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Xi3 Piston Is Preparing For Launch

By NAG3LT11-03-2013

During CES 2013 Xi3 has proudly advertised their small living-room Piston PC as the first 3rd party "Steam Box". During the SXSW Gaming Expo, Xi3 has opened the pre-orders for the device and announced the final price – $999.99 for base version with 128GB SSD. You may opt for more storage, up to 512GB for additional $750 and a $100 discount is provided for pre-orders made during the SXSW event (before March 18th). The device is scheduled to release during 2013 holiday season.

When it comes to hardware specifications, it looks like nothing has changed from X7A. The core components are AMD's 3.2GHz R464 "Trinity" quad-core APU with Radeon HD 7660G iGPU and 8GB DDR3 RAM. It will run on Linux (you can install different OS yourself) and will consume just 50W at load (half as much as the X360). In terms of graphical power, HD 7660G is similar to X360 and PS3 GPUs, but is much weaker than HD 7850 level iGPU in PS4. The quad-core CPU may be in similar performance range as octa-core "Jaguar" in PS4.

Using Xi3 Piston as HTPC will provide performance and peripherals good enough for 4K video (3840x2160) playback, but storage may be too small. As a gaming device – it competes decently with current generation consoles, but lacks graphical power for next-gen. The modular design will allow for upgrades in the future, and those might provide it with something closer to 8th generation consoles, but as Xi3 will be sole provider of updated modules, those won't come cheap. Furthermore, current Steam game library on Linux is small and even if Valve adopts some Windows compatibility layer as a way to extend Linux game library, Piston's performance is too low to take that hit. Overall, the cost of upgradeability and fitting into the palm of your hand is a very bad price/performance ratio. With that in mind, it becomes hard to think up a scenario where Xi3 Piston would be a good purchase. Maybe, it will get better with new models, but being an early adopter doesn't seem worth it.


Comments (2)
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Posts: 1548

Probably wont be worth it for a long time

Posts: 237

1000$... i know that its small and has a lot of horse power.. but thats a lot of money for me. That and it may as well be 1000 euros here