Today we’re finally sitting down to take a more comprehensive look at the Falcon Northwest Talon PC, a stunning custom-built gaming PC that was sent to us by Falcon some months back now. It is (by far) one of the most premium prebuilt gaming PCs we’ve received, bringing new levels of attention to detail and build quality to the table. This particular build consists of two NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super GPUs, a Ryzen 9 3950X, and a custom-built case that can be customized to meet your exact requirements.
In the following article, we’re not only benchmarking the stunning Falcon Talon gaming PC, but we’ll also be taking a closer look at the purchasing process, some of the customization which is available, and all the other benefits that come hand in hand with a Falcon Northwest.
So, with plenty to get through, let’s waste no further time and dive straight into it!
Falcon Northwest has built up a cult-like following over the years with its ability to provide users with undeniable custom-build tailoring. Whether you’re looking to take your gaming to the next level or require a high-end workstation build that handles large, system-sapping files, Falcon will ensure your needs are not only met, but exceeded. Only the best components are used in Falcon’s builds, providing the highest levels of performance for the job at hand. To ensure quality – and to take the silicon lottery out of the equation – Falcon review and benchmark every one of their custom-builds before they go out. Falcon really does embody the phrase, quality over quantity.
It isn’t just performance they prioritize either, Falcon take a fine-tooth comb and inspect every area of their PCs, leaving no stone unturned in their quest for unrivaled performance and build quality. Noise levels, cooling, build quality, and craftsmanship are all considered during the build process. To say the Falcon Northwest Talon is anything short of uncompromised attention to detail and quality would be criminal. This PC really is one of the most well-rounded custom builds on the market.
Customizing Your Build
There are a ton of custom PC builders on the market today, however, Falcon were the first to do it in the gaming sector. Thanks to over 25 years of experience, Falcon now provides consumers with the most comprehensive buying process on the market. No matter what you require, Falcon will be able to source the components and pair it with a case that is not only stunning but fit to stand the test of time.
Aesthetics can be hugely important for most people, and Falcon understands that. For that reason, Falcon now provides a whole host of customization options for exterior aesthetics, including custom paint jobs and UV print options too.
With eight hand-airbrushed paint jobs to choose from, no two Falcon cases are the same. Falcon provide the paint themselves, taking the same level of care and attention to detail that goes into every aspect of the builds. The airbrushed designs are finished to the highest quality and can be further customized in color and design. A Falcon rep will phone you for any bespoke design additions.
UV print options are also available to consumers, with the option to add any image to the side, front panel, or the entire exterior of the Talon case. All UV prints are done in-house and require very high-resolution images to get the absolute best possible finish from this aesthetic addition. Furthermore, you can pick and choose between logo inserts, changing color to suit the rest of the cases aesthetic.
Moving onto cooling, as we mentioned earlier, Falcon takes internal temps extremely seriously. Whilst the Falcon comes equipped with a good thermal design, users do get the option to add more fans if necessary. You also have the option to swap out the RGB fans for something a little quieter.
Aesthetics and cooling aside, we get to the hardware section. This is the most extensive in terms of customization. You have the ability to change the PSU, CPU, operating drive, RAM, GPU, and even add a sound card, tailoring the Talon to your exact needs and bespoke requirements. Need more power for overclocking or a second GPU? No problem, choose between a number of alternative PSUs – up to 1200 Watt.
Need extra juice in the CPU department? You can easily swap it out for something more powerful. The options aren’t endless, but they are in the most relevant areas. The areas that actually make a difference when it comes to workstation or gaming type scenarios.
Less impressive but equally as important is the software options you get with these custom builds. The Talon can come with Windows 10 Home or Pro – depending on your preference. You also have the option to select a rescue drive and add the entire office software suite – if you wish.
Nearing the end of the build process, you have the option to add keyboards, mice, monitors, and everything else necessary to get the Talon up and running. Again, the options here aren’t endless, but they do cover most bases and price ranges.
Once you’ve selected your hardware, software, peripherals, and the case’s aesthetics, the only thing left to do is choose a delivery day. Falcon do offer an expedited build service, allowing consumers in a hurry to gain access to their new custom-build much sooner. Whilst this service does come at a cost, it is fairly unique amongst many custom PC builders and is definitely a plus for me.
To add the cherry on the cake, Falcon will prompt you at the end of the purchasing process with any incompatible hardware or delays to the build process. As you can see here, we left an unsuitable PSU in our build and Falcon prompted us immediately to swap it out for something more powerful.
Not only does this fill me with confidence from a consumer standpoint, but it also lets me know that the guys at Falcon really do consider every possible roadblock.
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
G.Skill Trident RGB 32GB DDR4 3200MHz
Dual GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB
Dual Samsung 970 EVO 1TB
ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi)
Custom Asetek Liquid Cooling 680LS 280MM
EVGA 1000W G3 80+ Gold
Talon 20th Anniversary Edition
Windows 10 Home
Unrivaled attention to detail
Build to stand the test of time
The confidence that comes with over 29years of experience in custom PC building
The first thing we noticed upon unboxing the Falcon Northwest Talon 20th Anniversary Editi0n was just how aesthetically pleasing it was. This thing looked every bit as premium as its price tag suggests.
