High Spec RISCube
RISCube Ultra Duo
High Spec SpaceCube
Two computer platforms
Two processor cores
One small, smart box
The background to our RISCube and SpaceCube machines can be found elsewhere on this site, so we'll focus on what makes the RISCube64-X2 something worth getting excited about. Put simply, it combines two separate processors into a single chip, in one of our famous small boxes. The concept of multi-processor computing has been around for a long time, but historically it has been hugely expensive and rather impractical. The X2 technology in the RISCube64-X2 brings this into the mainstream, and allows everyone to take advantage. And when running two operating systems at the same time, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise that two processors would be a Good Thing!
Advantages of the RISCube64-X2
The key feature of the RISCube64-X2 is the dual core processor. Whilst it is tempting to think that two processors means double the performance, this usually isn't the case. Software needs to be written to take advantage of multiple processors, and whilst many heavyweight applications already do (eg. video editing software, 3D software, PhotoShop and many more), this isn't always the case. The good news is that because Windows is fully aware of the multi-core processor, it is able to offload applications onto whichever of the two CPU cores is least busy. This means that even if one of the cores is running flat-out, the other core is ready to run other programs without slowdown.
Are there any downsides?
We feel it is only fair to give you all the pros and cons of our machines. In the case of the RISCube64-X2, the only downside that we have seen is that machines like the RISCube Ultra may give more pure speed when running RISC OS. The difference between the machines is probably only about 20percent (maybe less) but nevertheless that discrepancy does exist. This is down to chip design, and how well RISC OS runs on a particular CPU. However, it is important to realise that pure speed is not the only yardstick to judge by. Whilst the RISCube64-X2 may lose out in peak performance benchmarks, it will feel smoother in use, thanks to the enhanced multitasking brought by the dual core CPU. The difference is between raw speed, and balanced multitasking smoothness.
RISCube64-X2 specification - £1099 inclusive
Depending on the specification of the system ordered, the RISCube64-X2 series is also available in silver. This chassis is a touch smaller and quieter than the black version, and allows the use of PCI expansion cards as well as a PCI-Express graphics board (the black version has two PCI-express slots). We will confirm this with you when you order. In the picture the CD and floppy bays are hidden behind "stealthed" front panels which drop down when you press the appropriate button. This allows the system to continue its smooth silver design through to the front panel.