Items tagged with SFF

If you're a proponent of the desktop, don't worry, the sky isn't falling on your form factor. Yes, we've read the same reports you have, the ones pointing out how traditional PC sales are shrinking in the wake of a mobile revolution that has consumers turning to tablets and smartphones for surfing the web and logging into Facebook. There's no denying mobile is sexy right now, but when it comes to getting work done and playing games with more depth than Angry Birds, desktops haven't lost their swagger. Desktops are evolving, however, and getting smaller and less intrusive. Zotac is a company that's... Read more...
Zotac has been making ultra-small form factor systems for quite a while now. You can check out a number of our reviews of various ZBox systems and you’ll notice that most of the systems have been built around low-power platforms like AMD’s E-Series APUs or Intel’s Atom processors. With its latest generations of mini-PC’s, however, Zotac has been able to crank things up a few notches. With some recently released ZBoxes, Zotac has managed to squeeze in Intel Core-series processors, which put the diminutive systems into an entirely different performance category. The latest... Read more...
Zotac has been making ultra-small form factor systems for quite a while now. You can check out a number of our reviews of various ZBox systems right here. If you read those previous reviews, you’ll notice that most of the systems have been built around low-power platforms like AMD’s E-Series APUs or Intel’s Atom processors. With its latest generations of mini-PC’s, however, Zotac has been able to crank things up a few notches. With some recently released ZBoxes, Zotac has managed to squeeze in Intel Core-series processors, which put the diminutive systems into an entirely... Read more...
Lenovo announced its latest workstation, the ThinkStation E32, and despite very solid specs, the machines cost far less than you might expect. Available in both traditional tower and SFF form factors, the ThinkStation E32 starts at a mere $729. For what is presumably a lot more money than $729 (the HP Z1 workstation PC we reviewed is $1.899 for example), you can configure a ThinkStation E32 with up to Intel Xeon E3-1200v3 processors, NVIDIA Quadro K4000 graphics, 32GB of 1600MHz ECC RAM, and three storage drives--a 3TB SATA HDD, 256GB SSD, and 128GB mSATA. Other configurations are available with... Read more...
Things aren't always what they appear to be, and so it is with Dell's Alienware X51 R2, a small form factor (SFF) gaming PC in console digs. It's shaped similar to Microsoft's Xbox 360 Slim, and though it's slightly larger than either a 360 or PlayStation 3, the X51 R2 would be right at home in a living room setting nestled next to a large screen TV. Indeed, it's adept at running Steam's Big Picture mode, and if your primary objective is to play games in the living room, go ahead and consider the X51 R2 a hybrid game console. We know from our autopsy that the X51 R2's internal organs are decidedly... Read more...
Remember the Twilight Zone episode in which a race of 9-foot aliens descended upon Earth with seemingly benign intentions? They shared advanced technologies with the human race and appeared to live by a code outlined in a book that U.S. government cryptographers figured out was titled, "To Serve Man." The horrifying reveal at the end of the episode was that it's actually a cookbook, lending a whole new perspective to its contents and what those space invaders were really up to the whole time. The point being here, is that things aren't always what they appear to be. And so it is with Dell's Alienware... Read more...
There’s a lot to love about a mini-ITX gaming PC. Portability is a big draw, of course: carrying your computer through the parking lot to a LAN party is much easier if it happens to be an SFF system. Reclaiming desk space is another reason to go small. And some of us just take a lot of pleasure in knowing that our tiny, unassuming PC will drop a few jaws when it’s game time. With an Intel Core i7 3770 and an MSI GeForce GTX 660 at its heart, Maingear’s mini-ITX Potenza only looks mild-mannered. In fact, Maingear offers the system with up to a Core i7-3770K and a GTX Titan, but... Read more...
There’s a lot to love about a mini-ITX gaming PC. Portability is a big draw, of course: carrying your computer through the parking lot to a LAN party is much easier if it happens to be an SFF system. Reclaiming desk space is another reason to go small. And some of us just take a lot of pleasure in knowing that our tiny, unassuming PC will drop a few jaws when it’s game time. With an Intel Core i7 3770 and an MSI GeForce GTX 660 at its heart, Maingear’s mini-ITX Potenza only looks mild-mannered. In fact, Maingear offers the system with up to a Core i7-3770K and a GTX Titan,... Read more...
Custom PC makers are getting increasingly creative, particularly with small form factor gaming systems. There was a time when a lot of the sexiest gaming rigs consisted of high-end components mounted in large, gaudy (but fun) chassis with lots of lights, a killer paint job, and perhaps a wild mass of liquid cooling tubes and hardware. Although those systems are still around, and we still love to play with them, the boutique builders are using their design and engineering skills to build smaller systems that still pack a mean punch on the performance side. iBuypower's Revolt is a perfect example... Read more...
Custom PC makers are getting increasingly creative, particularly with small form factor gaming systems. There was a time when the lion's share of the sexiest gaming rigs consisted of high-end components mounted in large, gaudy (but fun) chassis with lots of lights, killer paint jobs, and perhaps a wild mass of liquid cooling tubes and hardware. Although those systems are still around, and we still love to play with them, the boutique builders are using their design and engineering skills to build smaller systems that still pack a mean punch on the performance side. We’re starting... Read more...
CyberPowerPC has gone all out with its announcements at CES, unveiling not only a new notebook and small form-factor PC, but one of the beefiest and most robust water-cooling kits we've seen in a while. Let's take it from the top. It seems that lately, "console-sized" is all the rage, and that's exactly how CyberPowerPC is describing its brand-new Zeus SFF. It offers an attractive full-tower chassis (9.5" x 9.84" x 3.9") sporting two front USB 3.0 ports. Because of its size, it could be assumed that Zeus SFF could be used with a television or PC that's far from a router. As such, it includes support... Read more...
We found quite a bit to like about the Digital Storm Bolt Level 3 small form factor gaming PC when we reviewed it last month, including fine performance and a (mostly) smart and sexy custom chassis, but there were a couple of lingering issues that we weren’t thrilled about. Primarily, it was the noisiest PC we’d ever encountered, and there were also a few minor grievances with the ergonomics of the case, too. In response, Digital Storm has redesigned the Bolt’s airflow to dramatically reduce noise, largely due to a new side vent and a new custom quiet fan profile for the Sparkle... Read more...
Gaming PCs come in all shapes and sizes, but the small form factor gaming rig is not one that you see all that often. When it comes to tablets, notebooks and small form factor PCs, “thin and light” may indicate the latest and greatest in design and mobile components, but when it comes to gaming, a lithe chassis can be indicative of deep compromises on the performance inside. Digital Storm has tackled the task of building a system that offers both high-performance parts and a small chassis with the Bolt series of custom PCs. Indeed, they nailed it on the compact size; the Bolt’s... Read more...
We’re still making the rounds at the Intel Developers Forum, and are minutes away from jumping into the large technology showcase, but wanted to make a quick pit stop here to post up some cool pictures of Intel’s “Next Unit of Computing”, or NUC, for you SFF enthusiasts. If you’re unfamiliar with NUC, it’s essentially an ultra small form factor platform that Intel has in the works, currently built around a Core i3 processor. We’re told that NUC hardware featuring all of Intel’s processor families, spanning from Atom to Core i7, is likely, but... Read more...
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