Thin is in, as it pertains to the tech world, and the current trend is towards increasingly skinny devices. Just take one look at the Ultrabook frenzy, including similar devices that don't carry Intel's official Ultrabook label, but are just as flat and portable nonetheless. Catering to this crowd of thin and light machine owners is OCZ, which is rolling out a line of low profile Vertex 3 solid state drives.
Corsair has come up with a solution for anyone having trouble trying to squeeze a monstrous CPU cooling solution into their rig only to find that the RAM is getting in the way. It's the company's new Vengeance LP DDR3 memory series. These low profile kits feature heat spreaders with a reduced height of 1.03 inches (25.25 millimeters), nearly an inch shorter than the standard height of 1.87 inches (47.37 millimeters).
Its powerplant, the NVIDIA GT430, features 96 CUDA cores, a 700MHz core clockspeed, 1GB of DDR3 clocked at 900MHz, a 128-bit memory bus, 4 ROPs, and 585 million transistors. The presence of NVIDIA’s Pure Video engine means that it can even accelerate Blu-ray 3D media.
According to Asus, the card is exceptionally durable owing to “highest quality components, including ASUS Dust-Proof fan, GPU Guard, and Fuse Protection,” with the fan alone adding 25% extra to its lifespan. It is available now for $79.99.
MSI had HTPC users in mind when it launched its R5670-PD512 videocard earlier today. Sporting a low profile design, the new card also comes equipped with dual fans for an added cooling punch.
According to MSI, the two-fan cooling solution provides 50 percent better airflow than a single fan, but that isn't all the R5670-PD512 has going for it. MSI is also touting the heatsink, which covers both the GPU and memory while still maintaining a low profile form factor.
MSI's variant sticks close to reference specs and comes clocked at 775MHz, while the 512MB of GDDR5 memory runs at 4040MHz on a 128-bit bus. Other features include "Military Class Concept" components, such as all solid capacitors and a solid state choke.
Asus wants you to feel good about yourself so they went and released the Bravo220 "home entertainment PC card." So what's there to feel good about? For one, the card's 21 percent more power efficient than competing models, so you can look Mother Nature in th eye without that twinge of guilt. And secondly, by investing in the Bravo220 you're making a statement to yourself that you're not going to spend every waking moment playing videogames - that isn't what this card was built for.
As you probably surmised, the Bravo220 is built around Nvidia's GT220 architecture. The GPU comes clocked at 525MHz and there's a 1GB frame buffer chugging along at 400MHz (800MHz effective) on a 128-bit bus. It's HDCP compliant, supports resolutions up to 2560x1600, and has DVI-I, D-Sub, and HDMI ports. So before you ask, no, it's not going to run Crysis, not with the eye candy cranked up anyway, but it will fit right in with your home theater setup.
Towards that end, Asus developed a special Bravo Media Center interface they say is intuitive, and it comes with a remote control to boot. The cooling solution is passive, so there's no fan to distract you from those quiet scenes, and Asus says their Splendid Plus technology will reduce noise and artifacts while improving conversion rates.
What Asus didn't say is when it will ship and for how much.
Nvidia’s ever growing arsenal of graphics cards has just broken into the low profile market with their Quadro NVS 420. The card features 512MB of memory, 11.2GB/sec per GPU of bandwidth, a CUDA Parallel Computing Processor, and can power up to four 30-inch displays at 2,560 x 1,600.
Admittedly the cards specs along with its size make it a pretty impressive little beast, at $499 it doesn’t seem too practical. But, should there be any small form-factor PC users out there looking to get their hands on this much power, it will be available next month.