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  1. #61
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Considering Valve's cash cow is the store, not the box, they may be willing to sell the box as a loss leader.
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  2. #62
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Free steambox with every ten tops of Mountain Dew or 20 packets of Doritos.

  3. #63
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Didn't OnLive basically give free consoley-box things if you purchased a game new?

    Ha. Maybe Ep3 really IS going to happen, and that will be the gimmick. "Buy HL2:Ep3 for 50 dollars and your soul, get a Steambox"
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  4. #64
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by His Master's Voice View Post
    The fact that it's tiny is irrelevant. A Samsung 7 slate is more powerful than the X5A despite the actual hardware taking even less space once you remove the screen. You won't be playing Crysis on it, but L4D is okay.
    No, the fact that it's tiny means it can't contain a decent CPU and GPU combination because it's simply too much cooling for such a small thing. Sure, the final product may be much bigger, in which case it's another story. But like this? It's not really going to be for gaming, at least not much beyond Angry Birds.

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    Yeah this is a bit crazy. Considering a high end PC now can play AAA games at silly fps (80-100) and that the upcoming gen of consoles have those same high end GPUs except to smaller nm and integrated onto the same chip as the CPU, then without any driver or OS overhead. It seems likely that the moment they come out the next gen consoles will blitz high end PCs and probably for a year or two after that.
    The latest set of rumours claim the dev kits for PS4 are running on A10. That does not qualify as a high end GPU. Even assuming it will get upgraded to Steamroller, or some future hybrid package, that's still not even close to blitzing discreet GPUs, hardware optimisation or not.

  6. #66
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    No, the fact that it's tiny means it can't contain a decent CPU and GPU combination because it's simply too much cooling for such a small thing. Sure, the final product may be much bigger, in which case it's another story. But like this? It's not really going to be for gaming, at least not much beyond Angry Birds.
    Honestly, from the video RPS linked it looks like air flow might be pretty decent in there. I still don't see how an HDD or video card can fit in there, but the flow is spectacular. Mobo makes up 3-4 walls, graphics card in the middle, fan on one of the open ends, vent on the other. Would probably want a strong fan, but you get an un-obstructed airway, so even though you have fewer fans and heat sinks, you have less need of them (potentially).

    Of course, considering that consoles are traditionally shoved under the TV in a dusty cabinet, there might be other issues.
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  7. #67
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    Yeah this is a bit crazy. Considering a high end PC now can play AAA games at silly fps (80-100) and that the upcoming gen of consoles have those same high end GPUs except to smaller nm and integrated onto the same chip as the CPU, then without any driver or OS overhead. It seems likely that the moment they come out the next gen consoles will blitz high end PCs and probably for a year or two after that.
    They won't have the current high-end desktop GPUs at a small manufacturing process (and that's meaningless anyway since that spec can and will change over the course of the console's lifespan; PS3 hardware went from 90 nm to 65 nm to 40 nm for example).

    In fact, rumors suggest the new Playstation may be APU-based. That's a great idea for giving reasonable performance at rock-bottom prices, but it's definitely not going to make current PC hardware look dated. Not even close.

  8. #68
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Both the X7A Modular Computer and the X3A Modular Computer use 64-bit, x86-based processors. This means that any x86-based OS will run on the X7A and X3A, including (but not limited to) Windows 8 (and lower), Linux & UNIX variants, and more.
    It looks neat, better designed than the usual PC. But at this price - who will buy it ?
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  9. #69
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Honestly, from the video RPS linked it looks like air flow might be pretty decent in there. I still don't see how an HDD or video card can fit in there, but the flow is spectacular. Mobo makes up 3-4 walls, graphics card in the middle, fan on one of the open ends, vent on the other. Would probably want a strong fan, but you get an un-obstructed airway, so even though you have fewer fans and heat sinks, you have less need of them (potentially).

    Of course, considering that consoles are traditionally shoved under the TV in a dusty cabinet, there might be other issues.
    The mere size of heatsink required for proper CPUs and GPUs make it unfeasible. The only reason there's so much room for airflow is that the hardware is anemic. An APU, no dedicated GPU. That may work in a console with coprocessors and really highly optimized code, but on the PC platform it's insufficient.

  10. #70
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Didn't OnLive basically give free consoley-box things if you purchased a game new?
    Yeah, but that was essentially a dumb terminal, not a miniaturized gaming PC.

    I remain skeptical about the graphics abilities of this thing and the limited Linux game compatibility. They sound like 'features' vying for Biggest Dealbreaker.

    That said, I don't think we're too far away from decent specs in a box that size. Maybe a couple more years, though, integrated graphics are fast-improving but still basically garbage.

  11. #71
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    The mere size of heatsink required for proper CPUs and GPUs make it unfeasible. The only reason there's so much room for airflow is that the hardware is anemic. An APU, no dedicated GPU. That may work in a console with coprocessors and really highly optimized code, but on the PC platform it's insufficient.
    That's why I earlier suggested it would have the performance of a gaming laptop, where said constraints already exist and are handled to varying degrees of success.

