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Castle introduces Iyonix cube

By Chris Williams. Published: 1st Aug 2005, 15:48:38 | Permalink | Printable

Cheap and cheerful

Cube based IyonixCastle have updated their range of RISC OS 5, XScale powered Iyonix computers, with the addition of a Aria Cube and X300 series of cases.

All machines still feature the usual 600Mhz IOP321 fitted motherboards. The Aria Cube Iyonix with a CD-RW drive, 80G hard disc and 256M of RAM is priced at 799 quid, which we believe is the lowest yet for a non-special offer Iyonix. However this only includes email based after sales support and does not include software such as Oregano 2, Writer+ and spreadsheet FireWkz32 that are usually bundled for free - these cost a further 100 quid. It's possible that the Aria Cube is aimed at punters looking for a second Iyonix or a RISC OS computer to complement other machines.

The new X300 is touted as a "compact, quiet, mini tower system with room for expansion", and starts at 999 quid again with a 80G hard disc and 256M of RAM.

All prices include VAT and exclude delivery, and all machines are shipped with a USB based memory card reader. The Iyonix was publicly launched in November 2002, and recently gained USB 2 support in February this year.

Links

Iyonix website

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Discussion

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Ho hum there goes one of our Iyonix uniqueness - again!

1st the panther and now this :rolleyes:

Of course purchasers cannot complain about the cases now... :-D

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 1/8/05 4:14PM
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"It's possible that the Aria Cube is aimed at punters looking for a second Iyonix or a RISC OS computer to complement other machines" Or presumably as competition for the A9Home?

Adam

 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 1/8/05 4:33PM
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What's interesting about this model is the motherboard form factor. Presumably Castle had a demand for a smaller motherboard in other areas, and was therefore able to make this - and yes, of course the A9 as well as the A6 and RiscCube competition I think are obvious.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 1/8/05 4:52PM
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mrchocky:

The Aria case takes a straight micro ATX motherboard - one of our Iyonixes is in one.

What is interesting is the fact that the case has no hole for a floppy drive & has built in card reader

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 1/8/05 5:13PM
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The one in the picture looks nice.

And the bit mrchocky said about the smaller motherboard is very good news indeed.

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 1/8/05 5:20PM
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Ah yes. It looks too small for it, but it's easy to forget how small the Iyonix motherboard is. As for floppies, I think I've used my Iyonix floppy drive once in 3 years, and my laptop certainly didn't come with one, so I wouldn't mourn its loss.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 1/8/05 5:25PM
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This is good news indeed as it means that people will be in a position to upgrade to an Iyonix with the least amount of "financial" pain.

It also means that the A9 won't be the only small form factor RISC OS machine. Ok, the Aria Cube is bigger than the A9 - but then it *does* have an expansion slot, a faster processor, twice the RAM and a built in CD-RW drive whilst the A9 does not. Pricewise given the Aria Cube's spec it looks like good value.

Also the fact it is using the existing Iyonix motherboard means that it's not as if it's a new and untried product.

Castle needed an answer to the A9 - and this seems to be it, and arguable a good repost it is too.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 1/8/05 6:17PM
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UKP 799 is described as an "introductory" price but it's still good progress. I guess people upgrading from a RiscPC may well not miss the software bundle either; if they've stayed up to date they'll likely have some apps in 32-bit compatible versions already.

Since it's the standard motherboard, it should be possible to add a floppy drive if necessary (though it's not clear whether there's a bay for it).

Good news, I think.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 1/8/05 7:22PM
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the aria case is the width of the Iyonix motherboard and is about 3 5/14" drives high.

so it isn't as skinny as PC based micro ITX computers.

However it is *small* and as AMS said has a 51/4" drive hole - please be aware that there is no 31/2 " hole - hence no floppy.

If you want one then you'll have to wait for USB floppy support to happen...

The PSU is a little bit of an issue - we've seen disc error 23s on boot several times :-(

However it is small and is seriously James Brown :-D

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 1/8/05 7:33PM
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I'm curious about this "no software bundle" thing on several levels. The lack of O2 would mean that it is extremely hard to pull the OS upgrades which aren't delivered through the normal upgrade watcher. Does anyone know a way round that?

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 1/8/05 8:38PM
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arawnsley: couldn't you use Netsurf or Firefox to download them from castles website? , very nice case though IMHO ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userleeshep on 1/8/05 8:44PM
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There's probably a demo version of Oregano bundled with it. The OS upgrades are actually downloaded by the upgrade watcher; the browser is just the mechanism for launching URLs of stuff the upgrade watcher doesn't know about; a demo version should do just fine, as of course, would NetSurf (Firefox presently lacks external URL launching) - clearly people buying this know what software they need to make it do what they want.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 1/8/05 9:01PM
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No floppy support - a pity. My son uses floppies for school projects. Is USB floppy support in the pipeline?

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 2/8/05 11:08AM
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There's floppy support, it just doesn't physically fit. And given there are no less than four other choices of case in which a floppy drive does fit, it's hardly a "pity".

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 2/8/05 12:32PM
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Colour considerations aside, as it's a standard Iyonix motherboard presumably one of these [link] plus a standard drive would be fine?

 is a RISC OS UserNieA7 on 2/8/05 12:54PM
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I tried my IBM USB floppy drive just now but it doesn't work (yet). I never use floppies anyway.

 is a RISC OS UserJaco on 2/8/05 1:09PM
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jaco: Yes, but there's only one 5.25 inch bay - losing your optical drive for the sake of a floppy's a bit of a sacrifice!

On a side note, I notice the case specs say: "3 x 3.5 [inch] bays (hidden)" - although quite what the use of a "hidden" bay is, I don't know.

Adam

 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 2/8/05 1:53PM
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Oops, I meant in reply to NieA7, obviously!

 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 2/8/05 1:54PM
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The internal/hidden bays could be used for hard drives.

 is a RISC OS UserPete on 2/8/05 2:11PM
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Hopefully selling a machine without a floppy drive will see support for USB floppys come - along with the removal of the 4 drive restriction in RISC OS!

One of our cameras reports itself as a USB floppy drive... :-(

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 2/8/05 3:09PM
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In reply to adamr: Oh whoops, missed that. I saw mention of three bays and assumed they were external 5.25" ones...

 is a RISC OS UserNieA7 on 2/8/05 3:58PM
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Just seen on El Reg that Intel are discontinuing the XScale (not the IOP321) so the Iyonix may not be such a competitor to the A9home for long....

[link]

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 2/8/05 6:42PM
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...and your point is what? Intel are canning a specific sub-type of XScale used in some PDAs and which they are plenty more options for, and isn't similar to those used in RISC OS machines.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 2/8/05 6:47PM
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simo> So what ? The Iyonix is *not* effected by *any* of this (the IOP321 is *not* being discontinued). Intel also shelved an ARM processor called the StrongARM some years back - what's the relevance.

I'd also point out that StrongARM although out of production can *still* be purchased (from warehouse stores rather than off Intel's own production line as it were).

Intel makes such announcements so that manufacturers have a *timely oppertunity* to switch to new processors. The same would occur for the IOP-321 (if/when) it is retired, and that isn't the subject of this announcement and is not going to happen for quite some time.

So I am afraid that the A9 is not going to find itself compeditorless just yet (thanks to the lower cost/slimmer Aria it's going to have a *more* serious compeditor), and when the 80321 passes away there is the even more jucey 80332 waiting in the wings and Castle will have more than enough time to get ready for that when the time eventually comes.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 2/8/05 7:05PM
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