PICO880 Is Perfect For Custom-Built Steam Machines
Axiomtek announced today that they have a brand new single-form micro-board for all your living-room gaming needs. The all-in-one board is called the PICO880 and it's a fourth generation single board computer that promises “high quality” and “high performance” from the all-in-one solution.
The new board sports a fourth generation Intel Core i7 processor, AMT 9.5 support, a DDR3 SO-DIMM for up to 8GB of RAM and a 24-bit single or dual channel LVDS display port. There's also one full size PCI-E mini card slot with mSATA support, so, if you're handy, you can use something like a PCI-E riser card for a full 16x support. Of course, you would have to deal with the reality of having a giant card resting outside of the actual case, but hey... duck-tape a fan to the GPU and call it a day.
Now if we're getting back to reality, the single-board solution isn't necessarily a popular one, but it could be a convenient one. A lot of people would probably question what the benefits are of a small form-factor PC solution, and I would say that it's the same as a home console: you get all the power and benefits of a home computer desktop solution, but with all the size management and easy travel capacity of a console. That's not to mention that using a micro ITX case, it makes it exceptionally convenient to set down next to or underneath your giant-screen TV and game from the comfort of your couch. In final form, it might look something similar to Zotac's upcoming Steam Machine, which you can view below.
Michelle Mi, product manager of Product Marketing Division at Axiomtek commented about the new PICO880 board, saying...
“Our new PICO880 is a great choice for customers who need an extremely small embedded board with rich I/O, high computing power and great graphics. The hardware monitoring system makes the platform more reliable. One full-size PCI Express Mini Card slot on the rear side provides flexible I/O expansions and meets networking requirements. In addition, it requires only +12V DC power supply input and supports Intel Active Management Technology 9.5 for remote management,”
Now, some of you might be wondering what the point of this board is since it's not pre-built – you'll still have to buy all the other goods for it, including a hard drive, RAM and sound card. Basically, for everyone complains about the costs of the pre-built Steam Machines, this little device offers you a good form-factor starting point, but with the option and ability to customize the machine the way you want, with the parts you want, from the OEMs you like, similar to an Xi3 Piston, but hopefully with a much smaller price tag. You can check out a full diagram of the PICO880 below.
Now some of you are probably wondering about a case... because really, you can't just have this thing laying on the floor all exposed like a beautiful naked model in your living room. Oh no... that's just not doable (well, not for you people anyway). Axiomtek did confirm that there will be an “extreme compact” form-factor solution specifically made for the PICO880, which will be available sometime before March is out along with the board itself... presumably. That's what the press release says, anyway. I mean, March just about ends this week, so they kind of have to hurry.
If you think you can make good on this new PICO880 board, feel free to learn more and keep an eye out for its availability over on Axiomtek's page. There's still no pricing on it just yet, so if it's something reasonable it may not be too bad, but if it's still breaching the price range of the $500 Steam Machines, then it's kind of a bust.
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