Shuttle delivers

Are you tired of vaporware? Despite announcements from several high-profile brands, Shuttle's DS77U7 is still the sole i7-powered fanless mini PC that is widely available.

Featuring Intel's i7-7500U, the system is packed with functionality and connectivity, including 4K support, two storage options (2.5" and M.2 SSD), two HDMI, one DisplayPort, and two Intel Gigabit LAN ports. It's available right now for $676.02. Dust covers for the two COM ports are thankfully included.


EXCLUSIVE: Intel Ghost Canyon NUC first look

Intel's Ghost Canyon X will be an absolute beast. The system will be powered by a 45W Coffee Lake HR processor, up to 8-core / 16-thread. Also onboard are three HDMI 2.0 ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, M.2 storage, and a PCIe x16 slot for a discrete graphics card.

The 5-liter chassis looks clean and elegant, but is subject to change. Ghost Canyon X is not expected until early 2020.

The system will almost certainly be actively cooled, although a third-party fanless case is always a possibility. Akasa Galactico did wonders with the 45W Skull Canyon NUC.


$799 worth of computer

No, we're not talking about the latest Mac mini, retailing for $799 and featuring Intel's i3-8100 (8074 average CPU mark), a paltry 8GB RAM and an embarrassing 128GB SSD.

It's actually possible to build a computer with better specs and passively cooled. Start with Akasa Euler TX, Intel's 35W i5-8400T (9659 average CPU mark), ASUS Thin mini ITX PRIME H310T motherboard, this FSP power adapter, 16GB of Crucial DDR4 2400 memory, and a reliable 1TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD.

Is it less sexy than Apple's offering? Absolutely. It's also more powerful, less proprietary, more easily upgradable and repairable, more flexible OS-wise. Choose freedom.


BREAKING: NUC overload

Intel's NUC is still doing incredibly well and will updated with the latest and greatest next year.

✓ ISLAY CANYON is a complete Windows 10 PC featuring a 15W Whiskey Lake-U processor, AMD Radeon 540X graphics, 8GB RAM and a 1TB HDD.

✓ FROST CANYON (kit) features 25W Comet Lake-U processors and Intel UHD graphics.

✓ GHOST CANYON (kit) rocks 45W Coffee Lake-HR processors, Intel UHD graphics, and PCIe x16 slot for discrete graphics.

Source: PCEVA, via @momomo_usVideoCardz and Liliputing

Lessons learned

Building your own fanless computer can be an adventure. Check out this build log featuring the high quality HDPLEX H1 case and AMD's Ryzen 3 2200G. Our friendly advice if temperatures matter to you : make sure to oversize your cooling solution, or stick to a 35W CPU for peace of mind and a hassle-free experience.


Concept fanless ITX case from Japan

It's pretty weird and giving us vibes of the original Macintosh 128K. It isn't very efficient either (the cooling fins are too close to each other and would work better vertically). But it's still very inspiring, and oddly beautiful.

Source: Milpix ™


Tranquil PC Kaby Lake upgrade

Tranquil PC's Intel offering has been upgraded to Kaby Lake processors and now features the 15W Celeron 3865U, i3-7100U, i5-7200U, or i7-7500U. Sold as a barebone system, the industrial-grade Rugged Intel Core Mini is also fully configurable on Tranquil PC's site up to 32GB RAM and 2TB SSD. The system is IP50 protected and designed to operate between -15°C to 40°C.

Source Tranquil PC



Tom's Hardware thinks the cooling system used in the ZBOX CI620 is weird ("├ętrange"). They wish the heat pipe would connect directly to the aluminum fins on the sides. We agree.

As it is, the small copper heat pipe is tucked under a metal plate. It looks like heat reaches the side fins only via the small top fins! This heat flow path is unnecessarily convoluted and inefficient.

Too bad since, according to the reviewer, the CI620 looks great and is a pretty capable silent PC (no coil whine detected).

Source: Tom's Hardware (French)


Does anodizing really work?

Technically, anodization adds a coating to aluminum which does not bode well for convection. Well that's on paper anyway. Our own Thony put Arctic's Alpine 11 Passive and Arctic 12 Passive to the test, and the difference is noticeable.

The anodized Alpine 12 performed between 3°C and 5°C better than its basic counterpart. Also both were able to keep the dual-core i5-4570T (35W TDP) from throttling. Special guest appearance from two venerable retirees, Zalman FX70 and Nofan CR-95C.


Ultra low-power gaming rig

Who knew that Intel's Atom would power a gaming rig in 2018? Granted, it's not the most practical option and Gemini Lake's scarcity (and price increase) doesn't help. But it's actually possible. This build featuring the ASRock J5005 ITX motherboard and Palit 1050 Ti KalmX graphics card defies expectations.

"The CPU is good enough to run modern games on medium or lower settings. It needs a dedicated GPU to do so. It can be a passively cooled GTX 1050 Ti KalmX to keep that noise level down. The GPU on its own should be enough for 1080p gaming on medium settings if not more. Just note that 10W CPU won't allow it to reach top performance."

Source: RkBlog