It has an understated aesthetic that is neither loud nor boring. It is the perfect balance of polished glass and tasteful RGB, bringing elegance to the table that easily outshines many of its rivals. The front of the case showcases the Falcon logo illuminated by soft RGB which is fully customizable inside the BIOS. Underneath, Falcon has UV printed the WePC logo in a tasteful fashion. More WePC branding can be found at the base of each tempered glass side panel, adding even more customization to the standard Talon design. The front tempered glass panel offers a dark tint and a glimpse into the premium hardware that the Talon comes equipped with.
Nicely thought out RGB has been used within the interior of this build, adding a premium look to the Talon’s overall aesthetic. Speaking of the interior, Falcon has done a superb job of cable managing all the components – with custom-designed cables that match the rest of the cases aesthetic. Cables can sometimes be problematic in cases that utilize tempered glass, but that isn’t the case here. Everything about this build screams high-end.
Moving away from aesthetics, the Falcon Talon also offers the highest levels of build quality and construction. It leaves the sheet metal that other, lesser cases utilize and opts instead for more premium 4mm aluminum. This is paired nicely with two dark-tinted 4mm tempered glass side panels that look and feel as robust as the rest of the case’s construction.
Both doors are hung on nicely designed and extremely sturdy hinges that offer an easy-release design. Inside the case, all fittings and fixtures feel nicely finished and very sturdy. The motherboard mounting plate offers very little flex and the expansion slots offer all the stability you’d require. Another good sign of build quality can be established with the screw holes. At no point did any of the screws feel restricted by poorly drilled holes – everything seems to have been meticulously thought out and considered.
For me, the Talon 20th Anniversary Edition is the perfect balance between elegance and hardcore stability. For lack of a better phrase, it’s a cross between a tank and an F1 car – truly the best of both worlds.
With most of the aesthetic specifications out of the way, it’s time to take a more comprehensive look at the overall performance this PC provides. We’ll be putting the Falcon Talon to the test in a number of different scenarios, including both gaming and workstation tasks to ensure overall performance is captured. It’s worth mentioning before we get into the benchmarking that this PC does come equipped with 2 x Nvidia RTX 2080 SUPERs. Whilst this particular GPU configuration is great for workstation type tasks, it doesn’t really add a great deal to the gaming performance it provides. We will try to show direct comparisons of SLI 2080s vs a single 2080 where we can to give you a better understanding of the performance difference between the two.
That said, let’s start off by looking at some productivity benchmarking.
3DMark: Time Spy
We started off by running 3DMark’s latest Time Spy, a Direct X 12 update that makes use of many of the API’s main features. Time Spy performs a demanding test that puts both the CPU and GPU to the limit.
Whilst the benchmarking results of this application are controversial, only really impacting one specific real-world task, it’s still widely used amongst benchmarkers. Meaning we will be able to make some comparisons against similarly performing PC builds.
After running the complete benchmark suite that Time Spy offers, the results were in. We got an initial CPU score of 12,551, a GPU score of 22,577, and an overall score of 20,161 – ranking us at around 70th on the 3DMark results leaderboard.
This was a pretty good score right out the gate, getting within reaching distance of Ryzen’s latest 5000-series 5950x.
The next test we ran was Blender, one of the more popular rendering tools in today’s market. The Blender benchmarking tool offers six tests that vary in complexity and difficulty, putting a variety of strains on the CPU and GPU.
For the purposes of this benchmark, we ran both BMW and classroom rendering scenarios.
We were pretty impressed with how quickly the Falcon completed the Blender benchmarks. For BMW, we saw a 128 second completion time, beating the Comino Otto which was running an i9-9900K and a 2080 Ti.
As for classroom, the Falcon finished in 340 seconds – once again, beating the Comino convincingly.
Cinebench R20 + R15
We ran the Cinebench benchmarking suite next, using both R15 (as some individuals still use it) and R20. Cinebench is a common stable in the benchmarking industry, utilized by individual 3rd party reviewers and manufacturers for marketing purposes.
Both Cinebench R15 and R20 have been used for single-core and multi-core benchmarking:
The Falcon scored extremely well in the multi-core Cinebench benchmarks, however, it did fall a little shy of the Intel i9-9900K when it came to single-core performance.
The next rendering benchmark we ran was POV-Ray, another benchmarking stable that has been utilized by 3rd party benchmarkers for years now.
POV-Ray is a tool that is well known to load up every single thread in a system, regardless of cache or memory levels. The benchmark automation uses the Benchmark flag that loads the built-in multi-threaded tests and compiles the results in text form.
To get a more well-rounded average, we ran several times and took an average of those.
Whilst we already have a couple of renderers and ray tracers in our benchmarking suite already, V-Ray’s benchmark is regularly requested when it comes to benchmarking complete systems.
