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  1. #1
    Supreme Overlord Spookster's Avatar
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    Shrinking Computer Components

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/ptech/0...eut/index.html

    Now that is a small hard drive. It makes me wonder if desktop PCs will ever get smaller. Hardware can easily be shrunk down and even now doesn't take up a lot of room inside a PC case so when are we going to start seeing desktops shrink down to the size of a toaster?
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    Obviously one of those drives would never be accepted inside a desktop PC — only 4 gigs? However, I see where you're going. Surely they'll replace flash memory sticks?
    David House - Perfect is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. (Antoine de St. Exupery).
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    I belive the real problem lise in the inter-component interfaces. They need to be replaced with new technologies for us to really move towards smaller computers. Just look at how "easy" it was change CPU for the Apple G4 Cube.
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    Supreme Overlord Spookster's Avatar
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    Well even inside todays desktops there is alot of unecessary space that is never used. The desktop PC takes up so much space on a desk. If they can shrink computers down to the size that laptops are then why are desktop PCs still so large? I would think they would want to shrink things down to a size that is easier to work with.

    Now if they can shrink harddrives down to that size i'm thinking other components should soon follow and in turn shrink the size of the desktop down.

    I'd love to be able to set my desktop on top of my desk and not have it look awkward because it is so big.
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    Remember: a lot of air is reserved so the air flow keeps the temperature down. Water-cooled is always an option, but air-cooled a lot of space is (presumably) reserved.
    David House - Perfect is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. (Antoine de St. Exupery).
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    Because for a desktop machine you want to be able to put a very wide range of components. And because there is a certain requirement for air flow... Apple made the case larger but didn't include more usable interfaces in the G5 compared to the G4, just to ensure good airflow. (Apple's the best company to compare here, because they are very consistent, unlike the PC market, but use practically the same components...)
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    Originally posted by me'
    Remember: a lot of air is reserved so the air flow keeps the temperature down. Water-cooled is always an option, but air-cooled a lot of space is (presumably) reserved.
    If space is need to keep the temperature down then how do laptops keep the temperature down?

    What I would like to have is a cross between a laptop and a desktop. A desklap or a lapdesk. I'd like a desktop to take up no more space than a laptops hardware area but not necessarily flat. More cube-like would be preferrable (much like the macintosh cube computer however I refuse to acknoledge macitosh as being a computer. ).

    So basically I want a toaster size cube that contains everything and I would like a breakout box for all the connectors. Maybe even a wireless breakout box. That would be cool. Actually that would be very cool.

    Ok someone go build be one now please.
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    This is what I want.

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    Laptops keep the temperature down by placing everything on the same card instead of several (air flow again...), placing fans and CPU strategically, using good temperature conductors in a sealed space to distribute the heat more evenly, keeping the power usage down, reducing processor speed when temperatures get too high (ie when the processor is working as most), using processors that are made with the trade speed vs. temperature etc. Also they often trade one power-hungry device for another. For example, the processor speed goes down when you use the hard drives or CD/DVD, and the graphics card goes down in activity when the processor is more active.

    Even if the processor is the same speed, bus size etc. you often see a large difference between a laptop and a desktop PC because a desktop PC runs everything as fast as it gets, relying on air flow to cool it instead of power and temperature management.
    liorean <[lio@wg]>
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    To get started on the toaster read this (click on the "Chapter 10 Assembly Instructions")

    For some reason when I first saw that picture I thought, "Man thats a big quarter".

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    Additionally, you usually only have one hard drive and one optical drive in a notebook. But in a PC you can have several hard drives, and HDs do produce a lot of heat. Notebooks keep the HD heat down by using 4200rpm drives (however you can get 5400prm drives) and keeping the size down by only offering smaller capacities.

    Those cube machines, like what Shuttle and now Falcon Northwest make are examples of toaster like PCs but again you sacrafice the range of components and some overall speed for a smaller footprint.
    OracleGuy

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    Ok so just create a better cooling system. They should build some kind of mini AC system that pumps cold air through it.

    I want my toaster puter and I want it now!!
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    I suspect the biggest reason keeping PCs the same size is intertia. PC parts (drive bays, card sizes etc) have all become standardised. While it's easy enough now to build a high-performance audio or video card a lot smaller, PC cases are built to take them at one size. With laptops, you tend to find there is less interchangability of parts between manufacturers or models.

    New technologies -- like USB and FireWire -- are most likely to change this. But maintaining a high degree of modularity and interchangability is still quite important.

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    I can't even find my HD : Gateway 610XL | specs...
    hmm... ?

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    Here's an interesting development along these lines:

    http://news.com.com/2100-1041_3-5175664.html
    Check out the Forum Search. It's the short path to getting great results from this forum.


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