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Here's what's inside AMD's incredibly powerful Project Quantum

AMD
AMD

At E3 2015, AMD unveiled Project Quantum, a tiny but powerful concept PC that accommodates an enthusiast-class Radeon Fury X video card.

The project itself is in the prototype stage, with no word as to when (or if) AMD intends to commence retail availability. However, the folks at PC World were able to secure a prototype machine, giving us a first look at the internal hardware.

AMD's Project Quantum is unique in its ability to cram such high-end hardware in a small form factor. While there are several mini-ITX cases that come with sufficient room to fit large video cards, the dual-chambered design is distinctive, and sets the machine apart.

QUantum

The attention to detail AMD lavished on Project Quantum is evident from the design of the triangular rubber feet, meant to mimic the vendor's logo.

AMD Project Quantum

Project Quantum's top half consists of the cooling elements, with a 180mm radiator, pump and a 3D-printed reservoir.

AMD Project Quantum

The back of the PC houses the power and display connectors, an assortment of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports as well as Ethernet and audio ports. To accommodate all the hardware in a small form factor, AMD moved the PSU outside.

AMD Project Quantum

The lower half houses the hardware, which consists of an AMD-branded SSD and a Fury X video card with stacked HBM:

AMD Project Quantum

Interestingly, AMD went with Intel's Core i7-4790K "Devil's Canyon" CPU for Project Quantum, stating that it did so to accommodate what end-users would want in a high-end machine.

AMD Project Quantum

The motherboard is an ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac board, but AMD has modified it so that it can face downward in the case to facilitate contact with the water block.

AMD Project Quantum

All in an enclosure that measures 6.5 inches tall by 9.5 inches wide by 9.5 inches deep. What do you guys think of Project Quantum?

