We got a quick look at a tiny and rather odd-looking PC during AMD CEO Lisa Su's presentation at the PC Gaming Show, but her talk was all about the dual-GPU Fiji card, and so the strange little box came and went almost entirely without comment. Fortunately, PC World got a closer look at the machine that AMD calls Project Quantum.
Mini-PCs are nothing new, but Project Quantum stands out for its sheer power. Su said in her presentation that it's a "16 teraflop gaming system," while PC World rates it at 17.2 teraflops; either way, it's a lot more horsepower than what you'd normally see in something you can pick up with one hand. The unusual case design facilitates cooling, with a 180mm radiator and fan in the upper compartment and the actual components in the lower; wiring and flexible hosing run through the central trunk.
Surprisingly, Project Quantum isn't powered by an AMD CPU, but by an Intel Devil's Canyon Core i7-4790K, a chip that handily outmuscles anything AMD currently has on the market. AMD stated that Project Quantum is a standard Mini-ITX design, however, so an AMD CPU could be used instead.
Unfortunately for enthusiasts, the case itself is very much non-standard. It was machined and built by hand, and relies on an external power supply; the water blocks were custom-machined out of pure copper as well. Fewer than a dozen of them were made, all to showcase AMD's new graphics cards. Sorry, guys. [Update: there is some conflicting information which says AMD plans to bring it to market. We've contacted AMD for clarification.]