, with tasteful aRGB rings across the followers and a distinguished Falcon Northwest emblem on the CPU pump/block, and it performs nicely too. This system’s thermals had been good, however if you’re on the lookout for an unique high-end boutique system like this, some customers may desire a {custom} hardline cooling possibility as nicely.

Regardless, in case you’re prepared to throw down the money for a Falcon Northwest Talon — our top-end, {custom} config prices a cool $6,795 — you may be handled to a premium expertise from starting to finish. In brief, in case you’re contemplating a high-end pre-built gaming PC in these loopy instances that are not precisely conducive to constructing your individual, Falcon Northwest’s new Talon is a unbelievable possibility that is enticing and extremely customizable.

hothardware recommended

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