Falcon Northwest


Falcon Northwest

Infobox_Company
company_name = Falcon Northwest
company_
company_type = Privately Owned | foundation = 1992
location = Medford, Oregon, USA
key_people = Kelt Reeves, President
industry = Computer hardware
products = Desktops
Laptops
homepage = [http://www.falcon-nw.com/ www.falcon-nw.com]

Falcon Northwest is a personal computer manufacturing company located in Medford, Oregon, USA which was founded in 1992 by its current president, Kelt Reeves. The company began its existence focusing on high-end systems for CAD applications.

Operations

Falcon Northwest maintains one facility located in Medford, Oregon. Falcon Northwest's operations are mostly restricted to online and telephone orders, as the company has not signed any distribution deals with any major retailers. Falcon Northwest provides custom professionally-painted cases, sometimes purchased by companies for promotional purposes.

Falcon's lineup began with the Mach V series and slowly expanded over time. The Mach V models were built with components that Falcon Northwest believed to offer the highest performance in PC games. In 2000, the company added the Talon line at a lower price than the Mach V line. [McClellan, Keith. [http://www.tweak3d.net/articles/talon1/ Talon/Falcon Northwest Prelim] , Tweak3D, January 28, 2000.] Later, the company brought out the Fragbook line of laptops. Falcon Northwest also offers a small form factor (SFF) PC called the FragBox, a miniature system intended for LAN parties.

Falcon Northwest's magazine advertisements over the years have usually consisted of game art and its characters surrounding one of their systems. Their ads have included games such as Half-Life, Unreal, Alien vs. Predator, and MechWarrior, among many others. Their earliest ads played off the company's Falcon name and related it with the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter plane, perhaps relating to the Falcon series of simulations. Many of the company's ads are available for viewing on their web site.

The company has occasionally had customized hardware made specifically for its machines. One example was the "Falcon Northwest Special Edition Maxi Gamer Xentor 32", an upgraded NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 Ultra 3D accelerator card. It wasn't simply overclocked, however. The card used special low-latency RAM and hand-picked accelerator chips. [Freeman, Vince. [http://www.sharkyextreme.com/hardware/reviews/video/falcon_xentor_se/ Falcon Northwest Special Edition Xentor Review] , Sharky Extreme, November 12, 1999.]

An advantage to boutique computer systems, such as those built by Falcon, is their use of brand-name, full-featured components. Companies like Dell and Gateway, who build machines that target lower-price market segments, typically use generic parts with lower performance specifications. An example of lower-end custom OEM (original equipment manufacturer) hardware is the OEM Sound Blaster Live! built for Dell, which was sold as a full Live! but had no hardware acceleration, unlike the retail Live!. Among other parts are generic no-name software-based modems and lower-specification video cards, such as NVIDIA's RIVA TNT2 M64, which was popular for several years with large computer OEMs but notably sub-par for the 3D gaming of the time. These low-cost parts may be appropriate for the budget segment, but still can be controversial for some buyers.

Competitors

Falcon Northwest has traditionally competed with PC gaming niche companies such as Alienware, Puget Systems, Velocity Micro, Vigor Gaming, and VoodooPC.

Controversy

In 2005, Falcon Northwest's President, Kelt Reeves, had a heated exchange with HardOCP, an online magazine geared towards the PC hardware enthusiast and PC gaming communities. [HardOCP. [http://consumer.hardocp.com/article.html?art=ODc2LCwsaGNvbnN1bWVy HardOCP Complaint] , HardOCP Exchange with Reeves.] HardOCP received a system from Falcon that performed less than optimally, with noted instability, and reported these findings to their reader base.

In the exchange that followed, Mr. Reeves disputed HardOCP's findings. He cited that HardOCP had come forward and publicized incorrect claims with questionable objectivity with regards to which piece of hardware was the true cause of the instability. [http://vincent__vega.tripod.com/index-2-archives.html Reviewing the Review: The HardOCP FragBox Evaluation (Kelt Reeve's response) (11/05/05)] , Falcon Fan Page] Reeves stated that both he and HardOCP had initially assumed that the problem lay with the motherboard but upon further analysis discovered that the video card was at fault. Falcon Northwest's quality assurance testing included 14 hours of looping the 3D graphics benchmark 3DMark 2005 in an 85°F (29°C) room. Upon receipt of the returned system, it could no longer complete that test without crashing. Falcon Northwest offered to repair the system and send it back to HardOCP for testing, but the magazine refused this solution, stating that it could interfere with the anonymous testing process. [HardOCP Forum Discussion. [http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1028472770 Customer Annoyances with Falcon] , HardOCP Forums.] [ [http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25259 [H] ardOCP Trying to be too Hard?] , Beyond3D Forums.]

ee also

*List of Computer System Manufacturers

References

External links

* [http://www.falcon-nw.com/ Falcon Northwest Website]
* [http://www.systemcooling.com/falcon_nw_tour-01.html Falcon Northwest company tour @ Systemcooling.Com]


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