NFC S4 Mini is a luxe case

Want a stunning case for your passively-cooled Braswell motherboard? The S4 Mini is a labor of love and, well, a work of art. Made of premium anodized aluminum, the 330 x 215 x 63mm chassis will fit CPU coolers up to 40mm. Available from $150.

Source: NFC


Skull Canyon Review Roundup

Yes, Intel's new turbocharged NUC does feature a fan. But we're hearing that a third-party fanless chassis is coming in June, so stay tuned. The original barebone is getting pretty good reviews :

PCWorld "If this Skull Canyon NUC is any indication of where Intel wants to push the form factor, mini-PC enthusiasts may have a golden future ahead. Even though I’d personally hesitate to categorize this system as a gaming machine, its performance is excellent across the board. The idea that the next Core i7 NUC could do even better is exciting."

AnandTech "Intel has indeed managed to change the game with the NUC6i7KYK. A look at the increase in the gaming capabilities over the previous generation 'gaming' NUCs make the Skull Canyon updates to appear evolutionary in nature. However, the overall platform capabilities (including a much more powerful -H series CPU instead of a -U series CPU, as well as the integration of Thunderbolt 3 and dual M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD slots) are enough to justify the price premium"

HotHardware "In terms of gaming, you can consider it capable of running most current game titles at Medium to occasionally High settings, up to a max of 1080p, with 720p gaming obviously being much more fluid. For Content Creation, the NUC6i7KYK is definitely up to most any task. We could easily see a few of these sitting around a video production crew area, with high performance Thunderbolt external storage tapped into them as rendering targets."


Streacom NC1 (1st gen) only 20 euros

Got a first generation actively-cooled NUC? (i3-3217U or Celeron 847) After 4 years, the noise of its tiny dust-collecting fan must be insufferable. Silence it for good, and enjoy a whole new computer, with Streacom's original NUC chassis. Available for 19.90 euros from our friends at

Update: 2nd generation is also being sold at a discount on Quiet PC.


ZOTAC's most powerful fanless PCs yet

We were harsh on previous fanless ZBOX. They simply did not meet our expectations in terms of design and thermals. ZOTAC's engineers and PR people were class acts, and listened to consumers. Gone is the silicone thermal pad. The cooling system now features copper, and heat pipes.

"The ever silent C Series also gets an upgrade in housing and thermal design. By utilizing direct copper contact and heatpipes that lead to aluminum fins to dissipate heat, the new C Series deliver superior cooling efficiency without the need for fans or any other moving parts."

Thanks to improved cooling, the C Series now handles 15W Skylake processors. ZOTAC's mini PCs are now full-fledged fanless NUCs. Please note that each model will be available as a barebone, or with 4GB RAM and a 120GB SSD.

✓ ZBOX CI523 Nano / ZBOX CI543 Nano
✓ Intel Core i3-6100U / Intel Core i5-6200U
✓ 2 x DDR3L-1600 SODIMM slots (up to 16GB)
✓ 1 x 2.5-inch SATA 6Gbps HDD / SSD slot
✓ 3-in-1 card reader (SD / SDHC / SDXC)
✓ 2 x USB 3.1 Type-C
✓ 2 x USB 3.0
✓ 2 x USB 2.0
✓ 1 x Ethernet port
✓ WiFi 802.11ac / Bluetooth 4.0
✓ 146.4mm x 126.5mm x 60.5mm

✓ ZBOX CI545 Nano
✓ Intel Core i5-6300U
✓ Intel AMT technology
✓ 2 x DDR3L-1600 SODIMM slots (up to 16GB)
✓ 1 x 2.5-inch SATA 6Gbps HDD / SSD slot
✓ 3-in-1 card reader (SD / SDHC / SDXC)
✓ 2 x USB 3.1 Type-C
✓ 3 x USB 3.0
✓ 2 x USB 2.0
✓ 2 x Ethernet ports
✓ WiFi 802.11ac / Bluetooth 4.0
✓ 146.4mm x 126.5mm x 60.5mm

Source: ZOTAC


Intel will fix the Skylake NUC

Between WHEA errors and missing connectors, the 6th Generation Core NUC is a massive letdown. Fortunately, Intel will soon launch trouble-free stand-alone motherboards for the fanless community.

"The current six generation Skylake were distributed as a kit, Intel is planning to launch a newer six generation board soon; we don’t have a release date yet."

Source: Intel


Streacom teases new products

COMPUTEX 2016 is just around the corner, and Streacom is planning to launch several products in Taipei. Based on the teaser pictures, we're betting on the return of the elusive DB4 showcased 3 years ago.

Source: Streacom


Does no name equal bad ?

These fanless PCs are everywhere. But does the quality stack up? Besides some minor thermal problems, our friend Shaun seems to like it:

"First impressions are pretty good, I am a big fan of mini PCs, particularly the Intel NUC. Despite the bland packaging, the mini PC comes in a solid machine-milled aluminium body, which is solid and feels really well finished. It is rather heavy too, weighing in at just under 2kg without RAM and Disks installed..."

"I am pleased to report that the Broadwell i3-5010U in the Hystou performs well and in some cases exceeded expected performance in its processor class. Desktop experience on general usage is smooth on two HD monitors using both the HDMI and VGA output with no visible cursor lag with Aero enabled."



A hot mess

No offense to Luke32800, but this is terrible. For some strange reasons, people think that small cases improve fanless builds. Don't do it. It's the worst.

Nothing magic happens in small cases. Passive components need space and air. PC cases need to be large enough and mesh-laden for natural convection to occur.

Source: linustechtips


Unboxing fitlets... en EspaƱol

CompuLab's AMD barebones in motion, including fitlet-I (A4 Micro-6400T, 4.5W TDP, $246) and fitlet-T (GX-424CC, 25W TDP, $386).

Our favorite remains fitlet-H though ($380). The most balanced in terms of power (A10 Micro-6700T, 5W TDP) and cooling.


FIRST LOOK : The mini-STX push

With at least one passive case on the way, the mini-STX form factor (AKA Intel's 5x5) is promising. The upcoming COMPUTEX will the official launchpad for the first commercially available products, including several SKUs from ECS, two from ASRock and one from ASUS. The 127mm x 127mm motherboards will handle desktop CPUs up to 65W TDP for NUC-sized systems.