Meet Skylake

The whole Skylake family is now unveiled, and it's looking good. From 4.5W to 65W TDP, the 6th Gen Core processors are fanless-friendly. We knew most of Skylake-U, now let's take a look at the desktop lineup:

✓ Core i7-6700 4C/8T 3.4 GHz / 4.0 GHz 65W TDP
✓ Core i5-6600 4C/4T 3.3 GHz / 3.9 GHz 65W TDP
✓ Core i5-6500 4C/4T 3.2 GHz / 3.6 GHz 65W TDP
✓ Core i5-6400 4C/4T 2.7 GHz / 3.3 GHz 65W TDP
✓ Core i3-6320 2C/4T 3.9 GHz 47W TDP
✓ Core i3-6300 2C/4T 3.8 GHz 47W TDP
✓ Core i3-6100 2C/4T 3.7 GHz 47W TDP
✓ Pentium G4520 2C/2T 3.6 GHz 47W TDP
✓ Pentium G4500 2C/2T 3.5 GHz 47W TDP
✓ Pentium G4400 2C/2T 3.2 GHz 47W TDP

✓ Core i7-6700T 4C/8T 2.8 GHz / 3.6 GHz 35W TDP
✓ Core i5-6600T 4C/4T 2.7 GHz / 3.5 GHz 35W TDP
✓ Core i5-6500T 4C/4T 2.5 GHz / 3.1 GHz 35W TDP
✓ Core i5-6400T 4C/4T 2.2 GHz / 2.8 GHz 35W TDP
✓ Core i3-6300T 2C/4T 3.3 GHz 35W TDP
✓ Core i3-6100T 2C/4T 3.2 GHz 35W TDP
✓ Pentium G4500T 2C/2T 3.0 GHz 35W TDP
✓ Pentium G4400T 2C/2T 2.9 GHz 35W TDP

A wide range of robust and affordable Pentiums, many sub-50W thermal envelopes. We're definitely pleased with it (desktop Celerons are gone too, yay).

Source: Engadget, WCCFtech


AnandTech reviews ECS LIVA X2

Once again ECS is giving passive cooling a bad name. As predicted - and without adequate tools (a proper heat sink case OR a mesh laden chassis) - the 6W Celeron is suffocated, and reaches incredible levels of heat. We just don't recommend the LIVA X2.

"Moving on to the temperatures during the process, we find that the SoC reaches 87 C, dangerously close to the 90 C maximum junction temperature. We also find that the temperature increase rate is considerably more when the GPU starts getting loaded. After 80 C, the thermal design seems to try valiantly to keep the temperature below 90 C."

Source: AnandTech


A Braswell EeeBox

There's no doubt this time - ASUS is going fanless and is proud about it. The Eeebox E410 features a passively cooled quad-core Braswell Celeron for capable graphics and total silence. Although EeeBoxes are now "Pro" products, they are still largely available.

✓ Celeron N3150 (4 cores @ 1.6 GHz, up to 2.08 GHz)
✓ 1 x SO-DIMM slot (up to 8 GB RAM)
✓ 500GB up to 1TB HDD options
✓ 64GB up to 128GB SSD options
✓ 1 x 4-in-1 Card Reader
✓ 2 x USB 3.0 port
✓ 2 x USB 2.0 ports
✓ 1 x HDMI
✓ 1 x VGA
✓ 1 x COM port
✓ 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
✓ 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
✓ 219 x 172.5 x 29 mm (WxDxH)

Source: ASUS


Design & Function

Terrific work from Crater Innovation. A NUC chassis that combines aluminum and copper for a killer look and improved performance (copper offers better thermal conductivity). Full copper CPU coolers need to return, and a full copper NUC case needs to happen.

"The choice of materials fell on a sensual combination of brushed copper and matte black anodised aluminium. Being CNC machined from solid blocks of metal, the chassis feels extremely robust and durable.

Copper was used for the section of the chassis that is closest to the main source of heat, the CPU, enabling the heat to spread quickly along the chassis. High-purity oxygen-free electronic copper was specifically selected to maximise dissipation, because of its unique ability to conduct heat."

Source: Crater Innovation

Update: Hands-on at Tom's Guide

Skylake NUC spotted at IDF?

Kingston showcases a very interesting mini PC at IDF 2015. Loaded with a M.2 SSD and DDR4 memory, the platform sure looks a lot like Swift Canyon.

Source: LegitReviews

Adventures with Nofan CR-95C

Shaky camera work but pretty informative videos about the pros and cons of a hamster-cage-sized CPU cooler. Note that air vents on top of the case are essential to ensure correct operation. Nofan's CR-95C is still our all-time favorite heat sink.


Deepcool LUCIFER K2

It's been awhile since we've seen a supercooler. Deepcool launches LUCIFER K2, an affordable version of the original LUCIFER. The CPU cooler retains the same design as its predecessor, loosing only the shiny nickel finish. The K2 will be available in September for $80.

Deepcool mentions 130W in passive mode which is, of course, absolutely insane. Given the so-so performance of the previous model, 65W seem more realistic.

