When AMD announced the Radeon R9 Fury family, a lot of attention was given to R9 Nano, a brilliantly small and compact card targeting a rising market of HTPC and Compact Gaming PC’s – high performance, small size cases, utilizing feature-packed ITX motherboards. While R9 Nano received a lot of positive press, the actual product launch went down in flames with a lot of media outlets ‘going to the matresses’ with certain AMD PR and Executives who made a ‘selective reviews’ criteria and openly criticized members of the press. Even though we were not selected by AMD, as we are probably seen as publication you cannot ‘steer to’ send the message
In the world of computing, the big iron – workstations, servers and HPC, were my main focus for the most of the past three decades. However, something on the opposite end of the spectrum from HPC, the kind of uber-mini desktop device, even smaller than HTPC – attracted my attention. This miniature box platform, using laptop CPU and chipset platforms & integration, but desktop peripherals and connectivity, is called many names: from NUC (Next Unit of Computing) by Intel, whose ex-desktop mainboard division is in charge is this product line; to Gigabyte’s BRIX line, likely named in the honor of their ex director and our
We take a look at the Gigabyte GA-F2A88XN-WIFI and see how it does as a choice for a HTPC build .
Form factors for PCs are getting smaller and smaller, but Zotac’s new Zbox PI320 Pico pushes the form factor even further. Pico is generally a term that is associated with a certain size of a PC, like the Zbox PI 320, and the truth is that this is one of the smallest ‘PC’ formfactors you can technically build a PC into, even though this thing is bordering on really being a nano PC. It also has the specs behind it to still technically be considered a PC. Coming in at 4.54 x 2.6 x 0.75 inches, Zotac’s new Zbox is silent and small enough to
One of more interesting niche markets is the one named “how to fix the computer crippled with integrated graphics?”, and the solutions that are being sold in that area. We saw interesting products coming from Albatron, Sparkle, MSI and others, but it is a rare occasion to see a card in sub-$50 range that offers DX10 support. The company released a series of PCIe x1 cards for those unlucky owners of motherboards without PCI Express x16 slot. Sparkle released no less than eight models based on GeForce 8400GS graphics chip. Sadly, memory controller is limited to 64-bit, but this was Nvidia’s doing. Memory is either