Sun Feb 15 08:42:14 UTC 2009

small iron

So, a while ago I read this article on Rock Paper Shotgun concerning PC gaming in Japan. Money quote:
Now consider that most PCs are not only hideous and huge, but hot and noisy too. They've got the feng shui of land mines.
Oh yeah? Not on my watch!

But what can we do to get PC power in a console form factor?

Well, for one, we can cheat.

All the modern consoles use offboard power supplies, an extraordinarily cunning method of offloading the bulky and hot-running power supply circuitry. But we can go further, since the console manufacturers are limited by cost and practicality, while our hypothetical showboat console-like PC is not.

For one, consoles have to have a disc drive, since their business model is predicated on selling pieces of plastic. But that's wasted space, and a significant source of noise, if you run games off the hard drive using various digital distribution methods. And while we're at it, put the hard drive at the end of a eSATA cable, with the power supply.

The other source of noise is the cooling fans, which can be gotten rid of by watercooling the CPU and GPU, and putting the radiator with the power supply and the hard drive.

This doesn't leave a whole lot of computer left, pretty much just the motherboard, processor, memory, and video card. With a right angle pci-e riser card on the graphics card, and low-profile waterblocks throughout, (you could even use direct immersion cooling, and eliminate the vent holes) it would be a fairly small, streamlined package; smaller, and with several times the performance of any of the current generation consoles.

Anyway, just a thought I had.

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