X7A and Xi3 Modular Computer Come To Kickstarter, Looking HOT

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News Posted: Fri, Sep 28 2012 1:31 PM
Apple and PC doomsayers like to talk an awful lot about the so-called post-PC era, but you know what? Desktops are far from dead, "they've just been boring," claims the developers of the Xi3 Modular Computer project. They want to change the way computers are built, serviced, and upgraded, but first they need to raise a quarter of a million dollars. Where else to try and do that other than Kickstarter?

"One of the biggest problems with desktop computers is that they have to be replaced every few years. They’re also expensive to operate, have roughly the same specs, look like each other, etc., etc., etc. In other words, they’re expensive, boring, and extremely unfriendly to the planet. Not so with the award-winning Xi3 Modular Computer," the developers stated when kicking off their Kickstarter pitch.

The Xi3 is a cube-like machine about the size of a grapefruit (4.73 inches by 3.65 inches by 3.65 inches) and uses a patented tri-board architecture as a substitute for the traditional mobo as you know it. In doing so, the developers claim it's easier to repair, mod, and upgrade.

Already shipping is the company's X5A-5342 model, which consists of a dual-core x86 processor running at 1.8GHz with 2GB of RAM, 16GB-1TB of solid state storage, six USB 2.0 ports, and 2 eSATA ports. It's a fully functional computer that's small enough to hold with your hand, yet powerful enough to handle daily computing chores. The company's upcoming X5A-5342 is an entry level model that will include a dual-core 1.65GHz processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory, 32GB-1TB of SSD storage, two USB 3.0 ports, four eSATA ports, four USB 2.0 ports, and a GbE LAN, What about gaming?


For power users and gamers, there's a second device the developers are introducing: the X7A Modular. This is a much more powerful system built with the same design philosophy, but with a quad-core processor clocked at 3.2GHz, integrated graphics with up to 384 share cores, 4GB or 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and enough power to "handle graphics-rich computer games like Crysis 2 with ease." It will also be able to drive up to three high-definition monitors at the same time.

The biggest trick of all will delivering on these claims at the proposed price points, which are $500 for the X3A and under $1,000 for the X7A.
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pwrntspd replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 2:42 PM

Hmmm, the second one sounds suspiciously like AMD's Trintiy....

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 7:26 PM

Get your floor ready for a huge power brick.

But... it looks so good that I almost want one...

But... are the graphics integrated with the CPU, or on one of the other planes? If it's using an APU I say this fails for preferring size over modularity. I'd rather have one 3 times the size that could fit a standard video card and not just the special one or two modules you'll find made for this thing.

I'm guessing it's not going to be too cost effective either. I'll bet that's a tiny drive in there.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?


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KaptKarl replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 7:54 PM

Xi3 is DOA.  It might have been a cool idea five years ago, but looks like a wildly overpriced and unimpressively under powered cloud computer.  It essentially has what would be an average feature set for an ultrabook, but keep in mind that it is being marketed as a desktop with no SATA drive, no wireless networking, not much storage and of course monitor not included.  The fact that they're now relying on crowd funding (can't get any VC funding?) tells me they're in trouble.

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realneil replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 8:24 PM

I priced what they had for sale a year and a half ago and it was outrageously expensive.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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