If you're sick of waiting for Nvidia or Intel to finally team the Atom up with a chipset that'll give you full HD playback, perhaps you should ditch thoughts of a lower-power CPU and check out the latest build from PC maker Stealth Computer.
According to the guys over at PC Launches
, the company has just announced the LPC-625F small-form factor desktop PC – which is designed to run completely fanless. Measuring a svelte 20cm² and just 6cm in height, it's a pretty dinky unit – but is capable of full 1080p playback via its on-board HDMI port.
The entire case of the unit is one giant aluminium heat sink, with cooling fins covering the surface to ensure that the 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo – upgradable to a 2.53GHz unit if you need the extra grunt – stays frosty. While the graphics chip – an Intel GMA X4500 – won't be a gamer's first choice, it does provide the power required for playback of any HD source you care to name over both HDMI and DVI.
Connectivity is provided via an on-board gigabit Ethernet port, but if you want the device to sit somewhere awkward Stealth Computer has said that a mini-PCI Atheros-based wireless card will also be available. Interestingly, the PC also offers an RS232 serial port – a possible indicator that the company is looking toward embedded applications and digital signage. Eight USB 2.0 ports offer plenty of room for peripherals, and the company has even thought to throw in an external SATA port for additional storage.
While the 90W power draw is perhaps a little on the high side – especially when compared to the competing Atom-based Habey
box which draws just 13W – it's certainly an interesting device for anyone who needs a surprising amount of power in a small, quiet package.
All this neato stuff comes at a cost, however: Stealth Computer is looking for £1,104 for the base
configuration with the slower CPU and just 1GB of RAM along side an 80GB drive. If you want to upgrade any of the specs – or add the optional wireless module – the price goes up from there.
Is truly silent computing worth the entry price, or is Stealth Computer hoping for a little much for its fanless box? Share your thoughts over in the forums