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Akiba PC Hotline, a Tokyo-based agency that tracks the Japanese retail market, today reported about availability of ABIT’s barebone computer called DiGiDice – the first small form-factor system oriented on enthusiasts.

ABIT’s DiGiDice SFF announced in mid-September is a stylish barebone system that provides a number of advantages of over typical barebone PCs – high-performance because of a powerful i865G core-logic supporting 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus and dual-channel PC3200 memory, expandability, overclocking and tuning options in addition to even relatively low price! 

Specifications of the whole barebone have been already published earlier, but just to refresh your memory, have a look:

  • Supports Socket 478 Pentium 4/Celeron processors with up to 3.06GHz clock-speed;
  • Can take advantage of the CPUs with the Hyper-Threading technology enabled;
  • i865G chipset with ICH5;
  • 2 DIMM slots for up to 2GB of PC2700 or PC3200 DDR SDRAM memory;
  • Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics 2 core;
  • 1 PCI slot and 1 AGP 8x slot;
  • 1-channel ATA-100/66/33 integrated controller;
  • 2 Serial ATA-150 ports;
  • USB 2.0 ports;
  • 2 FireWire (IEEE1394) ports;
  • 10/100Mb/s Ethernet adapter;
  • 6-channel AC’97 audio solution with S/P DIF support;
  • 200W PSU;
  • Chassis: 307(W) x 255 (D) x 215 (H);
  • Cooling: OTES Cooling System with FanEQ control;
  • IR receiver.

Quite shockingly, the device costs just about $320 to $355 in Japan, a country with relatively high prices in comparison to the Northern America and Europe. Hence, even if the DiGiDice barebones will cost about $300 in the rest of the world, this will be a quite interesting option. However, there is still a question if the customers bite this one or not.

SFF barebones is an emerging market with quite a lot of prospects, but a relatively weak one at this point. Corporate customers do not get stylish barebones, neither does the majority of system integrators who sell PCs to corporate clients. End-users in the SOHO and home-entertainment sectors also prefer to get a computer box from a well-known vendor – such as Dell or HP – at a very tasty price and with quality support. The DIY clients concentrate on building custom-made systems with maximum overclockability, expandability and whatever peculiarities they think are important. PC barebones do not fit into these general markets and sales volumes of such products are not as generous, as analysts expected a year ago.

With ABIT DiGiDice barebone we see a new trend in SFF systems. ABIT provides overclockability and expandability for end-users with demand for additional tweaking and performance adjusting. Such customers usually try to tailor their computers specifically for their own needs and will hardly buy a system with kind of fixed functionality. But still, we’ll live and we’ll see.

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