It looks like these new smaller modular desktop system are going to become more and more popular. Samsung has just released their “ArtPC Pulse” modular desktop PC, which is their first desktop in quite some time (in the U.S. anyway).
As you can see from the photo above the ArtPC Pulse is a cylindrical-designed PC, much like Apple’s Mac Pro or MSI’s Vortex. Actually many of these PC’s are designed in this way, except maybe for Gigabyte’s BRIX series. Samsung’s ArtPC Pulse includes a omnidirectional Harmon Kardon speaker at the top of its aluminum body. Samsung says that the PC is ’87 percent’ the size of the average desktop. You really can’t tell from the photos but it is only 10.7-inches tall and 5-inches wide.
There are two versions of the device listed right now on Amazon, the most expensive ($1599) feature an 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, AMD Radeon RX 460 (2 GB), 256 GB NVMe SSD, 1 TB HDD, 1 USB-C port, four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, Ethernet, and an SD card reader. The second lower-end model ($1199) drops the processor down to a 2.7 GHz Core i5, the memory is cut in half to 8GB of DDR4, and you only get the 256GB NVMe SSD.
It is not clear what parts of the system are actually modular. We would assume the memory and storage, but it would be cool if you could upgrade the graphics as well, but that if very unlikely given the design. With Samsung getting back into Desktops with the ArtPC Pulse could we see more large companies releasing similar desktops?