The SFF March: Mainboard Makers Go Small Form-Factor PCs
Although small form-factor PC barebones are no longer popular among end-users, many makers of mainboards now address the market of small systems with their own-brand PCs. Such machines never compete against products by local system builders or computers from large PC makers, but often pack serious power inside.
Asustek Computer showcased its AMD-based Essentio CP1420 and Intel-based Essentio CS5510 small desktop computers at the world’s largest IT fair. Asus Essentio desktops are rather stylish and have rich connectivity, which makes them ideal for both home and office use.
Both machines can be equipped with Blu-ray disc drives as well as feature-rich graphics cards (in fact, CS5110 only supports MXM form-factor graphics adapters) in order to be used as media centers, not only as office computers.
Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) also demonstrated its Intel-based SFX10 desktop that looks really trendy and even comes with built-in TV-tuner in addition to HDMI output. Moreover, thanks to Intel G45 core-logic with its advanced graphics core that sports H.264 and VC1 high-definition video decoding, the system can also be used as HD media center provided that a Blu-ray disc drive is installed inside.
Gigabyte Technology and Microstar International also demonstrated their small form-factor systems at the show, but their systems were based on somewhat outdated core-logic sets. Those systems still can do the job, but not all end-users will find them truly attractive due to lack of features like high-definition video playback and so on.