There are a number of variations of RISCube range of computers from R-Comp are Windows systems with a flavour of VirtualRiscPC preinstalled, and the company has now added yet another range in the form of RISCube Minis that make the previous RISCube Minis look a bit less mini.
The old RISCube Minis were similar in size to a sheet of A4 paper, and a few inches thick, while the machines in the new line are about five inches by five inches by two and, according to R-Comp’s Andrew Rawnsley, they can even be mounted on the back of your monitor.
Size however is apparently not everything, though, and in computing what’s inside the box is more important, and that seems to be largely up to the customer; the only full specification Andrew has given is the machine he has now adopted as his main work platform – a RISCube Mini running on an 8-core CPU running at up to 4.75GHz, with 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and both a 500GB and a 1TB m.2 nvme SSDs. Connectivity comes from USB4 (introduced in 2019 and based on Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 protocol), Wi-Fi 6, and a 2.5Gb ethernet connection.
While the version of USB supported by the machine, not to mention the Wi-Fi and the speed of the ethernet, isn’t something RISC OS can ordinarily make use of, because ‘our’ operating system is provided by way of emulation in VirtualRiscPC, it is able to benefit from them on these machines. Indeed Andrew points out in his announcement that pretty much the only thing about the computer that RISC OS doesn’t benefit from are the extra CPU cores.
Andrew prices his new toy at £750, but says prices begin at under £499 for the lowest spec machine, but people with deeper pockets could go for something even more powerful, with larger SSDs, or CPUs with even more cores.
Looking for a link to these new machines online, I was only able to find the older RISCube Minis, referred to above, so they don’t seem to have found their way onto the RISCube website yet – but in his announcement, Andrew asks that anyone interested in these new machines emails or telephones him.