Akasa Galileo Ultra-slim Fanless Thin ITX Case

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Akasa Galileo Ultra-slim Fanless Thin ITX Case

August 18, 2013 by Lawrence Lee

Akasa Galileo
Fanless Thin ITX Case (AK-ITX09-BK)
Street Price

Thin is in. This is one of the biggest trends in modern technology. Anyone who follows the phone, tablet, and notebook markets can attest to their continuous slimming and miniaturization. Smaller and slimmer are marketed as more elegant and futuristic, even if functionality and reparability is lost along the way. Shrinkage is happening in the desktop PC as well, especially with the accelating popularity of the mini-ITX form factor. If that's not enough, Intel is now promoting their Thin Mini-ITX standard. As we've detailed in the past, Thin Mini-ITX is a low profile, high feature density version of mini-ITX, one designed to power tiny PCs, mini-HTPCs, and all-in-one-PCs integrated into the backside of a flat panel monitor.

For the DIYer, there's little point in a thin, compact motherboard without a case built in the same vein. But with the limited space and size comes limited cooling options. Naturally, such a small form factor demands a processor with a low power envelope. In the past, this role has been filled by low performance embedded solutions, mainly Intel Atom and AMD's C/E/G series of entry level APUs. Today, Intel's multitude of sub-65W LGA1155 desktop CPUs fit the bill, and that's part of what Thin Mini-ITX is all about. Ostensibly, it's a platform for Intel to show off — being able to drop in a off-the-shelf a high performance Sandy/Ivy Bridge processor into such a compact system is an exciting prospect.

The box.

One thing that would make such a system even better would be to have it cooled passively. We've covered a handful of fanless Thin-ITX cases over the last couple of years. Akasa did this already with the Euler, a 62 mm tall case with a footprint barely larger than the standard 17x17cm size of the mini-ITX board. Late last year, we paired it with a 55W Pentium G2120 (Ivy Bridge, 3.1 GHz) and put it through a thermal torture test, which it passed with ease.

The Galileo is an even thinner alternative from Akasa, not much taller than the motherboard it's designed to support. At 37 mm, the Galileo represents a 40% height reduction from Euler, offset by an increase in length of 7.9 cm or just over 3 inches.

Package contents.

Inside the box is a brief installation guide, the case itself, two packets of thermal grease, two short 6 mm thick copper heatpipes, and the rest of the components needed to assemble the cooling system. One thing about the Euler that stood out was the simplicity and effectiveness of the cooling solution. An aluminum heatsink was stuck on to case floor and it mounted directly to the CPU socket. The execution was not to a very high standard, as many uasuers reports issues with fitting the motherboard properly, particular with the poor alighment of the opening for the I/O panel, which could cause some annoying and occasionally potentially harmful problems.

The Galileo uses a more traditional heatpipe scheme, and the way it's implemented makes it easier for DIYers than most heatpipe-cooled fanless cases. I'll get to that later on.

Specifications: Akasa Galileo
(from the product web page)
Material Aluminum and heatpipes
Motherboard types Thin Mini-ITX 6.7" x 6.7"
Dimensions 307 x 190 x 36.8 mm (W x D x H)
Weight 1730 g
Antenna fitting holes 2
Security Kensington lock
VESA mounting Support
Product code AK-ITX09-BK

The spec rundown is very brief. There's antenna support, a Kensington lock port, and VESA mounting, but no front USB, and notably, no drive support. In the past, cases of this size would have a small bay for at least one 2.5 inch drive. The Thin Mini-ITX standard relies on slimmer notebook components, namely SO-DIMM memory and mSATA drives.

Akasa also failed to include any information regarding CPU support. When Akasa sent us the Euler they suggested a 25W processor but it did well enough with a 55W model. Judging the volume of the Galileo, the limited number of fins on the exterior, and the length and number of heatpipes I suspect it has similar capabilities.

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