Items tagged with SFF

 We spent a little time meeting with the folks from Gigabyte while zipping from demo suite to demo suite at CES, and have some interesting products to show you. Along with a their wide array of existing motherboards, graphics cards, and peripherals, Gigabyte was showing off some brand new products as well, including a few updated (and more powerful) Brix small form factor machines and a couple of Thunderbolt 2.0 certified motherboards.   This GA-ZZ87X-UD7 TH is one of Gigabyte’s latest flagship Z87 Express based motherboards for Intel’s 4th Gen Core processors. In addition... Read more...
The long-awaited Steam Machine consoles are rolling out, and Digital Storm fittingly placed the “Bolt” name on its version. The first Bolt, which we reviewed, was all the things we expect now from Steam Machines--compact size, excellent specs, and a cool design. The Digital Storm Bolt II is a SFF and hybrid Steam Machine, which is to say that it offers both Steam OS and Windows, thus giving gamers the option to run either OS. That perhaps runs slightly counter to what Valve had in mind with Steam OS, but it’s a terrific idea nonetheless. “We (Digital Storm) are not looking... Read more...
Falcon Northwest is a big name in a very niche market of luxury PCs. The company is known for special touches like custom cases (think FragBox) and mind-blowing, artist-rendered panel images. The company has also built the rest of its reputation on blazing PC performance. Falcon Northwest recently shipped its Tiki to take on the other small form factor rigs we’ve tested of late. The Tiki is small enough and light enough that it could be your next LAN-party rig, but it’s really meant for your desk. And although it’s much, much smaller than your old full- or mid-tower system, it’s... Read more...
Desktops are evolving, getting smaller and less intrusive. Zotac is a company that's been at the forefront of this evolution by offering up a constantly expanding line of small form factor (SFF) mini PCs that have grown more powerful with each new generation. The compromise between raw performance and power efficiency lessens with each advance AMD and Intel make to their respective processor technologies. In this vein, Zotac sent us its ZBOX ID89 Plus. This little system hardly takes up any space, yet it packs an Intel Core i5 3470T dual-core processor clocked at 2.9GHz (3.6GHz Turbo), 4GB of DDR3-1600... Read more...
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...
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