Sapphire's Edge VS series of mini-PCs: a 'revolution for gamers'?
Sapphire has just announced a new family of ickle PCs based on AMD’s latest Trinity APU. They’re also claiming that the new Edge VS series will represent a ‘revolution even for gamers’ thanks to its combination of high performance and portable, lounge-friendly form-factor.
We’re used to seeing Sapphire’s Edge PCs with APU tech inside, but traditionally they’d been running the weaker E-series chips. This VS series is promising the full A-series chips. Wassat? Well, the A-series chips house proper desktop CPU components as well as a decent, last-gen, Radeon graphics core at its heart.
The Edge VS 8 is the top-end choice right now, with an A8 APU - probably the 1.6GHz quad-core A8-4555M - doing all the grunt work inside that tiny, armoured chassis. It’s Radeon HD 7600G graphics core is a slightly clocked down version of the GPU in the top A10 series.
That should mean you’ll be able to get some decent gaming frame rates at 720p resolutions on your tele-box if you cut back the settings and post-processing effects a little. That should make for a neat little companion with Steam’s Big Picture Mode in your lounge. And with just 10% of the power draw of a normal desktop PC your electricity bill’s barely even going to notice it.
The standard versions come with 4GB RAM and a standard HDD installed, but there will be customisation options available so that you can jam in an SSD or another few gig of RAM up to 16GB.
The only snag at the moment is that it’s shipped without a Microsoft OS, so you’ll need to get creative with an external DVD drive or get your Windows install on a USB stick if you want to get in on the teeny gaming action.
I’ve got my review unit on order and will be stuffing Steam onto it as soon as I’ve got a spare second to get benchmarking.