If you saw AMD’s upcoming Project Quantum system revealed on Tuesday, you might be surprised to find out that the ultra-powerful machine is actually kitted out with an Intel processor, in this instance the Intel Core i7-4790K Devil’s Canyon processor.
AMD’s been pretty upfront about not wanting the small form factor Project Quantum gaming PCs to be uncompromised in any way whatsoever, fitting the very highest-end components in alongside its dual-GPU Radeon R9 Fury X2, and in this instance it’s sided with Intel’s Core i7 central processing unit rather than its own AMD FX range.
This is a tacit admission that AMD's current crop of CPUs aren't up to scratch, but we can see it's clearly aware of the shortcomings. Much like it's done with its graphics cards reveals this week, we're expecting AMD to really turn things around with its next-generation Zen microarchitecture.
The machine itself is a remarkable feat, packing in 17 TFLOPS of power into its tiny case. This makes it more than capable of solid 60 frames per second gaming at 4K, a feat beyond all but the most powerful gaming PCs.
Beyond the performance, what makes the Project Quantum special is that it’s a SFF build, but only is it tiny but it’s also practically silent. AMD has achieved all of this by making use of a unique dual-chamber design. The processing hardware is in one chamber while the water cooling system is housed in another, delivering efficient cooling in a small space.
“The uniqueness of Quantum is the fact that it actually has biscuits design, where the bottom side does all the water-cooling of the components and the upside does the cooling of the water itself,” said AMD thermal architect Ali Merrikh.
The full specs of the machine includes the AMD Radeon Fury X2 dual-GPU graphics card, the Intel Core i7-4790K CPU, an ASRock Z97E-ITX motherboard, and what is presumably a pair of 8GB RAM sticks.
AMD reckon you’ll be able to get a rock-solid 60 frames per second when playing at 4K resolution with this setup, made possible thanks to the dual-GPU R9 Fury X2 graphics card. We’re waiting on official benchmarks but early specs suggest each Fiji core is as powerful as a GTX 980 Ti. The card comes with a total of 8GB high bandwidth memory (HBM), 4GB for each GPU, and it’s going to be possible to make use of all 8GB once DirectX 12 hits.
It’s a custom machine so it’s going to be difficult for home builders to make one of these for themselves, particularly at these sizes, but it could be used as a blueprint to PC builders. No details on pricing yet but it’s bound to be extremely expensive - the GPU alone could cost as much as $1500. AMD is targeting a release for this system later this year.
Is the Quantum a little expensive for your tastes? Can you see the biscuit-build taking off?