This 3D rendering package is compatible with a number of popular commercial imaging applications, including 3ds Max, Maya, Unreal, Cinema 4D, and Blender.
The Falcon Talon scored very highly for the CPU and GPU, almost push 20,000 in Ksamples. When comparing to the similarly priced Comino, the Falcon was a clear winner in this department.
Corona is a very popular high-performance photorealistic rendering engine for 3dsmax – with further compatibility for Cinema 4D as well. The downloadable benchmarking facility (v 1.3) comes with a ray-traced scene that involves a military vehicle and foliage. When using this particular benchmark, your system does multiple passes, calculating the scene, geometry, and rendering – with performance measured in the amount of time it takes to complete the task.
I was pretty impressed by how fast the Falcon completed this task – almost breaching the 70second marker, respectively. When compared to other systems, the Falcon was at the higher end of the performance spectrum.
Overall, the productivity performance of this machine was extremely good. Whilst it did fall a little short of Intel in some Single-core performance benchmarks, it dominated the higher end of the Intel price spectrum when it came to multithreaded workloads.
With productivity out of the way, let’s dive straight into some gaming to see how this system stacks up.
Before we start the gaming benchmarks, it’s worth mentioning that all games tested were done so in max settings and across the three major resolutions; 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. Below are the results.
Total War: Warhammer II
Total War is an aging game, but one that still demands a hell of a lot from your system’s hardware. We ran the in-game benchmark for this test and the results were, surprisingly good.
Looking at the different resolutions, I was quite surprised to see very little difference between 1080p and 4K – especially in a title as demanding as this. I was expecting to see a decent drop when converting to 4K, but that wasn’t really the case.
That said, we averaged 83FPS in 1080p in high settings – not amazing. However, that number didn’t drop a great deal when switching to 1440p (80FPS) or 4K (78FPS).
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Next up was Shadow of The Tomb Raider, a demanding title that offers ray tracing for those that have the PC to run it.
For the purposes of this test, we ran the game without the RTX enabled – but with every other setting on ultra.
In 1080p we were averaging 140FPS with 1% lows of 85. The drop to 1440p didn’t really make much of an impact on framerates, only dropping slightly to 135FPS.
At 4K we did start to see some diminishing returns on frame rates, only just breaking the 100FPS marker throughout our benchmark run.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was the next game to feature, offering some of the most demanding gameplay in the shortlist of games we benchmarked.
Valhalla was the first game to drop well below the 100FPS mark, only just breaking the “acceptable” 60 frames per second in 1080p. Moving to 1440p saw a 20% drop in gaming performance, with FPS slipping to 46 on average. 4K in Valhalla was one of the only resolutions deemed unplayable, dropping to 30 frames per second on average.
Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 was tested using the inbuilt benchmarking tool, with all settings on high. We were experiencing some questionable results so we ran the test several times and took on average of the average.
The Falcon produced surprisingly good results in all resolutions tested, with 1080p offering 127 frames on average. As expected, a drop in performance was experienced when moving to 1440p and 4K, with the latter providing a respectable 90FPS.
Watch Dogs: Legion
The last game we tested was Watch Dogs: Legion, an extremely demanding DX12 title that puts a lot of strain on your system. We ran the in-game benchmarking tool with all settings maxed out at ultra.
Like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the Falcon struggled to obtain over 60FPS in this particular title. We managed 62FPS average in 1080p, with 1% lows of 50. As we upped the resolution the frame rates naturally dropped, with 1440p performing at 45FPS and 4K at a disappointing 25.
Overall, the gaming performance of this PC was a little hit and miss. Whilst some titles offered very good gameplay, others weren’t as forgiving – with some titles providing well under 100FPS in 1080p settings.
That being said, most games at 1080p and 1440p pushed well over 100FPS, providing a smooth experience right up to 144 frames per second.
So, there you have it, our comprehensive review of the Falcon Talon – one of the most well-built custom PCs on the market.
Ultimately, what you’re looking at here is a luxury product. This is the PC for users that enjoy endless customization and prioritize build quality and structural integrity over cheap features and flashy aesthetics. When looking at today’s market, Falcon really do offer one of the most well-rounded purchasing processes on the web. When compared to other custom PC builders out there, it’s clear who is prioritizing quality and performance over profit margins and cheap features.
The Falcon Talon is one of the best overall PC builds (for performance, aesthetics, and build quality) we’ve had the pleasure of using. The brand continues to produce some of the best custom-built PCs on the market, leaving no stone unturned in their quest for build perfection and customer satisfaction.
Falcon Northwest offers a unique experience that is tailored to your exact gaming and aesthetic needs. This custom-built PC is perfect for any enthusiast that is into high-end productivity and gaming scenarios. With a tonne of power under the hood of this well-built custom PC, users will be surprised to hear that further changes can be made to the internal hardware it comes with. Choose from any number of hardware alternatives to create your dream PC.