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Iyonix on sale now: First batch at Midlands show

By Chris Williams. Published: 28th Nov 2002, 22:11:08 | Permalink | Printable

And the price is... revealed

The wait is over. The press release is out. The Iyonix is here and with a price. A price indeed! And all a day after the Omega is reportedly in production, fancy that? The official eye watering specifications are as follows:

  • Totally new motherboard design
  • 80321 XScale 32-bit ARM processor. This processor runs at 600MHz and is a system-on-a-chip, containing all the necessary interface electronics for things like PCI under the hood.
  • RISC OS 5 in FlashROM (Rewritten for 32 bit, equivalent to RISC OS 4.02 with added fun including updated font manager with unicode support and new icon set too)
  • 128MB 64-bit DDR RAM for high speed access at 200MHz
  • UDMA 80GB Hard Drive
  • Support for industry standard interfaces:

    • 2 64-bit PCI slots, 2 32-bit PCI slots
    • 4 USB 1.1 sockets
    • 2 RS232 serial ports
    • 10/10/1000baseT networking port

  • Dedicated high performance graphics card, nVidia GeForce2 MX400 (up to 2048x1536 in 16 million colours)
  • CD quality 16-bit Soundblaster support
  • CD-ReWriter (48x speed)
  • 240 Watt PSU with two near-silent fans
  • Wide range of bundled 32-bit software: Writer+ (word processor with enhanced Word import and export), Fireworkz (spreadsheet with Excel import and export), Oregano 2 (web browser), Messenger Lite (email client), PDF (for reading PDF files), Zool (game), CDBurn (CD writer). Also, USB printing support.

All for 1299 inc. VAT. Yes, there's your price, valid until the 31st December 2002 as a special launch price. The first 50 machines will be on sale at the Midlands RISC OS Show this Saturday. You'll probably want to be there. Castle are taking orders for the machine (finally), see the Iyonix website for ordering details.

We realised launch was imminent when Iyonix flyers started appearing through drobe.co.uk readers' letter boxes.

It's touching how the 500th drobe.co.uk article is the announcement of a 600Mhz 32bit RISC OS machine. The Iyonix has promised everything the user has been crying for: XScale processor, USB, PCI, nVidia calibre graphics system and faster networking. The next few days are going to be very busy.


Iyonix website (updated)
Full Iyonix launch press release from Castle
Iyonix compatibility database Resources for developers concerning the Iyonix

Previous: Show time for Unix Ports
Next: Midlands show report


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I have mine. You know you want one.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 28/11/02 10:22PM
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Thanks for calling me, get reviewing ;)

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 28/11/02 10:29PM
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Great! Just when PC prices finally drop to around 500 Castle launch a PC at 1300 and it looks like the price will be going up even higher after Xmas.

HumBug! :-)

 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 28/11/02 10:54PM
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You may have noticed that PCs don't run RISC OS nor RISC OS software (natively), which is why you'd use a RISC OS machine in the first place. Catch my drift?

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 28/11/02 10:56PM
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Actually I'd guess that the price of a lower specfied machine may appear in the future. At least, I hope so anyway. Also, it is about 50 cheaper than the price of the Omega on MicroDigitals website! (and higher specced too!) Cheers!

 is a RISC OS UserThe Doctor on 28/11/02 10:59PM
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And available now :p

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 28/11/02 11:22PM
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Oooo, but I have a big deposit down for the Omega :(

Hmmm, I remember when doing my Maths A-level there were 2 calculators that were the best so I bought them both....

Do I wait for Omega to turn up eventually or just buy Iyonix right now? Then get an Omega later and which ever I like the least, sell....

Arg. I will have to sleep on it.

 is a RISC OS Userdanielbarron on 28/11/02 11:36PM
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I wonder if MD will adjust their price in line with the Iyonix? Personally I thought the Iyonix would be a good bit cheaper than the Omega, that's not a criticism, the more R&D money that go to hardware developers the better.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 29/11/02 10:27AM
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Anyone know what Oregano 2 is like?

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 29/11/02 11:23AM
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I was hoping for a lower price too. I think they will find it all the harder to break into new markets with that price which is why I'm also hoping for a lower priced and specced machine. Sheer speculation of course. Cheers!

 is a RISC OS UserThe Doctor on 29/11/02 11:56AM
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I don't mind the price; present market economies dictate it, I'm afraid. As far as I'm concerned, it's worth every penny.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 29/11/02 12:17PM
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...or, rather, I *presume* it will be :-) It certainly looks like it.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 29/11/02 12:22PM
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I agree that it's very important that we got a better machine, regardless that it's a bit pricey. I don't forsee a cheaper model, I mean there's not much they could take out to reduce the price, but maybe in six months there will be a faster model, and the existing one will come down in price.

