Fanless PCs... the right way

Mainstream brands like ASUS, GIGABYTE and ASRock need to step up their game. Now that passive cooling is taking off, we wish they would put as much effort into their designs as the industrial world does (shoutout to our friends at Logic Supply).

Rugged fanless computers with decently-sized heat sinks can be pretty. Stop hiding aluminum coolers, stop burying them into ridiculously small cases. If fanless aesthetics are now a trend, it's time to embrace the very nature of passive cooling, and see large chunks of aluminum not as a weakness, but as a strength.


Shuttle launches DS77U Series

It's a yearly tradition for Shuttle, their most powerful Slim PC range gets Intel's latest processors. The new DS77U Series will consist of four models featuring the 15W Celeron 3865U, i3-7100U, i5-7200U, and i7-7500U. Beside Kaby Lake SoCs, they will now drive up to three Full HD displays.

Unfortunately, no design change (again). It would be nice to move these COM ports on the back, like Shuttle did for the DX30. But most importantly, ditch the cheap Mylar sticker covering the entire front panel.

Still, the XPC Slim line is conceptually perfect. Thanks to its overall cooling system and vertical position, not to mention its 24/7 reliability, Shuttle's products are stellar. The DS77U3 (i3-7100U) is already listed for a whopping $600.

✓ 1 x 2.5" bay
✓ 1 x M.2 2280 SSD socket
✓ 2 x SO-DIMM slots (up to 32GB DDR4-2133)
✓ 4-in-1 card reader
✓ 2 x USB 3.0 ports
✓ 4 x USB 2.0 ports
✓ 1 x DisplayPort
✓ 2 x HDMI
✓ 2 x COM ports
✓ 2 x Intel Gigabit Ethernet
✓ 802.11 b/g/n WLAN
✓ 200 x 39.5 x 165 mm

Source: Shuttle


Cooler Master Hyper 612 now $38

Cooler Master Hyper 612 Ver.2 is an outsider. The largely ignored CPU cooler is now available for $38, making it one of the most affordable heat sink for passive cooling.

The Hyper 612 Ver.2 is 732g and features six 6mm direct-touch heat pipes. No mention of any TDP limit on its official page, so proceed with caution and opt for sub-65W processors.


DB4 installation guide

A closer look at the slightly tricky building process for the beautiful Streacom DB4. Nothing overly complicated but a number of steps which must be followed, and we think it's well worth the effort.

Source: Streacom (PDF)


Fanless Aesthetics

If passive cooling is not mainstream yet, its aesthetics certainly are. Amazing how cases like In Win H-Frame or Enermax STEELWING mimic systems like cirrus7 nimbus. Aluminum fins are in.


Kabini rises again

BIOSTAR launches the A68N-5100, a slight upgrade over the A68N-5000 from 3 year ago. Interestingly, the aging AMD A4-5100 APU still outperforms all Braswell Celerons.

✓ AMD A4-5100 (4 cores @ 1.6 GHz)
✓ AMD Radeon HD Graphics
✓ 2 x DDR3 DIMM slots
✓ 1 x PCI Express slot
✓ 2 x SATA 3 connectors
✓ 2 x USB 3.0 port
✓ 2 x USB 2.0 ports
✓ 1 x HDMI
✓ 1 x VGA
✓ 1 x PS/2 Mouse / Keyboard
✓ 1 x Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek)




Does the Corsair One feature some type of passive cooling? Could the machine be fanless? The One is Corsair's upcoming first fully-assembled mini tower PC. Details are scarce thus far, but massive aluminum heat sinks seem to be involved... Stay tuned.

Source: Corsair

Update: Additional photo, courtesy of The Verge.

ECS LIVA Z review

It looks like the Apollo Lake LIVA is doing okay temperature-wise (running AIDA64 Extreme Edition) thanks to its large heat sink (and despite the impeded convection). Performance-wise, don't expect much more horsepower than Braswell though. The LIVA Z is mostly designed for video playback.

"Build quality is top notch, and the styling is not bad either – enabling it to fit and blend at any living room setups with ease. It’s huge departure from ECS’ LIVA X design and I welcome this approach with both hands.

Maintenance and upgrades are easy enough with the LIVA Z, although you’re limited to an extra M.2 slot, and SO-DIMM upgrade options. The CMOS battery is also situated here, so you could easily replace it if it happens to dry out. The 32GB SSD is courtesy of SanDisk, and the Memory is a 4GB DDR3 Kingston SO-DIMM."

Source: Tech Porn


The Truth about fanless graphics cards

Palit is launching a new silent GeForce GTX1050 Ti KalmX graphics card. The problem is that their own internal documents contradict their catchy "0dB gaming environment" tagline. A case fan is mandatory.

Nothing against Palit - great products - just a warning to anyone planning a totally passive build with a commercially available "fanless" graphics card, from any brand. It will most likely not work.

Update: Size-wise, a truly fanless graphics card would look like this.


TechPowerUp reviews Streacom DB4

TechPowerUp takes a look at Streacom's unique passively-cooled chassis, and they seem to love it. Part computer case, part work of art, the DB4 is not for everyone but its appeal is undeniable. The DB4 is available for $299, £288, and 300€.

"From a design perspective, the cube's dimensions and perfectly constructed aluminum and uniquely shaped stands also come together to make the Streacom DB4 quite the sexy chassis. Thus, it is great to see that the interior is intricately engineered to enable utmost flexibility. The mounting plates may look simple, but the frame to attach them to, and the spring-loaded locks and mounting holes for all the panels of the chassis are really where it is at. The result is an extremely easy assembly process and that satisfaction of powering up a completely silent system."

Source: TechPowerUp