Source: Deepcool via Cowcotland


EXCLUSIVE: Skylake-U lineup

The 15W U-series powers Ultrabook, MacBook Air, the entry-level iMac, and the NUC. Compared to Broadwell-U, Skylake-U looks streamlined and is easier to understand. Actually - aside vPro chips - there will be just one i7, one i5, one i3, one Pentium, and two Celerons available.

✓ Core i7-6600U (2.6-3.4 GHz / 2C4T / HD Graphics 520 / vPro / 15W TDP)
✓ Core i5-6300U (2.4-3.0 GHz / 2C4T / HD Graphics 520 / vPro / 15W TDP)

✓ Core i7-6500U (2.5-3.1 GHz / 2C4T / HD Graphics 520 / 15W TDP)
✓ Core i5-6200U (2.3-2.8 GHz / 2C4T / HD Graphics 520 / 15W TDP)
✓ Core i3-6100U (2.3 GHz / 2C4T / HD Graphics 520 / 15W TDP)
✓ Pentium 4405U (2.1 GHz / 2C4T / HD Graphics 510 / 15W TDP)
✓ Celeron 3955U (2.0 GHz / 2C2T / HD Graphics 510 / 15W TDP)
✓ Celeron 3855U (1.6 GHz / 2C2T / HD Graphics 510 / 15W TDP)

Also coming early 2016, 28W SKUs with Iris Graphics...


Liliputing reviews Zotac ZBOX CI321

Here's Brad Linder's take on Zotac ZBOX CI321, and the Haswell-Y (AKA "Core M") Celeron 2961Y (2 cores @ 1.1 GHz) is certainly showing some promise. We're quite impressed actually. Also, temperature is less of a problem than it used to be.

Source: Liliputing (Youtube channel)


Shuttle XS35V4 with Windows

Shuttle's barebone is now bundled with Windows 8.1 with Bing (upgradable to Windows 10). The XS 3500BB V4 features a quad-core Celeron J1900, 2GB of DDR3L and a 32 GB SSD for 287 euros (ex VAT). That's very convenient, yet crippled if you ask us. Nothing beats choosing every component, and building your own dream machine.

Source: Shuttle


Braswell BRIX is official

GIGABYTE unveils the GB-BACE-3000 and confirms its fanless nature. Last week's leak was spot on (well the SD card reader is actually micro SD). Unlike other fanless Braswell mini-PCs (ECS LIVA X2, ASUS VivoMini UN45, ASRock Beebox) the Braswell BRIX allows some room for convection, and thus wins.

The GB-BACE-3000 will make a fantastic entry-level desktop PC or Kodi-powered HTPC. No news on pricing yet but the previous model sold for only $125.

"Challenging the essence of how we define a desktop PC, GIGABYTE engineers have developed an ultra compact PC with a stylish design based high polish surface chassis. Ideal for a broad range of computing applications at home or in the office, the BRIX expounds sheer simplicity and convenience, sets a new standard for desktop miniaturization that makes it perfect as a discreet HTPC / multimedia hub, an ultra-low power PC for the family, an office PC or as a digital signage unit. The BRIX is an ultra compact,versatile DIY PC kit that redefines the desktop PC in terms of miniaturization with a form factor that is small enough (56mm x 107mm x 114mm) to sit in the palm of your hand."



Shuttle i3 / i5 Broadwell DS57 available

While the Broadwell Celeron version is available for a reasonable $237, the DS57U3 (i3-5005U) and DS57U5 (i5-5200U) are now selling on Amazon for a whopping $450 and $550 respectively. Still, given Shuttle's expertise, their ease of use and 24/7 reliability, we would have no problem recommending them. We just wish they were a little prettier.

✓ i3-5005U / i5-5200U
✓ 1 x Mini-PCI-E (half-size)
✓ 2 x SO-DIMM slots (16GB max)
✓ 4-in-1 card reader
✓ 2 x USB 3.0 ports
✓ 4 x USB 2.0 ports
✓ 2 x Intel Gigabit Ethernet
✓ 1 x DisplayPort
✓ 1 x HDMI
✓ 2 x COM ports
✓ 65W adapter
✓ VESA mountable
✓ 200 x 39.5 x 165 mm

Update: A closer look at the uncovered side panel / CPU cooler, courtesy of



We managed to access an unreleased GIGABYTE document confirming a Braswell version of the pretty successful GB-BXBT-2807. The GB-BACE-3000 is very similar to its Bay Trail big brother, only rocking a Celeron N3000, upgraded WiFi, four USB 3.0 ports, and a welcomed SD card reader. Given the Celeron N3000's 4W TDP we're positive that the Braswell BRIX is once again fanless.