    You are 100% correct: There is no way this is going to be a top-tier gaming PC.
    But it is definitely reasonable to think it will be able to play current gen (and early next-gen) titles at medium-high settings. Even today, the games that need super-rigs are generally either unoptimized as crap or are niche titles (ArmA will fall into both of those categories :p).

    As for later next-gen titles (where the consoles are being pushed to their limits): By then, a new version of the Piston will be out that will be able to handle those. As long as the price is reasonable (even 200 dollars per Piston), it will come out even (since the consoles will probably be in the 400 range).
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  12. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    No, the fact that it's tiny means it can't contain a decent CPU and GPU combination because it's simply too much cooling for such a small thing.
    I'm not sure about that. How much space is that i7 and 7970M taking up in my Origin laptop after you remove the screen, battery, keyboard and optical drive?

  13. #73
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    The mere size of heatsink required for proper CPUs and GPUs make it unfeasible. The only reason there's so much room for airflow is that the hardware is anemic. An APU, no dedicated GPU. That may work in a console with coprocessors and really highly optimized code, but on the PC platform it's insufficient.
    Look at the thing. It's designed completely for airflow. Air comes in one end and right out the other cooling absolutely everything in it's path. It'd be like having your PC in a wind tunnel. Now look at towers, where you have so much empty space and 3+ fans to suck cool air in and blow hot air out.

    The cooling requirement is completely different. I'd hazard a guess though that it could be a noisy bugger when it gets going.

  14. #74
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    What kind of GPU would be required to futureproof something like this on the basis of being able to comfortably run high end PC games at this time at 1080P with all the bells and whistles going giving to it some lead in to whatever Sony & MS have cooked up exactly?
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  15. #75
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    That's why I earlier suggested it would have the performance of a gaming laptop, where said constraints already exist and are handled to varying degrees of success.

    You are 100% correct: There is no way this is going to be a top-tier gaming PC.
    But it is definitely reasonable to think it will be able to play current gen (and early next-gen) titles at medium-high settings. Even today, the games that need super-rigs are generally either unoptimized as crap or are niche titles (ArmA will fall into both of those categories :p).

    As for later next-gen titles (where the consoles are being pushed to their limits): By then, a new version of the Piston will be out that will be able to handle those. As long as the price is reasonable (even 200 dollars per Piston), it will come out even (since the consoles will probably be in the 400 range).
    It would play current games on low settings with a good APU.

    Quote Originally Posted by His Master's Voice View Post
    I'm not sure about that. How much space is that i7 and 7970M taking up in my Origin laptop after you remove the screen, battery, keyboard and optical drive?
    Along with the coolers, more than would fit in this little cube.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    Look at the thing. It's designed completely for airflow. Air comes in one end and right out the other cooling absolutely everything in it's path. It'd be like having your PC in a wind tunnel. Now look at towers, where you have so much empty space and 3+ fans to suck cool air in and blow hot air out.

    The cooling requirement is completely different. I'd hazard a guess though that it could be a noisy bugger when it gets going.
    Yep, it's designed for airflow. Airflow requires air, and with the heatsinks required for a good CPU and a gaming GPU you're not going to have any air left in there.

  16. #76
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    What kind of GPU would be required to futureproof something like this on the basis of being able to comfortably run high end PC games at this time at 1080P with all the bells and whistles going giving to it some lead in to whatever Sony & MS have cooked up exactly?
    With those extravagant requirements I'm not even sure Pitcairn or GK106 would be enough. I really doubt they'd be aiming that high though.

  17. #77
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    Something that small we need to get some liquid cooling into that bad boy!

  18. #78
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moraven View Post
    Something that small we need to get some liquid cooling into that bad boy!
    Mashakos would approve.

  19. #79
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    For point of reference regarding storage, in one of the vids for the Xi3, it shows an external hard drive attachment; it fits with the curves of the box and is attached via cable. It's obviously half the size again, but it's hardly a mood killer.

    ...I of course can't find the video now, so a Google image search provided me with this:
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  20. #80
    Network Hub buemba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    I'd expect Valve to subsidize the price quite heavily. It's common practice.
    Doing that only makes sense if every time the user uses your machine you make money out of it. Microsoft gets cash if you buy 360 games and if you use any of the services attached to a Live subscription, but if this is an open PC Valve has no guarantee people who buy it will ever use Steam.

    If the price and form factor are attractive enough plenty could buy it just to have a cheap and powerful PC and never even consider playing games on it. The only way to prevent that would be to lock the machine down like a console and make sure all it can do is run games and programs through Steam, which seems counter to Valve's philosophy.
    Last edited by buemba; 08-01-2013 at 05:33 PM.
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