October 31, 2016
Share

Samsung releases first cylindrical modular desktop, the ArtPC Pulse

Samsung recently announced their return to desktop PC production with their newest desktop PC, the ArtPC Pulse. Now, we know what you’re thinking: it’s a little like Apple’s cylindrical Mac Pro, HP’s Wave, and MSI’s Vortex gaming PC.

To be fair, it’s not the first of the cylindrical desktops but Samsung seems to have seen the potential in this emerging technology and desktop aesthetic. A cylindrical design aids in cooling and to be honest, other tech giants are doing it too so it seems Samsung is intent on joining the race.

We get it: it’s cylindrical and it’s obviously trying to hit the right notes in terms of aesthetically pleasing desktops, but what makes the ArtPC Pulse unique is its modular nature. It’s a modular desktop which means you can keep adding on to it and customizing it to fit your needs. Based on the specs, the Art PC Pulse is meant to be an entertainment desktop PC for the high-end consumer market instead of the workstation market (the Surface Studio is a good example of a workstation desktop).

General Info

What’s the basic set up? Let’s start with the exteriors. The ArtPC Pulse is a 5.5-inch wide, 1-foot tall desktop unit with a full metal body. It weighs 7.4 pounds, which is lighter and slimmer than the 9.9-inch wide MacPro. Again, this is probably because it’s a modular desktop. However, standalone modules aren’t available for purchase yet.

As you can see in the video above, it has a built-in 360° harman/kardon customizable speaker with options for specific audio effects, sound balancing, and more. Compared with other cylindrical desktops with a built-in speaker, the harman/kardon speaker knocks the competition out of the park. It also has an Hourly Chime function that can serve as your clock/alarm clock. If you’re not that concerned about energy and keep it on while you’re not using it, it’s a cute feature.

Complementing the speakers is an ambient pulse lighting band that also serves as a personalized notification feature that works with the speaker. You customize the light to emit colors specific to certain apps as notifications. Not only does it serve a practical visual function, but also serves to give it a focus in terms of visual aesthetic.

The ArtPC Pulse comes in two models, the DP700C6A-X01US and the DP700C6A-A01US which is the premium model. Both of them have an array of ports in the back portion which includes four USB Type-A, one USB Type-C, HDMI, Ethernet, headphone jack, an SD card slot, and a power connector. You don’t need to worry about a keyboard and a mouse taking up the USB port slots, the unit comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse.

Hardware

Apart from the height and weight, what’s under the hood is when the differences between the two models are made apparent. It’s a little disappointing that it doesn’t come with the latest 7th generation “Kaby Lake” processors, but the 6th gen Skylakes are still excellent.

The shorter X01US comes with a 6th gen quad-core Skylake Intel Core i5 and 8GB RAM while the taller A01US model comes with a 6th gen quad-core Skylake Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and a 1 TB HDD module. Intel’s processors perform well but is still left behind by 6-, 8-, and 12-core processors in Apple’s high end Mac Pros.

artpc pulse

They both have 256GB SSD of internal storage and a decent AMD Radeon RX 460 GPU but this is just basic graphics card that’s at least suitable for 1080p gaming but not for 4K VR gaming. Still, it does have 3D game and 4K movie support and the word is out that the ArtPC Pulse is a Microsoft “Signature Edition” PC, meaning it’s a pure, clean Windows 10 without the additional pre-installed apps.

In terms of price, the A01US with the Core i7 processor is priced at $1,599 (5873 AED) while the X01US Core i5 one retails at $1,199 (4403 AED). That’s a pretty wide gap of $400 (around 1470 AED). Still, if you’re getting an ArtPC Pulse anyway, you might as well go for the one with the higher specs. You get double the RAM and a matching 1TB HDD module.

Full Specs

Model

DP700C6A-A01US

DP700C6A-X01US

Processor

6th generation Intel Core i7

6th generation Intel Core i5

Memory & Storage

16GB RAM

8GB RAM

256GB SSD, plus 1 TB HDD Module

256GB SSD

AMD RX 460 w/ GDDR5 2G

AMD RX460 w/ GDDR5 2G

Ports

4X USB3.0

4X USB3.0

1X USB TYPE-C

1X USB TYPE-C

HDMI

HDMI

LAN

LAN

Dimensions

Length

5.51”

5.51”

Width

5.51″

5.51”

Height

12.18”

10.70”

The full details on the ArtPC Pulse aren’t out yet so we’re still missing key details on their modules like how they look like, functionality, and who their manufacturers will be. It’s also unclear what their WiFi and Bluetooth specs are. All in all, the ArtPC Pulse still has some way to go before it can beat the MacPro in terms of performance. It focuses too much on its cute entertainment aspects but, like Android’s easy customization philosophy, it’s the ArtPC Pulse’s modular design that’s the winner here, and we can’t wait to see the full range of its modular capacity.