Desk­top re­vival

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Com­pu­tex 2017 was cer­tainly a throw­back year for tech; not only did lap­tops make a ma­jor come­back, but so did desk­tops.

PC old-timer Dell an­nounced two all-in-one (AIO) ma­chines – the In­sp­iron 27 7000 and the In­sp­iron 24 5000 – along­side its first-ever In­sp­iron-branded desk­top with Windows 10, sim­ply called In­sp­iron Gam­ing Desk­top (right). Sport­ing the lat­est AMD mul­ti­core Ryzen pro­ces­sors, Dell said the In­sp­iron Gam­ing Desk­top is built for gamers seek­ing “a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage at an af­ford­able price” and is ideal for those want­ing to power vir­tual-re­al­ity head­sets thanks to ‘Ready for VR’ con­fig­u­ra­tions that sup­port HTC Vive and Ocu­lus Rift. It’s avail­able now, start­ing at £700.

Mini PC spe­cial­ist Zo­tac also took to Com­pu­tex to de­but a new range of desk­top PCs, a slightly larger de­sign than its usual of­fer­ings, called the MEK se­ries (op­po­site, top left). Look­ing a lit­tle bit like cy­clops ro­bots, the MEK ma­chines are tall and slim, and aimed at the gam­ing en­thu­si­ast.

Pow­ered by In­tel’s 7th Gen Core i7 pro­ces­sor and a low-pro­file CPU cooler to de­liver per­for­mance for high-end gam­ing, the MEK is a Mini-ITX tower PC that marks the be­gin­ning of gam­ing prod­ucts for a new brand, Zo­tac Gam­ing. But the best thing about the MEK is that it’s equipped with one of Zo­tac’s own tiny GTX 1080 Mini graph­ics cards.

This, ac­cord­ing to Zo­tac, is “the world’s small­est GeForce GTX 1080”– a full Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 in an 8.3in form fac­tor. It comes in two ver­sions, let­ting users choose be­tween dual-fans or liq­uidready wa­terblock for high per­for­mance in the most com­pact of sizes. Zo­tac also an­nounced that its flag­ship GTX 1080 Ti will be avail­able in the same mini form fac­tor, for even bet­ter per­for­mance for smaller sys­tems.

Along­side this, the MEK also fea­tures NVMe-based SSDs, two DDR4 RAM slots and a tiny 450W SFX-form-fac­tor PSU. Due to ar­rive be­fore the fes­tive sea­son, the MEK tow­ers will come in both white and black, with cus­tomis­able LED strips.

In­tel also took to Com­pu­tex to of­fi­cially launch a new desk­top PC, but with a twist: the credit card-sized ‘Com­pute Card’ PC.

Aimed at those look­ing to up­grade In­ter­net of Things (IoT) de­vices, it has all the com­po­nents that you’d ex­pect to find in a PC, in­clud­ing an in­te­grated sys­tem-on-chip (SoC), RAM, stor­age and wire­less con­nec­tiv­ity, but it can lit­er­ally fit in your wal­let.

How will it work? De­vice mak­ers sim­ply de­sign a stan­dard In­tel Com­pute Card slot into their de­vice and then use the card for their own needs. In­tel said this is favourable as it re­duces the time and re­sources needed to de­sign and val­i­date the com­pute block and helps speed up in­no­va­tion to “bring the power of in­tel­li­gence into an ever wider range of de­vices”.

The Com­pute Card will be avail­able from Au­gust this year, al­though pric­ing de­tails re­main un­der wraps for now.

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