Monday, January 23, 2012

Cool Computer Stuff At CES 2012

While at least half the exhibit halls were full of iPod cases and headphones, there were some computer exhibits at CES 2012. Intel and Microsoft had huge and crowded booths, and there were plenty of ultra books on display, but since your Dude brought his MacBook Air to CES, ultra books were sooooo 2011. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. But these two items did catch the Dude's attention.

OWC was showing a prototype drive array system - Jupiter. Based on a mini-SAS back-bone, this array gives you all the benefits of fibre arrays, at a much lower price point. The benchmark tests they were showing in the booth were insanely impressive - read 1719 MB/s and write of 1578 MB/s. WOW. DOUBLE WOW. There will also be an upgrade path for switches to make this an affordable SAN. The blue case design will change, and it is targeted for an April launch. The Dude is excited.

Your Dudeness normally doesn't pay attention to Windows computers, being a committed Mac head, but this caught his eye in a big way. The Xi3 is about 4" square, and is the computer that the Mac Mini should have been. Besides its nice styling, and the cool different colours it comes in, is the genius of the upgradability of it - all the internal components are on removable modules, able to be swapped out down the road with different modules with newer components.

The Xi3 features an AMD processor, 2 eSATA ports, 6 USB ports, dual monitor
support, ethernet, and a SSD drive. And it only draws 20w of power. Because
it is so small, it can be attached to the back of a monitor, or hidden in
places you normally could never put a computer.

Because it draws so little power, it can be ganged together in small places
to be a render farm. Mmm.... Hats off to Xi3, a Utah company, for making a
better Mac than Apple.