Falcon Northwest Tiki 2022 Review: Small game PC that kills

In the mid-90s, I remember sitting around with friends at the school lunch table, gazing at glossy magazines like PC player and the long-closed one PC acceleratoras well as the huge, phonebook-like Computer Shopper. Sure, you had your Dells, and your Compaqs, and the smaller vendors as well, like ZEOS, Quantex, ALR, and the new Alienware. But among PC gamers in the 1990s, none of these names had the same prestige as Falcon Northwest. Whether it was the high specifications of the machines, sleek designs or their unique, stylish advertising, Falcon Northwest established itself as a Bugatti in the computer world that is built to order. Back then, we all built our own machines because we were poor, but we all wanted that Falcon logo as a status mark.

As such, it is not with a slight degree of reverence that I went into this review. A Falcon Northwest machine, right here in our warm little hands. This is not the first Falcon Northwest system like HotHardware have reviewed, of course; it’s not even the first Tiki. However, the latest Tiki we considered was equipped with an Intel Haswell processor and a first-generation GeForce GTX Titan GPU. That was back in 2013. Haswell does not feel like 9 years ago, does he?

Of course, this latest leading Tiki is brand new and full of powerful, up-to-date hardware, like AMD’s 3D V-Cache equipped Ryzen 7 5800X3D. Let’s take a look at the complete specifications before we dive in:

Falcon Northwest Tiki (2022): specifications and features

falcon northwest tiki specifications

Of course, the Tiki is not the fastest machine that Falcon Northwest sells, but pay special attention to these dimensions. This is actually a seriously trimmed little machine – about the same size as a PlayStation 5, something this image from Falcon itself demonstrates useful:

ps5 size comparison falcon northwest tiki

Sure, the PS5 is huge for a gaming console, but this is not a gaming console – this is a full-fledged gaming PC ready for Ultra HD gaming with high frame rates. The Ryzen 7 5800X3D is the fastest gaming CPU in the world right now, and the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is just one step behind the massive GeForce RTX 3090. Falcon will even put a Radeon RX 6950 XT into this thing too, if you will .

If we have any complaints with the specifications being sent, it will be the relatively limited storage. A single 2TB SSD works surprisingly well for a clean gaming system, especially now that most people have switched to streaming media. Still, you can fill it up shockingly fast with Steam downloads. If we had chosen and bought this system ourselves, that circumstance would have been our own fault – Tiki can be equipped with a second M.2 SSD as well as a pair of 8TB SATA SSDs or a single 3.5 “SATA HDD with up to 14TB capacity.

Inspecting The Falcon Northwest Tiki

front behind falcon northwest tiki

The front of the Tiki is a solid aluminum plate with a cutout for an RGB LED Falcon Northwest logo. The front panel I / O is on top of the machine; we’ll get to that in a moment. The rear panel I / O is all that is offered by the ASUS ROG Strix B550-I motherboard and GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition graphics card.

We have a little nap here, in that there are actually quite a few USB ports. You get one USB 2.0 port, three USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, and then another USB Type-C port exclusively for audio output. It feels a waste to connect a keyboard or mouse to a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, but you must do so on this computer unless you want to connect them to the front panel USB ports. We would very much like to see an extra USB 2.0 port on the back for input devices. Still, most people do not need piles of USB, so in the end it is probably not a problem. Even if you do, you can only connect a hub.

frontpanel falcon northwest tiki

A pair of USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports (5 Gbps), a 10-Gbps USB Type-C port and a 3.5mm audio combo connector make up the front panel connections. This is a perfectly acceptable front panel configuration, often seen on many do-it-yourself cases. We might have liked to have seen another USB port or a card reader, but this is a slot machine throughout. Most players will probably not use such accommodations, and they will make the wiring inside the machine even more complicated.

case interior falcon northwest tiki

Opening the side of the case simply requires loosening two thumbscrews on the back and lifting it off. Getting into the Tiki could not have been easier, although it can be a significant challenge to close it, mainly due to the Asetek liquid cooler. This reviewer prefers air coolers, and inquired with Falcon Northwest if such an option was available, but it was not. It’s a shame, because it can be nerve-wracking to fasten the side of the Tiki with those hoses in the way with such narrow parts.

As you would expect for a machine that is barely 4 “wide, the Tiki is cramped inside, but not extremely so. On the left you can see the Falcon Northwest brand with the system serial number and the owner’s name on it -” Hot Hardware “, in this case Each Falcon Northwest machine is custom-built and customized for the buyer. Under this label is the bracket that can hold a single 3.5 “HDD or a pair of 2.5” SSDs. You can install them yourself, even, yourself if we are not sure where the SATA power cables ended up in our building.

Another trick we have about Tiki is the lack of filtering on the system inputs. There are no two ways to do this – any debris or dust that comes near the cover goes straight in, especially if the system is loaded and the fans are running.

falcon tiki airflow

We asked Falcon about this, and they replied that there was simply no room in the chassis for filters, or at least not those that could be easily cleaned. Ultimately, the same openness in the chassis makes it easy to drop the mouthpiece of an air box through the holes and blow out the fans, so keep an eye out for things if you were to pick one of these tiny titans. It’s not a deal breaker, but it can be annoying if you have a dusty house or are throwing pets.

In the case of user upgrades, Falcon Northwest will support and guarantee the system “until it has been modified past the point where [Falcon] would be able to support it. “The company tells us that it generally means replacing the motherboard. The company also tells us that most user upgrades are graphics card upgrades. The 1000-watt power supply in this machine should definitely serve, even for the next power-hungry generation.

As with all Falcon Northwest systems, the Tiki is built solely from off-the-shelf components except for the chassis, so there’s really not much else to say here other than “good work.”

Let’s get into how the machine works, shall we?