Neptune Computers

What is Neptune?

Neptune Computers is name a friend of mine and myself came up with in the 90s for a computer company that we wanted to start during our high school years (among several other company ideas). Nothing really ever came of the idea beyond the name until 10 years later when I decided to resurrect the name for a new computer concept I had in mind.

The idea started after I became familiar with the mini-itx form factor and began designing the first case when I discovered the Atom processor. The tiny motherboard coupled with the low-powered and low-heat CPU, allowed room for a whole new design in computer cases. As technology has advanced over the years, so did the specs of my case. As of 2013, I am redefining the original model to ensure its dimensions can house the next generation of hardware.

The design

Technology has come a long way since I built my first computer 15 years ago. The goal of this design was to build a case that was to make it as powerful as possible while keeping it as small as possible but maintaining a level of elegant design. I didn't want just another square box. The original design did not have an optical drive and when I decided to add a blu-ray player I had to alter the dimensions to make sure it would fit without hindering the CPUs heatsink. The CPU, another issue that prompted the redesign. Cooling wasn't a problem when I was only using an Atom processor, but when I stepped up to the Core i-3 series, I had a whole new challenge to face.

What makes it special?

This is not a computer for just anyone. If looks or size are not important to you, then you can build any modern day PC rather inexpensively. What makes Neptune unique is its small yet beautiful design and 100% wireless. With batteries similar to what you'd find inside a netbook or ultrabook, you can run for hours without plugging into the wall. Built-in bluetooth removes the tangle of cords from your mouse, keyboard, and even headset. And the WiFi support means you can connect to any network the same as you would your phone or laptop. And the key feature in claiming this is 100% wireless is Intel's Wireless Display (WiDi) technology. Wirelessly send your display to any compatible monitor or tv.

What's in it?

Utilizing a thin mini-itx form factor, I began selecting components that would best fit the design and power limitations. I say limitation because an internal power supply was not an option.

  • Intel Core i3-3225 3.3GHz
  • 8GB DDR3 1600
  • HD4000 Graphics
  • 240GB SATA 6Gb/s
  • WiFi 802.11n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Intel Wireless Display
  • Blu-ray burner (slot-loading)

While the lack of a dedicated graphics card may turn some people away, this was not intended to be a monster gaming machine. However, benchmarks and other 3rd party testing have shown the Intel HD4000 graphics to be rather capable of handling most modern games. Unless you are a hardcore gamer, you should have no issues playing games. With full support for DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4, you can play the latest World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, or even Call of Duty.