updated 04:58 pm EDT, Wed September 3, 2014
Custom computer builder talks about new technology, products and new items in the works
Computer manufacturers were in full force at Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, showing off different machines utilizing the new Haswell Extreme Edition processors and X99 chipset that Intel announced at the beginning of the show. One such manufacturer was iBuyPower, bringing one of the machines to the show to power an Oculus Rift demo.
When speaking with a representative for the company about the adoption of the new components, it was said that the technology would eventually be available across the company's desktop computer lines. For now, the new motherboards and processors are available through the customer system configurator. In fact, some X99-based machines had already been sold after the announcement from Intel was made.
As for any issues adapting to the new technology, as with other manufacturers at the show there had been issues with the DDR4 RAM for the systems. While there were initial supply concerns, since only a few manufacturers have DDR4 DIMMs on the market, things are getting better. It was also added that there wouldn't be a hard transition that would see a previous generation of hardware dropped by the company. The company says it is about the ability to customize and give consumers flexible upgrades.
On that note, some of the details of the company were covered in how iBuyPower does things differently than other builders on the market. Rather than trying to fit consumers into specific pre-built models or limiting their choices to just a few, the company wants to give consumers the ability to choose what works the best for them. Whether it's one of the company's signature systems or a customized notebook from Asus, Gigabyte or MSI, the company says it wants to offer options so that buyers get a machine that's a good fit.
It helps that iBuyPower is one of the only companies in the computer market that is authorized for custom machines from the aforementioned companies. The builder gets the machines in a bare bones state that is different than what consumers would grab off the shelf, allowing them to put the components in that a buyer wants.
As for new products from iBuyPower, some new things are in the works -- as the company is always looking for things to set it apart from the competition. For example, the builder is working in an iOS app that would allow certain aspects of the machines to be adjustable, and allow the owner to receive notifications about the computer. This includes adjustable LED lighting that is being looked into. Other responsive design features could also be triggered through the app. These features are said to be direct works, rather than things from other companies like Roccat or Razer.
The topic of Steam Machines came up as well, since the company was one of the builders that announced it would be selling a PC home console for SteamOS. While there weren't many details, it was mentioned that an announcement would be coming in the future. It was hinted at that perhaps there would be something coming up about different operating systems for the SBX.
Sticking to smaller machines, some information was shared about iBuyPower's success with small form factor ITX machines. While the small Hexa A machine isn't the hottest seller for the company, it is meeting internal sales projections. With the industry witnessing a softening on the market for small machines, it's a positive sign that they are at least selling as expected.