David Politis of Xi3 Microcomputers ) presents the Xi3 Modular Computer. It is an extremely small form factor and operates on only 20 watts of power, yet contains a dual-core AMD Athlon x86 processor operating at 2 gigahertz. The standard model ships with 2 gigabytes of DDR 2 RAM and 8 gigabytes of solid SSD solid state drive memory.
The Xi3 is revolutionary in several different respects. Not only is the unit as small as possible, the motherboard is broken down into three modular, replaceable components. Thus it becomes possible to upgrade to the latest technologies such as USB 3.0 once it becomes widely available in the near future or to higher-performance future CPU processors.
Imagine the Xi3 as the heart of a high-performance, low-engergy-drain, absolutely silent-running Media Center PC. Since it’s x86 architecture running on a dual-core processor on a high-performance SSD drive it can easily boot Windows 7 Ultimate in 30 seconds flat.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) will launch its new 64-bit Athlon microprocessor tomorrow. This chip gives AMD a significant edge over rival Intel. Microsoft is slated to release a version of the Windows operating system optimized to run on AMD’s new chip, forcing Intel to model the AMD component architecture or convince Microsoft to create a Windows version for the as-yet-unreleased 64-bit chip from Intel.
The new AMD chip will most benefit scientists and engineers (and computer gamers) with it’s ability to process 64 bits of data at once, twice the bandwidth of the current generation of microprocessors.
The Athlon 64 chip will run existing 32-bit applications, and its posed to take advantage of 64-bit applications as they are released to market.
The release of AMD’s new chip has more value toward bragging rights than it does in actual end-user performance improvement. Most users won’t be seeing a 64-bit processor on their desktop for at least a year, and savvy IS managers won’t be rolling out company wide installations of the chip in network servers and workstations until they give it a thorough testing (or wait for others to test it for them). But 64-bit processing on our computing horizon. More vivid graphics, faster database operations, and smoother network services are all expected from the new family of processors.
It’s time of me to upgrade one of my front-line Linux network servers. I’ll check pricing on the new AMD chips and related components. If the total package works out to be reasonably priced, maybe I’ll be able to give you a hands-on report.
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