|Headquarters||Medford, Oregon, USA|
|Key people||Kelt Reeves, President|
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 Flight Simulation. In 1993 Falcon Northwest bought out Bay Engineering, who served CAD application users, and continued to serve those customers for several years.
Falcon Northwest maintains one facility located in Medford, Oregon, and it chooses not to outsource any of its operations. 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’s system 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. 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. For customers looking for something a little more personal, Falcon Northwest provides custom professionally-painted cases.
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 advertisements 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. The card used special low-latency RAM and hand-picked accelerator chips.
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 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. 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.
- McClellan, Keith. Talon/Falcon Northwest Prelim, Tweak3D, January 28, 2000.
- Freeman, Vince. Falcon Northwest Special Edition Xentor Review, Sharky Extreme, November 12, 1999.
- HardOCP. HardOCP Complaint, HardOCP Exchange with Reeves.
- Reviewing the Review: The HardOCP FragBox Evaluation (Kelt Reeve's response) (11/05/05), Falcon Fan Page
- HardOCP Forum Discussion. Customer Annoyances with Falcon, HardOCP Forums.
- [H]ardOCP Trying to be too Hard?, Beyond3D Forums.