Source: PC World

67 Comments
  • AMD used an Intel CPU... Omg. Lol. They are desperate to get those Fury GPU's used. That's is unreal. That said, a 4790k with a Fury x is a very nice PC. So the radiator is... Plastic?? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • OMG IKR!!!! I was thinking the same!! Wow who's gunna buy an AMD CPU now???
  • They're not stupid. They know their FX CPUs don't have the grunt to take on Haswell/Broadwell/Skylake i5s or i7s. It's actually a really smart decision.
  • Sure, its good for the consumer. They don't have an answer for Intel, in that market spot, right now. It's just kinda sad... They are the "#2" and they can't even use their own hardware in a product like this. It doesn't exactly give the consumer any faith in their CPU's. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The average consumer doesn't know what you're talking about.
  • Lack of real competition is never good for the consumer.
  • I think a dumber thing to do is to be proud and cripple a project like this with one of their CPU's.  They made the right move.  Still, their graphics cards and APU's are quite good.
  • @Ibp775 It's an enthusiast product, though. AMD just isn't very competitive for "endgame" gaming PC builds. They're ok for most high-end stuff, but just don't have a cpu that's a good match for what a Fury-X gpu is meant to do.
  • Actually, it's quite an interesting move. They have the graphics but have always been low on the cpu. If it wasn't for the graphics AMD may have been out of business a while ago. This is an experiment they should try and get to market and see if they can make some money.
  • Yea, I have an A10 and its like an i3 with a high end R7 in one... If they can get up to an i5 speed and have a high end R9 grade graphics unit, an A14 if you will, they would do really well... even if they were 300, still cheaper than the Intel Ati combo... Also they need to make GDDR5 sticks of RAM (and new slots yes I know) so I can choose how much graphics ram I can have for an APU, instead of shared DDR3 ram... It would be like Intels quad channel ram only one bank is GDDR5 and the other is DDR3/4... That's something they can actually attain and beat Intel at, which I think would be very popular.... Imagine sticks of 8Gb GDDR5.... mmmmm
  • AMD current product has different class with Intel Core i7 4790K. The reason they using their direct competitors product may reasonable but still quite interesting thing to do
  • Yeah its odd when they support hybrid crossfire on amd boards though they could still use lucidlogix(not all mbs support that though)
  • Hybrid crossfire isn't supported on the Fury...or on any mid-to-high end discrete card for that matter.
  • I think it has more to do with the heat and power consumption; Intel beats them hands down in that department.
  • I agree I am looking to build a new PC here soon and the top FX chips are 220w while the new skylake i7 is 95w. That's a huge difference in heat and yearly operating cost.
  • It's surely a good move, but from my point of view AMD has always a problem with heat dissipation so it become logic to use Intel's CPU in this small little box !
  • I'd rather get Commodore64 with a tape drive than this. More fun for less money.
  • I loved my Commodore 64s. I had three of them growing up and first learned BASIC on them. Aaand now I'm showing my age!
  • A sign of things to come in next generation console design perhaps. It certainly packs major heat in a small form factor, but what is it's durability like?
  • AMD also said, that later you would be able to configure your PC with the CPU you want (e.g. another Intel-Skylake-CPU or the new AMD Zen-CPU in 2016).
  • I trully hope AMD get back in the game whether it be their new CPU or by upping their APU game.... Intel needs a fight, ARM have given them a good run on low power, but we haven't seen processor improvments anthing like we used to when they were more evenly matched with AMD, though IBM was also around back then
  • I trully hope AMD get back in the game whether it be their new CPU or by upping their APU game.... Intel needs a fight, ARM have given them a good run on low power, but we haven't seen processor improvments anthing like we used to when they were more evenly matched with AMD, though IBM was also around back then
  • Indeed.
    It is sad to see, that so few people buy their CPUs. Especially when they are building gaming PCs where I'd rather go for a cheap AMD instead of a way to overpowered Intel chip that just sits there and has nothing to do since most games only use the gpu.
  • Smart move by AMD to use the Intel CPU. I have NEVER has a good experience using AMD CPUs.
  • As smart as it is, still pretty funny.
  • I have an FX 8350...I have no problems.
  • Same here.
  • the funny thing about that, is that every AMD build i have completed has been much more stable than my Intel builds (fewer crashes). Even though they got about 20% lower framerates than thei intel builds.
  • AMD using an Intel CPU... Lol, now that's funny.
  • I want one ! But I probably don't have 2000 dollars or equivalent for this awesome thing.
  • That's inevitable guys, Microsoft WILL buy AMD in the close future.. just like microsoft is focused on iOS/android apps being better than the 1st party counterparts, AMD's vision of a powerfull computer uses Intel for cpu!! Come on, those two companies are extremely alike!
  • I thought ms already bought amd :o
    Also just me or is MS buying all the European based hardware firmes to just cut jobs in those firmes lol :D
    On the other hand, ms would make millions of dollars out of it since every ps4 has a amd chip in it , and every sold ps4 makes ms richer ^^
