Lucifer's limit

It's hard to say what Deepcool's Lucifer ($42.99) is capable of. According to Deepcool's site "Lucifer V2 CPU cooler is designed to cool mainstream processors without a fan to create a zero-noise system" which is nice but not exactly precise.

Five years after its release, the company has confirmed to us that the 1kg heat sink handles CPUs up to 65W in passive mode. As always, only in a case made of mesh, or in Thermaltake's P1, P3, or P5 chassis (highly recommended).


The NUC Blog reviews the Akasa Newton JC

"It seems the large aluminium case is a pretty effective heat sink. Akasa claims it will cool the NUC better than the stock fan, and my tests seem to confirm that. When I left the NUC7PJYH running Prime95 for the whole night from 2:30am until 9:30am the temperature rose slowly during the first hour until it reached 67 degrees Celsius. You can see from the graph below that the temperature never rose above 67 degrees."

Source: The NUC Blog


Noctua NH-D14 : it's not over till it's over

The legendary NH-D14 is now discontinued but is not impossible to find. Check out these two identical passively-cooled builds featuring the old flagship Noctua cooler, Intel's i3-8100, a Seasonic-made LDLC PSU, and Lian-Li's PC-Q10 case (with mesh on top and bottom). It's a tight fit, but it works.

In most scenarios, titans like the NH-D14, Phanteks PH-TC14PE, or Thermalright Le Grand Macho will perform better in passive mode than smaller coolers advertised as fanless like Arctic Alpine series or Nofan CR-80EH.



Fanless Coffee Lake NUC : better thermals than stock version

The very first passively-cooled Coffee Lake NUC (AKA "Bean Canyon") is here, and it was worth the wait. Featuring a 28W CPU and Iris Plus Graphics, Intel's 4"x4" mini desktop nearly doubles the thermal envelope from previous generations. And yet, nimbini 2.5 offers better cooling than the actively-cooled version... in total silence.

Cirrus7 had to rethink the nimbini chassis, including internal perforations and copper cores (check out the cirrus7 blog for more info). Now even under prime95 the i7-8559U runs at least 12°C cooler in the new nimbini chassis than in Intel's cramped (and noisy) stock case.

Granted, nimbini 2.5 is a larger (15.7 x 15.7 x 12 cm) and heavier system at 2.5kg, but it's also more aesthetically pleasing if you ask us. Prices start at 499 euros for the i3 model.

Source: cirrus7


2018 fanless mini PC roundup

ASUS PN40 is an affordable and stylish option. This barebone features a Celeron N4000 and an internal heat sink. No sign of passive cooling (which is generally not a good sign) nor any particular attention given to convection, but the 6W Gemini Lake chip doesn't seem to suffer much. $159

MSI's Gemini Lake CUBI N looks more thought-out. It features the more powerful Pentium N5000 processor and a mesh panel for convection. HDMI 2.0 is a nice touch, too. $299

Free to breathe at last. The case of the MintBox mini 2 is the heat sink. The diminutive box does feature an Apollo Lake Celeron J3455 from 2016 but is a complete PC. It comes with 4GB RAM, a 64GB SSD and Linut Mint 19. The political choice. $299

One step further. When power and extreme reliability are required, Logic Supply's ML100 Series delivers. The current version features Kaby Lake i3-7100U, i5-7300U or i7-8650U processors and is fully configurable. $689

After so-so reviews, the i3, i5 and i7 versions of the MSI CUBI Silent S were pretty much canceled, but the Celeron 3865U iteration looks just fine. Still, the decently-sized heat sink would perform better if it wasn't entirely covered. $180

We have a love-hate relationship with ZOTAC, but we're very grateful for their work bringing passive cooling to the masses. Their Celeron N3450 ZBOX CI327 is a perfectly serviceable option with amazing connectivity. $162

The Core-based ZBOX CI527 features a 15W Kaby Lake i3-7100U and the same gorgeous I/O. For some reason ZOTAC's barebone comes with a 5-year warranty around the world, except in the US. $330

Slightly larger than its counterparts, the mini-ITX-sized DL10J is ready for 24/7 operation. Shuttle originated the small form factor PC and to this day remains committed to delivering an exceptional level of quality. $210

Shuttle's DS77U offers more oomph with a Kaby Lake Celeron 3865U and a second (Intel) Ethernet port. A Core-based processor means support for up to 32GB RAM too. We're loving the vertical position for a nice chimney effect. $260

Featuring the aging Celeron N3000, Gigabyte's Braswell BRIX is still a viable option as an entry-level HTPC. $129

Overall a plethora of choices from trusted brands. Just avoid knockoffs and unknown OEM products, and you should be fine.


PrimeMini 4 review

A closer look at the Swiss-made fanless NUC and things are looking good. The 15W i7-8650U is an extremely robust CPU (8878 CPU mark) and temperatures are quite good : between 35 and 45°C under normal usage, up to 80°C with no signs of throttling under heavy load. We would love to know how the $1 million pure gold version compares.

Source: (German)


ZOTAC outs Gemini Lake pico PCs

ZOTAC is refreshing its P series with a dual-core Celeron N4000 for the PI225 Gemini Lake and a quad-core Celeron N4100 for the PI335 Gemini Lake.

The new PI225 features a total of two ports. Yes, you read that correctly. Two USB Type-C ports for everything, including USB-Type-C-to-HDMI 1.4.

The new PI335 is a little more flexible with full-sized HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, Ethernet, USB 3.0 ports, and a headphone jack.

Both feature 32GB of soldered eMMC storage and Windows 10 Home. Back in 2008-2009 netbooks were laughed at for their paltry 160GB storage. It's amazing how 10 years later 32GB is somehow considered acceptable.

Source: ZOTAC


Seasonic PRIME 600 Titanium Fanless is getting more expensive soon

Because of the ongoing USA / China trade war, Seasonic's PSU extraordinaire (currently retailing for $199.99) will be 10% more expensive in the next 3 weeks. Even at $220 the passively-cooled PRIME 600 is still a good deal if you ask us, thanks to the high quality components, unique power output, and 12-year warranty. But if you're building your own fanless computer in 2019 make sure to start with the power supply before December 1st.

Source: Seasonic


Liliputing reviews ZBOX CI660

Brad Linder takes a look at the most powerful fanless computer from a mainstream brand, and performance is impressive. The CI660 truly feels like a desktop PC and generally outperforms actively-cooled laptops featuring the same processor (i7-8550U).

Unfortunately, Brad also noticed a slight but noticeable crackling noise (AKA coil whine) when the unit is working hard. The issue was confirmed by FanlessTech readers using the CI620 and CI640 models. Read the full review at