I already know what a Core i7-3770K can do. I’ve literally spent days benchmarking GeForce GTX 680s, and it’s safe to say I know how they perform, too. So, when a system builder wants to ship me a machine loaded down with the hardware I already have sitting on my test bench, there’s generally not a lot to get me excited.
But when I see those parts put together in a way that I, having built hundreds of machines, know I couldn’t equal, then I want to know more.
Kelt Reeves, president of Falcon Northwest, surprised us by sending the company’s new Tiki to the Tom’s Hardware office, even though we haven’t done system reviews in years. And yet, the Tiki’s size immediately impressed. They got a Core i7-3770K, a GeForce GTX 680, and 1 TB of solid-state storage in there?
Right away, I thought it’d be cool to step through how the Tiki came to be, and what it actually took to cram high-end hardware into a quiet mini-ITX-based chassis. I asked Kelt if he’d be willing to tell the story to our audience, and he agreed. What follows is from Kelt's perspective, and it should be quite the tale!
-Chris Angelini, Worldwide Editor-in-Chief