  • Actually it would be great because it would mean that next gen console would either be an MS win either way or PS5 would be based on Intel/nexty gen of Cell CPU <= much better that AMD.
  • Omg, I hope they don't buy AMD... Why would they? Lol. Unless they are going to use their name power to high top design engineers and start over. Isn't MS kinda making it clear they DONT want to be in the hardware business? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The phone hardware business. I'm sure Microsoft is happy with their Surface and Xbox console. Buying AMD wouldn't be much of a surprise. Microsoft buys everything. Posted via Lumia 520 XL
  • Surface is only meant to fill a small corner of the market, as well as a way to show OEM's "how its done". You don't buy an entire manufacturer of processors, boards, GPUs, and more just for that and a game console. Even Apple has another manufacture for their CPUs. Sure, it'd allow vertical integration, but unless Microsoft either severely downsized AMD to fit the smaller production runs and product catalog (think Nokia Devices & Services, but worse), or decided to piss off OEMs and spin Surface off into an entire line of PCs, tablets, & 2-in-1s, then otherwise it'd make little financial sense to buy them.
  • If they really buy AMD, they could optimise a new cpu for mobiles and use it their surface phone line ( if there is any). Moreover they could also pack a gpu inside the surface pro 2 in ones( With an intel cpu ofc). It would boost the performance and sales will skyrocket. They can also use it to create a seperate Soc for the hololens.
  • But would Intel allow then to use the x86 architecture? They have a special contract with AMD afaik
  • That's the problem, I think AMD can't sell out without losing their license with Intel. But AMD does own the 64bit architecture so they could use that as leverage since that is more important now.
  • That is a point. Every new PC on the market almost is 64-bit (even if some are running 32-bit Windows due to RAM & Storage)
  • I found its quite hard to find a decent psu that could fit that or mitx even ones that are semi modular have the essential outlets placed in the wrong area
  • Somebody needs to remind AND to dogfood their own products.
  • It's a trap Posted via Lumia 520 XL
  • Never had an issue arise that my 8350 couldn't handle.
  • Me either. I think the biggest reason they went with an Intel CPU is because of power consumption and heat from the FX chips. In a small form factor like this, heat is a big deal and I think it was a smart move to go Intel.
  • Agreed
  • Same here. I love all those who buy an i7 for gaming although an i5 or a AMD FX is capable enough to handle almost any game since they are only taxing the GPU ...
  • I seriously laughed for a minute when I saw the intel CPU
  • What a sad state AMD is in now...
  • The more likely reason for choosing an Intel CPU is thermal/power
  • Why not AMD CPU?
  • They clearly make more profit selling high-end GPUs than their relatively low-end CPUs. They are playing to the market to sell their more profitable products. It's a smart move. What gamer who wants that GPU will use an AMD CPU? Someone in the comments said they laughed when they saw the Intel CPU, but more importantly AMD recognized that the people that would actually buy this thing would laugh if they saw an AMD CPU in it. Good move AMD.
  • I would agree if you'd mention something like rendering. But gaming? Seriously? My CPU never gets over 50% usage and a friend if mine is using a six y/o i7. Games nowadays almost solely use the GPU
  • I'd wager because of heat mostly.
  • When they got to the "hey and we are going to use an Intel CPU" the marketing manager should have shut the whole thing down. You can not make a bigger PR blunder than that.
  • Pairing their high end card with a mid market cpu for a device designed for a small market would've been a mistake.
  • Not using an AMD processor is a terrible message for consumers : "We're not eating our own dog food".
    Seriously.
  • Cool design and all. But how does it cool?
  • Watercooling. It has a radiator, a pump and a reservoir shown on the 4th photo.
  • I'm nit sure if NVIDIA makes their own CPU's but I believe usually they use intel. Maybe AMD is like, our graphics are great. Windows 10 and Direct x12 are giving a slight advantage over NVIDIA. Maybe their done trying to compete with intel and just compete solely with NVIDIA.
  • ASRock is bullshit and low-end material... It would be really better with an ASUS motherboard, which are high-end material !
  • as a side-note, ASRock is a side-off company of ASUStek back before in 2008.
  • Amd knows their cpu's are not powerful enough to push their 2 fury x cards. With respect to the FX 8350 its a very good processor i have one myself. But the FX 8350 bottlenecks these cards at higer resolutions. They Made a good business decision to use Intel cpu's because of the benefit. Hardcore gamers like to see high fps which will not be possible with the FX 8350 to drive two fury x to their full potential. Price performance ratio the FX 8350 is very good for 1080p gaming. But beyond 1080p you will need Intel. This will change with Zen.
  • I would love to own this PC, whether it had an AMD or Intel CPU. I always love SFF PCs, and this takes the cake in my opinion!
  • Wicked. Would buy one at a reasonable price.
  • I love how the ethernet port is crooked. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I like the fact that every writer at windowscentral is now deleting my comments from all posts. This shows the respect and power of truth. Truth wins...