For daniel, who ordered an Omega, I'd contact MD and see how long you've got to wait, I have a bit of a soft spot for the Omega, it's got some really interesting features like two processors, JPEG in hardware, UMA etc. so it's not a ten-minute decision which one to get (not for the likes of me, anyway).

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 29/11/02 2:43PM
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For things they could take out to lower the price, I'd list The CD Writer, 80GB hard drive (replace with 20-30gb) and then remove the entire software bundle. I'd hope that would remove 150-200 from the price. Cheers!

 is a RISC OS UserThe Doctor on 29/11/02 3:16PM
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Fair enough, I thought you'd be after bigger reductions than that. If you were really keen to save the pennies you could always replace the bits yourself and try to sell the bits you took out.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 29/11/02 4:06PM
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 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 29/11/02 4:56PM
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You wouldn't save anything on a smaller hard drive unfortunately - it's hard enough to get hold of anything under 60Gb these days, and the price differential is stupid.

I was looking the other day and a 120Gb can be had for 99usd, a 40Gb however is about 70usd!

CD-RW the same, a 52x52x24 can be had for about 50usd, a 52x CD or 16xDVD-ROM is about 30-odd.

I always thought the Omega was going to be 999ukp and assumed the Iyonix would be that, or less. Bit disappointed with 1300ukp, the same price a SA-RPC used to be..... You'd think they'd throw in Aemulor and maybe even C/C++ for that!

Dell were selling a 2.4GHz P4 with DVD+RW for 99usd the other day, someone else was selling same for 199usd!

I was surprised to see that one of the precious PCI slots was taken up by a USB card, you'd think they could have put that on the board.

-- #include "sig.h"

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 29/11/02 4:59PM
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A 2.4Ghz P4 with DVD+RW for 99usd? Don't be ridiculous.

 is a RISC OS Userian on 29/11/02 6:14PM
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The spec on the Iyonix seems to be spot on. Although we might all LIKE a lower price - the reality is new hardware sold into a small market like ours costs (and now WE have to pay). The alternative (if you want to call it that) is a 600-700GBP no name PC running WindowsXP (ugh).

I'd be loathe to see the spec dropped (e.g., smaller/slower HDD, less RAM or less bundled software). Castle are right to spec the hardware so hardware/RO5 can be seen in as positive a light as possible.

-- Annraoi McShane,

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 29/11/02 7:50PM
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Does RISC OS 5 include any of the nice GUI improvements that are included in RISC OS Select? (Like the transparent drag and better looking shading for selected icons)



-- Michael Drake (tlsa) www.smoothartist.com

 is a RISC OS Usertlsa on 29/11/02 8:32PM
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Sorry Michael, no.

If you want the more advanced OS then you'll need to get an Omega as RISCOS ltd have quite clearly stated they are only interested in developing a 26bit OS. They certainly don't have any spare cash to do both versions!

MD have said they are planning to get a 32bit OS for the Omega so I presume they'll buy this from Pace or from RISCOS ltd if RISCOS ltd get a cash lump from MD.

I've also heard Chris Evans of CJE say that apart of the Pace deal was that Castle don't have access to the source code for RISC OS 5 so this makes altering the core of RISC OS 5 somewhat difficult?


Regarding the GeForce4 card on the Iyonix pc. Has anyone really taken any graphic benchmarks of this yet?

Have Castle really made any use yet of the 2D graphic acceleration chips onboard to make it zip along?

Took WindFall a long time to get their RISC OS graphic software working and bug free for their PC graphics card.

There's going to be fun and games ahead... :-)

 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 29/11/02 9:13PM
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quatermass, a number of points:

ROL have not stated they are only interested in 26bit OS. That is misrepresentation and FUD.

MD have said they would get a 32bit OS but who says its RISC OS?

The idea that Castle don't have access to RO5 source is FUD again.

The Iyonixs does not have a GeForce4 but a GeForce2.

Yes there is going to be fun and games ahead :-)

 is a RISC OS Userdanielbarron on 29/11/02 9:35PM
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Price of Iyonix will probably fall once they get a decent competitor. I expect that on two years time it will be a lot cheaper.

 is a RISC OS UserSober on 29/11/02 10:20PM
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Ian, I'm not being rediculous.

