Items tagged with SFF

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 Zotac ZBox to hit the lab is the ZBox Nano ID65 Plus. Despite its relatively tiny 5”-square form... 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 different performance category. The latest Zotac ZBox to hit the lab is the ZBox Nano ID65... 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 Intel Core i7 and i5 processors, and the SFF version comes with K600 graphics; Intel P4600 HD graphics... 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 PC, just like the original X51 that Dell beamed into our lab last year. The R2 model we're dissecting... 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 X51 R2, a small form factor (SFF) gaming PC in console digs. It's shaped similar to Microsoft's... 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 Maingear sent us a slightly tamer unit to show what it can do in the $1600 range... Maingear Potenza... 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 Maingear sent us a slightly tamer unit to show what it can do in the $1600 range. As configured,... 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 of this trend... iBuypower Revolt SFF Gaming System Review... 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 to see beautiful custom chassis with cool asymmetric angles and components packed in with the utmost... 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 for 802.11n wireless. The base Zeus SFF includes an Intel Core i5-3570L CPU, AMD Radeon HD 7750... 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 500W Gold Plus PSU. The company also opted to goose the specs on the Level 3 edition of the Bolt... 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 case measures just 3.6"(W) x 14"(H) x 15"(D), and while the components inside the Bolt we tested aren't... 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 this first iteration aims right for the middle of the market with the Core i3. With NUC, Intel is producing... Read more...
For as picky as individual computer buyers are, companies large and small are even moreso, because every purchasing decision is multiplied by the number of units needed. IT departments need to find computers that fit the purchasing budget, have strong security and manageability, and have a nice long lifecycle. Acer announced a series of desktops designed to meet those needs with the small form factor Veriton X6620G and mini tower Veriton M6620G. The systems start at the low low price of $300 and can be configured with Intel Core i7 processors, two DisplayPorts and a DVI port for multi-monitor support, and solid state capacitors for longer life. Acer X6620G The X6620G has one external 5.25-inch... Read more...
Lenovo announced the Lenovo ThinkStation E31 entry-level workstation. The ThinkStation E31 is available as a mini-tower or a small form factor (SFF), with both offering Intel Xeon E3 or 3rd generation Intel Core i7 processor options. The workstations also feature 1600MHz DDR3 memory DIMMs, USB 3.0 ports, and Intel HD Graphics P4000 or NVIDIA Quadro graphic cards. Users have the option of up to 9TB of storage with the tower model or 6TB on the SFF. The ThinkStation E31 tower will be available in early June; the ThinkStation E31 SFF will be available mid-July. Pricing starts at approximately $629. New Lenovo Workstation Infuses Solid Computing Power for Professionals on Tech Budget ThinkStation... Read more...
Over the last couple of years, Zotac has introduced a number of ultra small ZBOX systems that have seemingly gotten smaller and smaller with each new generation. The latest model we’ll be showing you here today, however, is the smallest yet. The new Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus is an AMD E-series APU based small form factor / HTPC system that fits in the palm of your hand—literally. Despite offering a dual-core processor, integrated DirectX 11 class graphics, 2GB of RAM, a 64GB solid state drive, USB 3.0, a flash card reader, and various other connections, the ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus measures just 4.17” x 4.17” x 1.46”... Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus Review... Read more...
In addition to building graphics cards, Zotac is one of only a handful companies to fully embrace small form factor and home theater systems. Whether you want to build something yourself from the ground up, quickly assemble a barebones rig, or pick up a fully built HTPC, Zotac has you covered. The company offers a wide array of mini-ITX motherboards based on many modern chipsets (including the just released Z77) and barebones ZBOX systems for the DIY Crowd, along with full SFF systems that need nothing but an OS. Over the last couple of years, Zotac has introduced a number of ultra small ZBOX systems that have seemingly gotten smaller and smaller with each new generation. The latest model... Read more...
Our coverage of the latest technology on display as CES continues today, with some goodies from Zotac. In addition to offering some hot graphics cars, Zotac has also been innovating in the small form factor and mini-ITX motherboard markets, especially over the last couple of years. As such, it should come as no surprise that Zotac had a number of their diminutive ZBOX systems on display, along with a handful of new / upcoming mini-ITX motherboards. Zotac ZBOX Nano ID61 Plus Two new ZBOXes were on display in Zotac’s suite, more specifically, the ZBOX Nano ID82 Plus and the ZBOX ID61 Plus, both of which are based on Intel platforms. The ZBOX Nano ID61 is a Sandy Bridge-based machine... Read more...
Zotac is one of a select few companies that have fully embraced the ultra-small form factor and home theater PC markets. Although they’re also known for producing custom, high-end graphics cards, and an array of motherboards, which include a smorgasbord or mini-ITX options, Zotac’s Zbox and Mag lines of mini PCs are quite diverse. A quick jaunt to their website reveals over 30 ultra small form factor designs that leverage technology from Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, and even VIA. What’s also interesting about Zotac’s mini-PCs are their extensive feature sets. Zotac seemingly crams as many features into a small space as physically possible. If you need proof, look no further than... Read more...
Zotac is one of a select few companies that have fully embraced the ultra-small form factor and home theater PC markets. Although they’re also known for producing custom, high-end graphics cards, and an array of motherboards, which include a smorgasbord or mini-ITX options, Zotac’s Zbox and Mag lines of mini PCs are quite diverse. A quick jaunt to their website reveals over 30 ultra small form factor designs that leverage technology from Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, and even VIA. What’s also interesting about Zotac’s mini-PCs are their extensive feature sets. Zotac seemingly crams as many features into a small space as physically possible. If you need proof, look no further than... Read more...
Small just keeps getting smaller. Zotac's ZBOX line has been around for a few years now, and we've been rather impressed with every iteration that we have played with. But the "palm-sized" ZBOX Nano AD10 makes those prior models look like giants. The new AD10 series shrinks the form factor even more, and inside it's packed with an AMD Brazos E-350 APU. The box itself measures 127mm x 127mm x 45mm, and it comes bundled with a Windows Media Center compatible remote control – a USB IR receiver is also included. Within, you'll be able to install your own DDR3 SO-DIMM (1 slot) and a 2.5" SATA 6Gbps drive, or you can buy a kit model that ships with 2GB of memory and a 320GB HDD. Other specs include... Read more...
There may not be a ‘one size fits all’ HTPC, but there are some HTPC features that are universally (well, almost universally) desired. For one, it’s our opinion that an HTPC should be as quiet as possible. It should also be capable of any multimedia related task, it should be easy to install and use and it should look like it belongs in its environment. Even with those guidelines in mind, an HTPC can be many things. But we think one OEM, namely ASRock, has struck a great balance between performance, form factor, and features with one of their HTPC lines and have come up with a solution that will likely please a wide swathe of potential HTPC consumers. The ASRock Vision 3D HTPC,... Read more...
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