No HDD for the Beebox

This would be funny if it wasn't so unsettling. ASRock doesn't recommend a 2.5" HDD for the fanless Beebox:

"For Beebox N3000 series, it is not recommended to install 2.5” HDD. If you install the 2.5” HDD, please keep the Beebox series in a vertical position to ensure better cooling performance."

ASRock inability to properly take care of a 4W processor is sad. A potato would probably do a better job (we're serious about this). Fingers crossed for the upcoming Apollo Lake revision.

Source: ASRock (PDF)

Update: ASRock tells us that the next Beebox will NOT be fanless (Apollo Lake lowest TDP is 6W).


Maczon TC5 available

Remember Maczon? Their TC5 mini-ITX case has finally made its way into stores, and is available for $190. The TC5 is a cute little chassis (very similar to Streacom's design language) but Maczon is totally unproven as far as quality goes. Proceed with caution.


Intel TDP vs. AMD TDP

Be conservative when it comes to Thermal Design Power (TDP). Intel and AMD can't seem to agree on how to proceed.

According to AMD, "TDP is essentially the maximum sustained power a processor can draw with “real world” software while operating under defined temperature and voltage limits."

According to Intel, "TDP represents the average power, in watts, the processor dissipates when operating at Base Frequency with all cores active under an Intel-defined, high-complexity workload."

Lessons learned for this SPCR member, using HDPLEX H1.S and failing with a 65W AMD A10-7800, before succeeding with an i3-4130T. We're partial to Intel's 35W T-series anyway, basically the ideal processors for passive cooling.

Source: SPCR


Could Mac mini go fanless?

In a nutshell, yes. Current Mac mini features the aging Core i5-4260U (15W TDP, 3523 average CPU Mark). A slower chip than the current Skylake Core m7-6Y75 (4.5W TDP, 3565 average CPU Mark).

No doubt that the new 4.5W Kaby Lake Y-series will improve performance even more. If Chinese Mac mini copycats can passively-cool 6W processors without any problem, what is Apple waiting for?


Braswell Refresh on the cheap

Enjoy improvements in processing speed and better graphics over Braswell, two Intel Gigabit LAN and support for three independent displays with this truly fanless NUC for $230. Plus, Jetway rarely disappoints in the cooling and reliability departments.

✓ Celeron N3160 (4 cores up to 2.24 GHz)
✓ Intel HD Graphics 400
✓ 1 x SODIMM slot (up to 8GB DDR3L)
✓ 1 x mSATA slot
✓ 4 x USB 3.0 port
✓ 1 x DisplayPort
✓ 2 x HDMI
✓ 2 x Gigabit Ethernet
✓ 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0
✓ 116 x 110 x 49mm (4.6" x 4.3" x 1.9")

Source: Amazon


Calyos : CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree

Calyos is about to make a big splash at CES 2017 with their NSG-S0 workstation. The fanless supercomputer is already gaining interest from major players. Calyos is planning to sell ready-to-use systems, as well as DIY kits. See it at CES, held from January 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Source: Calyos


Shuttle DX30 (Apollo Lake) launched

First teased at Computex, Shuttle's DX30 is now official. The latest addition to Shuttle's Slim line features a rather humble Celeron J3355 in a whole new chassis (and a heatpipes-based cooling system). Aimed at home and industrial use, Shuttle's computers are certified for 24/7 operation. No price yet, but we don't expect the DX30 to be much more expensive than the XS35 / XS36 models.

✓ Celeron J3355
✓ 2 x DDR3L slots (up to 8GB)
✓ 1 x 2.5" bay
✓ 1 x M.2 slot
✓ 2 x USB 3.0
✓ 4 x USB 2.0
✓ 1 x SD card reader
✓ 1 x HDMI
✓ 1 x DisplayPort
✓ 802.11b/g/n Wifi
✓ 2 x COM ports
✓ 1 x Gigabit LAN
✓ 190 x 165 x 43 mm

Source: Shuttle


Akasa Euler TX preview

Akasa continues beefing up its range of fanless chassis. After a more efficient mini-ITX case (Euler MX), here comes a Thin mini-ITX counterpart. The Euler TX is not only larger (262.6 x 215 x 68.5 mm) than the original Euler, but features longer cooling fins.

Our friend Jonathan over at Atlast! Solutions will be the first to offer complete systems based on this very case, and he's very pleased with it. The mighty i7-6700T never exceeding 72°C at 100% for hours.

Source: Atlast! Solutions


Live from ZOTAC

A sneak peek inside ZOTAC's China factory where the fanless ZBOX are - surprisingly - still assembled and tested by hand. Special thanks to S├ębastien Vandeborre over at CowcotLand for the full-size pictures.

Source: CowcotLand (2)


ECS LIVA Z (Apollo Lake) coming soon

ECS is about to launch its new LIVA, featuring Intel's latest low-power SoCs. No mention of passive cooling on ECS work-in-progress page, but we can confirm that the little computer will rock a fanless 10W 6W chip. In a typical ECS fashion, the heat sink looks crammed into a very small enclosure (albeit larger than previous models).

✓ Intel Apollo Lake SoC
✓ 2 x SO-DIMM (up to 8GB)
✓ 32GB / 64GB eMMC storage
✓ 1 x M.2 SSD slot
✓ 3 x USB 3.0 ports
✓ 3 x USB 3.0 Type-C port
✓ 1 x combo jack
✓ 2 x Gigabit LAN
✓ 1 x HDMI
✓ WiFi 802.11ac & Bluetooth 4.0
✓ 117 x 128 x 33 mm

Update: Evolving in real time...