The deal was yesterday for higher-ed people only, but it was basically a 800usd PC for 99usd after rebates.

I was very tempted, but didn't want to fork out 800+tax and wait for all those rebates!

Someone else was doing a similar deal for retail workers only, one of the supermarket chains, probably Walmart, home of the 199usd 800MHz Lindows boxes.

Crazy prices in the US....

-- #include "sig.h"

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 29/11/02 11:19PM
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Can't wait to see some real benchmarks between the Omega and IYONIX.

Is Photodesk going to be updated to 32bit?

-- Steve Knutson New Zealand

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 30/11/02 4:55AM
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 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 30/11/02 12:57PM
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Does anyone know whether Artex are still up to anything? Like, updating Tek etc for 32bit? IMO Tek would be a good game to have in an Iyonix bundle - prob the game most like 'proper' games on the PC... *thinks* would be nice with a GeForce 2 hmm..?

-- Thomas

 is a RISC OS UserTRM on 30/11/02 4:30PM
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I'm not really surprised that people are a bit concerned about the price. Just looked in a PC magazine and for that price you could pick up a Pentium 4 2.4 GHZ machine, 512MB ram,80GB HDD, 64MB nVidia graphics card, 19 inch monitor, DVD and CDRW drives, modem, sound card, surround sound speakers and 6 USB ports (USB2). Now I know that some R&D has to be recovered but . . .

-- Nick Riley, Sutton Coldfield

 is a RISC OS UserHornblower on 2/12/02 1:14PM
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I agree it's a lot of money, but I want Castle to make a lot of money out of the Iyonix, and I'm sure they've given a lot of thought to the price. It's a shame they've not got a lower end model with no floppy, CD, smaller hard disk (even a second-hand one), and anything else they could rip out. If they priced a lower end model so that the profit was the same on each machine, then it's would matter to Castle which one you bought. Even if it were only 150 cheaper, that's enough to buy a monitor for it.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 2/12/02 2:16PM
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Reducing the memory size, hard drive capacity and removing extras (such as the gigabit network card) wouldn't *significantly* reduce the price, so I think that's the reason they chose to have only a high-spec model.

Iyonix prices can't be compared with PC prices because you're not getting a PC for your money and Castle aren't selling the Iyonix in PC numbers. If they were selling millions of this model, then the price would of course drop. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 2/12/02 5:53PM
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Here's a thought. Microsoft and Intel are worth Billions. There are few poor Memory and HDD manufacturers, so..... why do PC's cost as much as they do ?

At least with Castle (and MD) you know that they individually are funding real developments - they do so in competition with the "big guys" and they don't have massive cash cows (like MS office) to fund things.

So rather than asking WHY Iyonix costs so much - ask yourself why PC's are as expensive as they are.

-- Regards

Annraoi McShane,

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 2/12/02 7:38PM
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Why do people insist that 'you can't compare RISC OS prices to PC prices', when it is quite obvious that you can and that people do?

Just compare the two for different tasks that you need to do. This process tends to pick the one you wanted anyway ;) And if you write it down and do it well, you have a nice bit of evidence to justify your decision.

 is a RISC OS UserLucidIon on 4/12/02 11:28AM
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You can compare them, it's just a waste of time unless you factor in the time spent fighting Windows/Unix until it does half of what you want, at 5ukps/hour, saving 1 hour per day, after 260 days the Iyonix has paid for itself.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 4/12/02 2:51PM
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testing 1 2 3

 is a RISC OS UserFuzzy on 11/12/02 1:05PM
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Amiga user here. I forgotten that RiscOS was still going. I remember using Arcimedes at school, but it never was as much fun as my Amiga. I see you boys are looking forward to a next Gen machine same here. I'm looking forward to Amiga OS4.0 on an AmigaOne. However it appears like yourselves that their are rivals in the midst. Amiga has MorphOS and Lyonix has Omega. Just a point which people are bitching about in the Amiga camp. Yes, new RiscOS machines will be expensive compared to PC's. But RiscOS doesn't sell in its millions. Pure economics of scale. The same here in the Amiga camp. A G4 AmigaOne will cost about 1400 which is rediculous compared to PCs, but thats what you get for a niche market. cheers

 is a RISC OS UserBertybassett on 6/1/03 12:11AM
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