CES 2013: Day 1 Highlights

Xi3 Modular Computers

Xi3 7-Series Modular Computer

The Xi3 Corporation unveiled its new 7-Series modular computer at this year's show. This tiny 64-bit x86 PC is essentially three boards crammed into a somewhat X-shaped casing.

Using embedded APUs from AMD's Trinity family, the 7A boasts a Turbo Core clock rate of 3.2 GHz and up to 384 Radeon cores. Incredibly, this gamepad-sized system packs a whopping 8 GB of DDR3 memory, and native triple-monitor support with two mini-DisplayPort outputs and a single combo HDMI/DisplayPort output. Other ports include four USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, four eSATA, and three audio connectors (including optical out). Continuing to exhibit specs rarely seen in this form factor, the 7A can be equipped with up to 1 TB of SSD storage.

Xi3’s Chief Marketing Officer, Dave Politis, pointed out that this diminutive PC uses only 40 W of power, and that 224 of them can fit in a half-height rack. He purports that thanks to its excellent cooling characteristics, these small computers do not exhibit thermal bleed-over even when clustered. Each 7A contains just a single small fan and heat sink, with the entire aluminum chassis acting as a secondary heat sink.

We're told that Valve is considering a 7-Series-based prototype PC called the Piston for its long-rumored Steam Box game platform. 

Xi3 developed a custom SSD for the 7A, designated mSATAmax. With availability anticipated by mid-year, mSATAmax can facilitate 12 Gb/s transfer rates via a modified mSATA connector exclusive to Xi3 PCs.

The company also announced a smaller model boasting just 20 watts of power usage. Less than 2” tall, a little more than 4” wide, and 4” deep, this PC features 4 GB of DDR3 memory, dual monitor support, and a dual core processor based on AMD’s Ontario/Zacate low power APUs. This entry level model has flat a $399 price point with no configurable options. Availability is expected in the second quarter of 2013.

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  • I wonder if Turtle Beach was able to do something about the sound quality as well. I purchased a pair after reading rave reviews about the sound. Switching to the Turtle Beach headphones from my AKG is startling transition each and every time, since the Turtle Beach headphones sound so bad. If I listen to them for over an hour, I can begin to convince myself they sound better (until I listen to something else and am reminded again how bad they sound!).

    The microphone on the Turtle Beach headphones is also below par, in my opinion.
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  • LukeCWM said:
    I wonder if Turtle Beach was able to do something about the sound quality as well. I purchased a pair after reading rave reviews about the sound. Switching to the Turtle Beach headphones from my AKG


    The issue is you're essentially comparing a Core i3 (Turtle Beach) to a Core i5 (AKG). Considering that AKG is seen as one of the few that can actually get within range of Sennheiser (Core i7?) when it comes to sound quality, that should tell you something.
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  • Nintendo Maniac 64The issue is you're essentially comparing a Core i3 (Turtle Beach) to a Core i5 (AKG). Considering that AKG is seen as one of the few that can actually get within range of Sennheiser (Core i7?) when it comes to sound quality, that should tell you something.


    I actually prefer AKG to Sennheiser, but that's beside the point.

    I think a more accurate analogy would be describing AKG and Sennheiser as the i7-2600k and the i7-2700k, and the Turtle Beach sounds more like a Silverthorne Atom, made in 2008. My Turtle Beach headset is just dreadful...
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  • Can't wait until more news for tomorrow.
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  • love what i'm seeing out of the Xi3, though i'm not handing out any cigars just yet. not at all impressive in hardware performance, but i'll admit it looks neat. and if valve is truly thinking of making a linux based console out of it, then i'm more in support for it. i'll probably won't buy it, but at least i won't have to dish out $90-100 for an OS the next time i do a complete overhaul of my pc if gaming with linux ever kicks off successfully.
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  • where are the girls of ces-2013?
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  • Gabe Opens Up About Valve’s Own Biometric Steam Box
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/01/09/gabe-opens-up-about-valves-own-biometric-steam-box/

    cookoywhere are the girls of ces-2013?

    No, please no. Google it if you want, but let's keep this a tech site that cares more about tech than boobs.

    I'll treat Chris and team to virtual champagne if they avoid that "article" this year.
    4
  • ojasGabe Opens Up About Valve’s Own Biometric Steam Boxhttp://www.rockpapershotgun.com/20 [...] steam-box/No, please no. Google it if you want, but let's keep this a tech site that cares more about tech than boobs.I'll treat Chris and team to virtual champagne if they avoid that "article" this year.

    ...But I am tempted to talk about how horrible the keynote speech was. :)
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  • LukeCWMI wonder if Turtle Beach was able to do something about the sound quality as well. I purchased a pair after reading rave reviews about the sound. Switching to the Turtle Beach headphones from my AKG is startling transition each and every time, since the Turtle Beach headphones sound so bad. If I listen to them for over an hour, I can begin to convince myself they sound better (until I listen to something else and am reminded again how bad they sound!).The microphone on the Turtle Beach headphones is also below par, in my opinion.


    so your AKG cost how much and the Turtle Beach?
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  • ojasGabe Opens Up About Valve’s Own Biometric Steam Boxhttp://www.rockpapershotgun.com/20 [...] steam-box/No, please no. Google it if you want, but let's keep this a tech site that cares more about tech than boobs.I'll treat Chris and team to virtual champagne if they avoid that "article" this year.

    don't give us that rubbish, don't you see how Toms potrays every stupid holiday shopping season with half naked women holding crappy tech. complain to the authors of this site!!
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