CES 2013 CoverageBosco -
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Our visit to ECS showed that the move to smaller form factor computing is well on the way. The company was showing off a series of barebones all-in-ones ranging from the 18.5 inch G18 to the 23.6 inch touch panel-equipped G24. What is interesting is that these units are built to use motherboards based on the Thin Mini-ITX form factor. A series of SFF form factor enclosures were displayed in a variety of sizes.
ECS was the only manufacturer we visited to show off a series of Thin Mini-ITX motherboards. These were all Intel-based solutions with a variety of chipsets that include H61, B75, Q77, and a board based on Intel's NM70 chipset. This board, the NM70-TI, is Windows 8 WHCK certified and features an integrated Celeron processor. A series of OEM tablet designs were on display too, with sizes ranging from seven to ten inches. As an OEM these will be shipped out to distributers to be branded.
This year without a lot of new chipset-equipped boards to show off, MSI has a small selection to look at with boards including the M-Power Z77 motherboard. Going forward the color scheming on boards will be consistent across the consumer lineup with Enthusiast boards seeing a more distinctive color scheme in blacks and greys instead of the standard black and blue seen over the past year. One new board shown off was the currently named (soon to change) X79A-GD45 Gaming that features eight DIMM sockets instead of four seen on some of the X79 product stack and is going to be IVB-E ready.
The Lightning model of MSI's video card lineup signifies this is the Halo design in the product stack. It's complete with a custom PCB, three part VRM circuit using military grade components, and its exclusive Twin Frozer cooling solution. On display was the N680GTX that features an 1100MHz base clock with a boost clock of 1176MHz on the GPU core and 2GB of onboard GDDR5 memory running at 15002MHz.
OCZ has a new focus and is better aligning a fractured product stack back into order to simplify the brand's offerings. On display were the latest enterprise and consumer products. The big show is the Vector series hard drives that feature OCZ's in-house INDILINX Barefoot 3 controllers. These come in both the standard 2.5 inch form factor as well as in a PCIe version sporting a pair of Barefoot 3 controllers on board. This PCIe version will come in sizes from 240 to 960GB and feature up to 1000MB/s read/write performance and up to 140,000 IOPs. Pricing will be in the range of $1.40 to $1.70 per GB.