(Part 4 in a series of posts on small-form-factor computing)
The oversized desktop
I said something pretty obvious in the last post: “when we shrink a desktop by 50%, it does not necessarily become 50% slower, nor does it use 50% less power—power consumption and processing speed do not scale with size.” At that point I could imagine you, rolling your eyes at me and going “well duh!”. Perhaps you might try to explain to me why PC makers still use size as a segment differentiator:
Dell Inspiron 660s, 2013. Configurable up to i3 processor.
Dell Inspiron 660, 2013. Configurable up to i5 processor.
Dell Inspiron XPS 8700, 2013. Configurable up to i5 processor.
Continue reading Thresholds in computing: Part 4 – Death of the desktop
(Part 3 in a series of posts on small-form-factor computing)
In the last post, we stopped short of crossing any thresholds; all we did was zap empty space inside the case. But that only got us so far.
Bitfenix Prodigy M [Anandtech, labelled]
We were looking at systems that could support two graphics cards or more—gaming builds, basically. But not all gaming needs or builds rely on more than one graphics card. Let’s look at what’s possible when we shift to only using one graphics card. Continue reading Thresholds in computing: Part 3 – The compact desktop
(Part 2 in a series of posts on small-form-factor computing)
Today’s PCs and DIY desktops come in a dizzying array of sizes:
Falcon Northwest Computers (showing 4 desktop form factors; there’re far more than that though)
We are familiar with the idea that any device can be “scaled up”, made bigger in size: our portable media device-things come in sizes ranging from 4″ to 10″. But what are they like inside? If you make them bigger, do the parts stay the same while the amount of empty space increases?
Continue reading Thresholds in computing: Part 2 – Does it need to take up so much space?
(Part 1 in a series of posts on small-form-factor computing)
The word threshold gets used a lot, especially in computing and technology. It doesn’t always mean the same thing. Let’s examine, non-academically, what it means in some contexts, and particularly how it applies to mainstream computing. Continue reading Thresholds in computing: Part 1 – What is a threshold?