Xi3 Piston Will Launch on November 29
Xi3 looks like a technology company with a very successful PR department. After all, they have managed to make everyone know about their small Piston PC. Their latest announcement on Monday revealed the launch date – November 29, this year (those who pre-ordered may receive theirs earlier – on 15th) and confirmed the final specifications:
3.2GHz quad-core AMD processor with 384 "programmable discrete-class graphics cores"
8GB of RAM
128 GB SSD (Base $999 model)
The only changes are the second SATA connector for another SSD and an additional SD-card slot. It seems that the CPU is still AMD's 3.2GHz R464 "Trinity" quad-core, with a Radeon HD 7660G iGPU. Not much power for gaming, competing against X360 and PS3 in the living room is an old story these days. Ability to add more storage may help with using Piston as HTPC, but large SSDs are still very expensive. Just as in March, the size seems to be the only thing Piston offers for its large price and that is not a compelling enough reason to choose it over larger, but much more capable mini-ATX PCs.
The price seems even more problematic after seeing cheaper new GPUs from Nvidia and AMD and gaming versions of Gigabyte's BRIX which should offer much better performance than Piston is a slightly larger body.
Finally there is whole Steam Machine business, which was the way Piston has gained its notoriety. Most likely Piston will not ship with SteamOS pre-installed, as Xi3 learned about it at the same time as everybody else. It will be possible to install it on Piston, like on most other PCs. It is not unique in its ability to run Steam and it is not the good reason to choose this pricey box over other alternatives. Unless $1000 is a small sum for you, it seems not worth it to spend it on Xi3 Piston.