AMD's Project Quantum systems use Intel Core i7 CPUs
June 19, 2015 // 9:46 a.m.
As part of its E3 presentation AMD showcased Project Quantum, a small form-factor, liquid-cooled gaming PC that implements a yet-to-be-named dual-GPU Fiji graphics card. Project Quantum is designed to facilitate 4K living-room gaming and "the best possible VR experiences" in a small and efficient package. It probably comes as little surprise that AMD decided to run with an Intel CPU for these systems rather than its flagship, the 220-watt FX-9590.
A teardown of the Project Quantum system reveals that the AMD-endorsed machine is built around Intel's Z97 Express platform, an ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac motherboard, to be precise, and the Intel Core i7-4790K 'Devil's Canyon' part. To keep heat and noise output under control AMD implements a watercooling solution with many custom-built components that separates all the hardware into the bottom section and the water cooling into the top section.
Project Quantum was designed by AMD's Innovation Lab to demonstrate the capability of Fiji-based GPUs, a proof of concept of sorts. With a pair of Fiji GPUs the system is capable of tackling any game at 4K with 60fps or higher, according to the company. AMD does expect to sell Project Quantum systems to consumers later on this year and will likely ship with Windows 10 to unlock the full power of the DirectX 12 API for gaming.
Pricing is likely to be premium given that the single-GPU R9 Fury X has an MSRP of $649. AMD's system partners could potentially upgrade Project Quantum to Intel's Z170 Express chipset and Core i7-6700K Skylake CPU depending on whether availability of Intel's new platform and AMD's dual-GPU graphics card align. In the face of Zen speculation it seems unlikely that Project Quantum will deploy AMD's upcoming CPU architecture, given that availability of Zen is touted as 2016 at the earliest.