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Take a closer look at AMD's tiny Project Quantum PC

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Project Quantum

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.]

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.