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

Source: Newegg


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


HDPLEX (2nd Gen) H5 thermal performance

The plot thickens: here are more pictures of HDPLEX's upcoming superchassis. Tested with no less than an i7 4770K and a GTX 750 Ti, the 16 heat pipes monster is doing a hell of a job with 35°C at idle, and 70°C at full load. The H5 is shaping up as a landmark case.

Source: HDPLEX


ASRock Beebox: the definitive review

Our friend Ganesh takes a look at the Beebox, and it's the most in-depth review so far. The Beebox is definitely a capable machine (with serious potential as a HTPC) and Ganesh reassures us about the cooling system.

"The thermal solution might not be the most elegant or efficient passive cooling setup. However, it gets the job done - the system doesn't throttle and temperatures are maintained well below the junction temperature even under stress."

Source: AnandTech


Broadwell LGA available

The very first socketed desktop processors with Intel's Iris Pro graphics are now available in Europe. The i5-5675C (4 cores @ 3.1 GHz up to 3.6 GHz) is 290 euros, while the i7-5775C (4 cores @ 3.3 GHz up to 3.7 GHz) is 400 euros.

Passively, their 65W TDP is still manageable but will necessitate the largest coolers (Nofan CR-95C) or the heaviest cases (Streacom FC10, HDPLEX H5).

ASUS N3050M-E review

The little 6W Celeron N3050 is offering decent performance against the 25W Athlon 5350. While ASUS' striking-looking gold cooler is doing a great job at keeping the SoC under 61°C. The N3050M-E currently retails for just $89.

Source: PC Ekspert (Croatian)


Braswell is a bargain

The first Braswell motherboards are landing and their prices are surprisingly good. Especially since their CPUs alone are $107.00 on Intel's site. Newegg is listing the quad-core N3150B-ITX for $69.99 and the dual-core N3050B-ITX for just $58.99.

✓ Celeron N3050 / N3150 (6W TDP)
✓ 2 x SO-DIMM slots (DDR3/DDR3L 1600)
✓ 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
✓ 2 x SATA3
✓ 2 x USB 3.0 ports
✓ 2 x USB 2.0 ports
✓ 1 x HDMI
✓ 1 x VGA
✓ 1 x Parallel port
✓ 1 x PS/2 Mouse / Keyboard
✓ 1 x Gigabit Ethernet


Broadwell-K / Nofan / Thermaltake bundles

Japanese specialist Oliospec launches a pretty interesting Broadwell build featuring Intel's brand new i5-5675C (Iris Pro Graphics 6200, 65W TDP), ASUS H97I-PLUS motherboard and Nofan CR-95C nested inside Thermaltake Core V1. So small and kawaii, yet powerful enough to play relatively new games and do some serious work, in total silence.

Source: Oliospec

Update: More pictures, courtesy of AKIBA PC.

Shuttle goes Braswell

Shuttle's XS35V5 and XS36V5 are now listed in their 2015 catalogue (PDF) and they both feature a dual-core Celeron N3050. Unfortunately, no design upgrade for this 5th generation Slim-PC. Probably because Shuttle is leaving the consumer market for pro clients (the XS35V5 and XS36V5 are now advertised as digital signage players). Au revoir Shuttle.



Back in February we had the chance to preview HDPLEX's 16 heat pipes H5 cooling system, a world-first. Here's a closer look at the chassis itself, with motherboard and graphic card installed. Full release is imminent.


Newton S bundles

Ready to use fanless Broadwell NUCs are now available in the UK (i3 5010U and i5 5250U versions). At 176.5 x 200 x 53.5mm the Newton S is the largest NUC chassis on the market and is matching the size of some mini-ITX solutions, but we're hearing that cooling is nothing short of stellar.

Source: Atlast! Solutions


Kabini will not let go

Two full years after its arrival AMD's A4-5000 is still a viable solution for HTPCs and entry-level desktops. Performance wise, the APU sits perfectly between Intel's Braswell and U series.

Hence the release of two additional ASRock motherboards, the mini-ITX QC5000M-ITX/PH and the microATX QC5000M. Very similar to last year's QC5000-ITX/PH, they both offer the same connectivity (two additional PCIe 2.0 x1 on the QC5000M).

Source: ASRock


Beebox video review

Wendell takes a look at ASRock's Cherry Trail Braswell mini PC. Some ill-informed remarks ("You can run fanless, but it's gonna run at 95°C the whole time, it's gonna be unstable, it's gonna lock-up, it's gonna be weird") and still no trace of Beebox's temperatures. Bummer.

Update: Temps available at TweakTown.

Update 2: Trouble in 4K paradise?