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Soltek Computer, a well-known maker of mainboards and PC barebones, said this week it decided to equip its future small form-factor computers with more powerful power supply units in order to enable higher-speed central processing units and peripherals. The move indicates consistent increase in power consumption of conventional chips.

Soltek Launches New PC Barebones

The company’s new barebone personal computers, the Soltek EQ3801-300 and EQ3401-300P, are said to be furnished with 300W power supply units, providing more power for future central processing units from AMD and Intel Corp as well as other system components, such as graphics cards powered by chips from ATI Technologies or NVIDIA Corp..

“Both EQ3801-300 and EQ3401-300P series adopt the specially designed 300W PSU. The tailor-made 300W PSU offers extra headroom for next generation power-demanding components, peripherals, as well as ensuring the system stability,” the company said in the statement.

Soltek’s QBIC EQ3801-300-series is designed for AMD Athlon 64 processors in PGA754 packaging and based on NVIDIA’s nForce3 250Gb core-logic. The QBIC EQ3401-300P barebones are intended for Intel Pentium 4 chips in PGA478 infrastructure and based on Intel’s i865G chipset. Both families of small form-factor PCs offer typical set of high-end capabilities, such as Serial ATA-150 RAID, Gigabit Ethernet, 8-channel audio, USB 2.0, FireWire and so on.

Taiwan-based computer maker did not say when the new QBIC computers are planned to ship.

Components Require More Energy to Operate

Despite the fact that contemporary chips are made using extremely advanced fabrication processes and feature a number of methods aimed to reduce power consumption, higher clock-speed, transistor count, functionality and complexity of the processors again and again drive power consumption upwards. If the first Intel Pentium processors only required a tiny fan and a heatsink a decade ago, then today’s Intel Pentium 4 products may dissipate up to 115W and use huge coolers with powerful fans to remove the heat from the tiny microprocessors. Only about six years ago the most powerful 3dfx Voodoo2 graphics accelerator only required three petite heatsinks to operate, today NVIDIA’s GeForce 6800 Ultra graphics card uses large cooler and devours about 70W. While CPUs from Advanced Micro Devices and VPUs from ATI Technologies these days consume lower amount of energy compared to rivals’ offerings, they also merely increase consumption step by step.

“While offering extra power to the system, the heat-dispersion design in the PSU and IcyQ Technology by Qbic enables the powered-up Qbic to remain cool, quiet and fast,” Soltek said.

Earlier this year Shuttle Computer, the world’s most-successful maker of PC barebones, unveiled plans to incorporate 250W and 350W PSUs into forthcoming products, indicating that more advanced power supplies are required industry-wide.


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