✓ Celeron N3000 (2 cores @ 1.04 GHz, up to 2.08 GHz)
✓ 1 x SO-DIMM DDR3L 1.35V slot (up to 8GB)
✓ 1 x 2.5" bay
✓ 4 x USB 3.0
✓ 1 x HDMI
✓ 1 x VGA
✓ 1 x Audio-out / Mic-In
✓ 1 x Gigabit LAN
✓ Wi-Fi 802.11ac / Bluetooth 4.0
✓ 1 x Kensington lock slot
✓ VESA mountable
✓ 56 mm x 107 mm x 114 mm (2.21" x 4.24" x 4.5")


The Beebox available for $140

ASRock's highly anticipated mini barebone PC is finally available for 139.99. Just add memory, storage, and your OS of choice. Early reviews were mostly positive and we can all agree that the Beebox is way more flexible, and offers more connectivity, than any compute stick.

✓ Celeron N3000 (2 cores @ 1.04 GHz, up to 2.08 GHz)
✓ 2 x DDR3L SO-DIMM slots (up de 8GB)
✓ 1 x 2.5" bay
✓ 3 x USB 3.0 ports
✓ 1 x USB 3.0 (Type-C) port
✓ 2 x HDMI
✓ 1 x Displayport
✓ 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
✓ Wifi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
✓ Bluetooth 4.0
✓ 110 x 46 x 118.5mm

Update: Fully assembled systems are also available from $250 (4GB RAM, 120GB SSD) to $800 (8GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD!).


EXCLUSIVE: The Skylake boost

Apparently, gone are the days of moderate improvement, Intel is gearing up for something big with Skylake. Graphics promise to be spectacular, especially in the low-power department (a 41% increase for the Y-Series, 34% for the U-Series). In raw CPU performance terms, a healthy 10% increase - bare minimum - is expected across the board.



When it comes to low-power builds, ATX power supplies are overkill. But they still matter when stability, reliability (some boast a 7-year warranty) and performance are at stake. This unknown Chinese HTPC case offers the best of both worlds with full support for ATX PSUs. If any of you guys can locate the manufacturer, we'd appreciate it.


cirrus7 nimbini review

ComputerBase had the chance to review cirrus7's nimbini Media Edition and as expected the 2400g chassis is doing a terrific job at cooling the mighty 28W i7-5557U (never exceeding 65°C at full load). The nimbini takes passive cooling into luxury territory, and remains a premium product with a premium price.

Source: ComputerBase (German)


ZOTAC ZBOX CI322 is late to the party

Is Intel offering a rebate on its aging Bay Trail SoCs? With Braswell systems all over the place, ZOTAC introduces a final (one can only hope) Bay Trail ZBOX. Powered by a Celeron J1900, the CI322 should provide more horsepower than the previous model and also more heat considering the 10W TDP. The dual Gigabit Ethernet ports are a nice addition, though.

✓ Celeron J1900 (quad-core @ 2.0 GHz up to 2.41 GHz)
✓ 1 x DDR3L slot (up to 8GB)
✓ 1 x 2.5" bay
✓ 4 x USB 3.0
✓ 1 x USB 2.0
✓ 1 x HDMI
✓ 1 x DisplayPort
✓ 3-in-1 card reader
✓ 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0
✓ 2 x Gigabit LAN

Source: ZOTAC

Update: A PLUS version with 4GB of memory and a 64GB SSD will also be offered.


Akasa confirms 4 new fanless cases

We had a glimpse of things to come at COMPUTEX and here they are. Starting with the Plato X, a bigger version of the regular Plato. At about 240 x 240 mm the Plato X will cope with the heat of Intel's i7 NUC (NUC5i7RYH) but it's also compatible witll ALL Broadwell NUCs.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Newton P will handle the ultra low power Braswell NUCs (NUC5CPYH and NUC5PPYH). The small 140 x 111 x 51 mm chassis still has room for a 2.5" SSD.

Designed for the HTPC market, the Max S offers either a slot loading or a tray loading optical disc drive bay. The 174.6 x 179 x 79.6 mm case weighs a whopping 1630g and is compatible with i3 and i5 Broadwell NUCs.

With storage in mind, the Max MT packs a very interesting 2 bays 2.5" SATA mobile rack. Akasa's fanless cases collection is now incredibly diverse, and vastly successful. As much as we love Akasa, a question comes to mind: just where is the competition?


ASRock N3150DC-ITX is DC-powered

We've been hard on ASRock in the past few weeks, but this time, the Taiwanese manufacturer absolutely nailed it. The N3150DC-ITX rocks a quad-core N3150 with a diminutive 6W TDP (perfect for full passive cooling), excellent connectivity (3 video outputs, numerous USB and SATA ports), and comes with a 65W power adapter. Finally the perfect Braswell motherboard?

✓ Celeron N3150
✓ 2 x DDR3/DDR3L 1600 SO-DIMM slots
✓ 1 x PCIe 2.0 x1
✓ 1 x Half-Size mini-PCIe
✓ 4 x SATA III connectors
✓ 4 x USB 3.0 port
✓ 2 x USB 2.0 ports
✓ 1 x HDMI
✓ 1 x DVI
✓ 1 x DisplayPort
✓ 1 x PS/2 Mouse / Keyboard
✓ 1 x Gigabit Ethernet

Source: ASRock