Giada A51 Mini PC

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TEST RESULTS

Thermals & Noise

System Measurements
System State
Temps
Fan Speed
SPL @0.6m†
Power (AC)
CPU
HDD
Ext*
Idle
49°C
33°C
33°C
3320 RPM
24~25 dBA
13W
H.264 Playback
52°C
33°C
36°C
3440 RPM
25 dBA
18W
TMPGEnc Encoding
65°C
33°C
39°C
3840 RPM
27 dBA
24W
CPU Load
67°C
32°C
41°C
3880 RPM
27 dBA
26W
CPU + GPU Load
75°C
33°C
49°C
4120 RPM
29 dBA
33W
Ambient: 21°C, 10~11 dBA.
*External temperature measured using an IR thermometer pointed at the hottest portion of the external chassis
We measure SPL at 0.6m for all devices meant to be used atop a desk, as it is more realistic a distance than the usual 1m. It also corresponds to the "seated user SPL" distance specified in the computer noise measurement standard ISO 7779.

For such a small device, the A51's cooling system keeps temperatures in check, more or less. In real world usage, the CPU is unlikely to surpass 70°C on load, something we could only accomplish with synthetic utilities. The hard drive kept quite cool throughout testing and the exterior only got lukewarm to the touch. The noise level was not great, varying between 24~25 and 29 dBA@0.6m but this isn't particularly disappointing considering the size.

The system's fan is very hissy and a bit whiny at higher speeds but is otherwise very similar to the acoustics of typical laptops, only louder. The noise generated was mostly high frequency with a tonal peak at about 700 MHz. If you're looking for something quiet, it's pretty much impossible at this size without dropping down to an Atom CPU. The A51 would benefit greatly from being VESA mounted; a large LCD monitor would block out a lot of the noise produced.

Fan Control

Like most systems this size, the BIOS doesn't offer a lot of customization outside of adjusting the memory clock and video RAM size. There is however a decent set of fan control options. A wide range of static PWM values are available in manual mode, while automatic mode allows you to define the temperature at which the fan stays off, starts, as well as the minimum speed and how quickly it ramps up (slope).

If you're using Windows, you can control the fan from the desktop using SpeedFan. To enable the "Pwm1" control, locate "PWM 1 mode" under the IT8721F chip in the advanced menu and set it to "software controlled."



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