My choice is still the "grandfathers box" type of tower computer. Aside from being much simpler to work on and having a much wider selection of add-ons, it offers the additional advantages of a lower heat generation density, and being much more difficult to steal, since it would be difficult to conceal the larger box.
Very cool! I'm not sure about price comparisons, however. At least, not yet. You can get quad core x86 desktops, 1TB hard drive, an 6 GB of RAM, for less than $1000. But that's just quibbling.
Best I can tell from the video, looks like a separate bare bones motherboard, I/O card, and power supply module. Three modules, not laid down flat, but as three sides of a cube, where cooling fins and a fan fill up the middle.
The hard drive is replaced with a solid state drive, which saves a lot of space, but still costs a lot more than an HDD, for similar size storage.
Perhaps the upgradeability is overstated. What is hard to upgrade in standard desktops is not the hard drive, the I/O, or the graphics. The I/O and graphics can always be upgraded by adding adapter cards which, when installed, take over those functions from the motherboard. And swapping the hard drive or adding RAM is fairly simple too. What obsoletes a desktop is the processor and perhaps also the memory bus. So I don't see where this concept really solves the obsolescence problem.
Desktops started incorporating functions like Ethernet, other I/O, sound cards, and graphics cards, into the motherboard to save money, since most users needed those functions anyway. For desktops, it's not really correct to imply that the I/O, graphics, etc. built into the motherboard are a limit.
Still, the form factor is hard to beat. Apple has proved that coolness is not necessarily related to raw performance. This should be a winner. I want one too!
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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