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Akasa has come up with a practical, no-moving-parts mini case in the Euler.
It was obviously intended for applications where silence, dust-resistance, zero
maintenance or no airflow to disturb the environment are important, and it fulfills
this role well with the recommended components, specifically, a lower TDP CPU
mated with one of the Intel Thin-ITX boards. The cooling capability of the Euler
is good enough for a Pentium G2120's 55W TDP, so anything in that range or lower
would be perfectly good. Unless you're going to be pushing the system consistently
hard in high ambient operating temperatures, even a 65W TDP processor might
not pose much risk.
The combination of a cool Sandy or Ivy Bridge CPU, Intel DQ77KB mini-ITX board,
lots of fast RAM and an SSD is a persuasive argument for small, silent, low
power computing. Hung on the back of a good monitor with a wireless keyboard
and mouse with perhaps a USB 3.0 hub on your desk, you'd never know a Euler-based
system was even there. As a media PC with access to a home server, a Euler-based
HTPC system could sit idle just about anywhere near your big panel TV and never
make a sound except that which comes through the speakers when you're playing
If Thin Mini-ITX succeeds in becoming widely accepted as a mini computing platform
as Intel obviously hopes, the Euler is surely only the first of at least a few
more fanless cooling case solutions to come. Akasa's own comments suggest that
they are looking at the possibility of similar passively cooled, more consumer-friendly
Thin-ITX cases. For now, the Euler appears to be the only passive cooling case
dedicated for Thin-ITX and available to the retail buyer.
At the anticipated $99 selling price with an efficient 120W adapter, the Akasa
Euler represents good value. The total market price of the hardware assembled
for the test system is around $500, hardly any more than a mATX with similarly
spec'd components in a case that would have to be at least four times bigger. If you're OK with the integrated graphics, this is a great small computer solution that still provides some degree of options for the DIY enthusiast, unlike most complete mini PCs, which offer much less choice and rarely zero noise. A recommendation is without question.
Our thanks to Akasa
UK for the Euler case sample.
Much thanks also to Kingston
for their generous support with the HyperX
3K 120GB SSD and SODIMM memory, and to Intel
for the DQ77KB board and Pentium G2120 samples.
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Akasa Euler is Recommended by SPCR
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Articles of Related Interest
Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC)
Giada A51 Mini PC
AMD G-T40E Fanless Barebones Nettop
Supply LGX AG150 Fanless Mini PC
Edge HD3: AMD E-450 Mini PC
NF9C-2600 Atom N2600 Mini-ITX Motherboard
Mini Letter ML-80 H61 Sandy Bridge Barebones PC
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this article in the SPCR forums.
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