Compact size and stylish looks
Our RISCube and SpaceCube machines are small, yet fully featured,
and even allow a sensible level of upgrading. A typical machine is just 19cm wide, 18cm high and 29cm front to back. That's about the
size of a stout shoebox! It is easy to assume that such a petite machine would be forced to make sacrifices in order to achieve its
goals, but in fact that isn't true. Our machines use the same "full size" components as larger machines - hard drives, floppy drives,
DVD drives, and even allow for expansion via PCI Express and PCI . It is even possible to do multi-disc RAID
hard drive arrays if you're really adventurous! As you'll find out below, innovative technology ensures that heat simply isn't a
problem (these machines run cooler and quieter than most larger machines), and you can utilise the fastest processors and components
High tech cooling for minimal noise
When building computers, we are extremely conscious of two competing factors - heat and noise. We aim to deliver
some of the quietest machines around, yet also offer top-tier performance. With performance comes heat, and to
get rid of heat, you often need fans which make noise. To solve this, various unique technologies are employed to
allow us to achieve our goals.
Starting with the chassis, the aluminium construction gives not only light weight, but also much higher heat
absorption than traditional steel or plastic designs. We pick our components with utmost care, taking into account heat, noise and reliability - we prefer graphics cards without fans, for example, as fans on graphics cards can be extremely noisy.
Careful positioning of components ensures smooth airflow through the machine, preventing heat build-up.
At the heart of our systems is the heatsink, heatpipe
and fan arrangements used to pull heat away from the components and exhaust it as efficiently and quietly
as possible.As you can see in the diagram, the heat is drawn away from the processor/ motherboard via
convection through the heat-pipes (heat rises) and then the slow-spinning (for low noise) fan exhausts the
hot air out of the rear of the computer. Normally a computer would just swirl hot air around inside by
mounting a (noisy) fan on top of the processor - by exhausting it out, our machines are usually around
10 degrees cooler than larger systems!
RISCubes and RISCBooks run RISC OS and Windows
And Linux too, if you'd like!
The presence of the letters "RISC" in our
product names indicate that a machine ships with two operating systems installed - RISC OS and Windows. For the
sake of brevity, we'll assume that you are familiar with these two operating systems, but if not, feel free to contact
us. The diagram below shows how the two operating systems can work together to produce a system that is more than
the sum of its parts...
Our systems bring the two operating systems together, so that you can drag and drop data between the two, whilst
you work. This means that you can utilise both Windows and RISC OS applications together, giving you the best
of both worlds. Our UniPrint technology allows RISC OS to print to virtually any printer available thanks to
this amazing technology. When on the Internet you will be able to use top RISC OS programs such as R-Comp's
Messenger Pro alongside the likes of FireFox, Chrome or Internet Explorer.
When you turn a RISCube on, you have a choice - RISC OS or Windows. If you select the RISC OS option, you
boot straight into the RISC OS desktop, ready to run your software at StrongArm speeds and often beyond!
But of course, sometimes you may wish to boot into Windows. Perhaps your kids have games which only
work on Windows, or you need to use special services which aren't RISC OS compatible. It's like having
two complete computer systems, but for the price of one!
We can now also offer Linux as a no/low cost option on all our range. You can find out more by clicking
here. Your machine can now have one, two or even three operating systems, even on our cheaper systems!
Performance Enhancement Technology
We are often asked what makes our machines special over "DIY" systems or those
supplied by other bulk-order companies. It is a valid question, and one with a variety
of answers. Our build quality, component selection, workmanship and support services are,
we feel, second to none, but what makes our systems stand out is our additional technology
to hugely improve system performance. In measurable benchmarks, our systems can be as
much as twice as fast as similar products from elsewhere! Some of our techniques are
simple, others more significant, but there are quite literally *hundreds* of enhancements
(related to both software and hardware) made to each and every system, in order to ensure optimal
performance, and maximum stability.
We test each system in a variety of benchmark situations, both under Windows and (if applicable)
RISC OS. We are looking for both performance and stability - benchmarks push a system to its
limits, and therefore give a strong indication of system reliability. Tests are left running
for longer periods to ensure that machines are robust. If performance or reliability are below
par, we obviously investigate thoroughly, and don't allow machines to leave until we are happy
that they meet our rather exacting standards.
Finally, we aren't afraid to try new things if we feel it brings tangible benefits to our
customers. We were one of the first suppliers in the UK to offer Centrino-powered desktop
systems to our customers (in the form of our RISCube Ultra), because we found that it offered
previously unheard levels of quietness and superb RISC OS performance. Some six months later,
the mainstream suppliers/ press are finally waking up to the benefits of that technology!