Viewing page 1 of 6 pages. 1 2 3 4 5 6 NextAkasa Galileo Ultra-slim Fanless Thin ITX Case
August 18, 2013 by Lawrence Lee
Fanless Thin ITX Case (AK-ITX09-BK)
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
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.
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
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.
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.
||Aluminum and heatpipes
||Thin Mini-ITX 6.7" x 6.7"
||307 x 190 x 36.8 mm (W x D x H)
|Antenna fitting holes
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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